Bakio – An experiment in digital life at it's smallest
An 2002 entry to now defunct the5k competition, challenging web artists to create a compelling online experience in a cumulative maximum of 5 kilobytes of disk space.
The idea behind the contest is that the rigid constraints of designing for the web are what force us to get truly creative. Between servers and bandwidth, clients and users, HTML and the DOM, browsers and platforms, our conscience and our ego, we're left in a very small space to find highly optimal solutions. Since the space we have to explore is so small, we have to look harder, get more creative; and that's what makes it all interesting. Just celebrating that is all.
Bakio, constructed in flash, celebrated the lo-fi aesthetic of bit-art by using only black and white pixels. Bakio allows you to control the genetic makeup of the mother Bakio and use her to grow an entire population of Bakio all derived from her original genetics. Each time a new Bakio is birthed, its genetic material is passed to it from its mother Bakio, slight a few mutations. All this delivered in 3.7 kilobytes.
Set the range of values for each attribute by sliding the endpoints of the range.
Press the breed button to create a new mother Bakio. If your screen begins to overpopulate, simply press the kill * button to wipe them out, holding down for more destruction.
Click the image at right to begin.
Out of 400 applicants, Bakio placed #2 in concept, #4 in functionality, and #9 overall as well as recieving an editors choice for “Closest to top-right in looks vs. function plane”
The result of this recognition has been an increased interest in digital life, as seen in other experiments with creatures and the further development of this concept.
A continuation of the Bakio concept was created in 2004 as an exploration in richer interactions with the creatures as well as a technical exercise using the then recently public alpha of Processing.
Shadow Art comprised a small collection of interactions by interfering with a computer projector, casting a shadow onto the piece and creating a reaction. In this video you see Bakio interacting with the shadow of a hand.
Shadow Art was installed as the focus piece of a two month exhibit of my work at the Indianapolis Art Center, May-June 2004.