Progress in the scientific understanding and simulation of natural evolutionary mechanisms may be creating the basis for a new stage in evolution: the coming of artificial beings and artificial societies. Culture itself, aesthetics and intelligence are coming to be seen as the emergent, self-organizing qualities of a collectivity, evolved over time through both genetic and linguistic evolution. This paper sketches the development of hybrid digital worlds, in which artificial beings are able to evolve their own cultures, languages and aesthetics. Finally, the authors discuss their interactive audio-visual art installation Relazioni Emergenti, based on artificial-life environments. In this work, digital beings can interact, reproduce and evolve through the mechanisms of genetic mutation. People can interact with these artificial beings, creating hybrid ecosystems.
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