Cesar & Lois: An Integrated Bhiobrid Reality: Degenerative Cultures

  • ©2018, Cesar & Lois

  • ©2018, Cesar & Lois

  • ©2018, Cesar & Lois

  • ©2018, Cesar & Lois



    An Integrated Bhiobrid Reality: Degenerative Cultures


Creation Year:



    Bio-digital hybrid


Artist Statement:

    Degenerative Cultures is a composite nature-based and AI-driven experiment that allows fungal organisms and their digital counterparts to corrupt texts on humanity’s project to dominate nature. The multimedia installation consists of a living fungus alongside a digital fungus and their degeneration of predatory texts. The microbiological culture consumes the text of a physical book that describes the human impulse to control and reshape nature. The living organism’s growth is followed by a digital fungus whose growth is based on cellular automata and natural language analysis. This AI “organism” searches the Internet and decomposes texts with similar predatory approaches to nature. The fungal readings are tweeted by the twitter handle @HelloFungus, which responds to twitter users with new digitally degenerated texts.

    A hybrid of artificial and biological intelligences drive the logic of the installation. Physical books documenting the compulsion of people to direct nature are used as the substrates for fungi. The text is destroyed in a physical sense, and this destruction is visible through the redaction or disappearance of legible text on the surface of the pages by the biological agent. Just as the physical book is consumed by the microbiological culture, the digital database is corrupted by the degenerative algorithm. In the “bhiobrid” network, the bio-digital fungi respond to Internet users’ mentions, engaging others in the spreading of “digital spores.”

    In Degenerative Cultures, living microorganisms, digital networks and artificial intelligence work together. Replicating the logic of so-called intelligent microorganisms (Physarum polycephalum) and blurring the limits between biological and artificial intelligence, the artists build a “bhiobrid” agent. By mapping and corrupting the predatory knowledge frameworks that have consistently driven how humanity deals with nature, the artists’ goal is to learn from the bio-hybrid interactions across biological, social and technical networks. The resulting system makes visible those entropic patterns in human culture that have carried us into the Anthropocene.



An Integrated Bhiobrid Reality: Degenerative Cultures from ACM SIGGRAPH on Vimeo.