ʻLife and Death of an Algorithm’ is a work constructed from 21,590 coloured dice, following a pattern generated, line by line, by a simple computer binary program. Governed by its own laws, the algorithm follows a quasi-animistic trajectory that emulates the evolution of life: coming into existence, evolving and eventually culminating in death, as the pattern exhausts all potential paths.
The work originates from Troika’s interest in the autonomy of algorithms, technological acceleration and emergence, which began with ʻHierophany’ in 2013 and ʻCalculating the Universe’ in 2014. While its predecessors materialise a pattern generated and maintained by binary systems, ʻLife and Death of an Algorithm’, focuses on the point at which self-governance falters and results in termination.
Historically dice were rolled as a means to determine fate, chance and luck. In contrast, the fate of the modern man is increasingly determined and guided by technological systems and data as a raw material. How much or little are we capable of controlling our surrounding reality, how much is predetermined, how much is down to chance?
Creative Applications, Greg J. Smith, ‘Trickle Down Aesthetics’, February 2017