Universal Zoologies

Software Environment / Interactive Installation / CD-ROM
© 1996-2001 Jon McCormack.


Universal Zoologies is an interconnected series of autonomous, self-generating, poetic spaces that are navigated by people experiencing the work. The project aims to represent emotive, abstract, artificial life digi-scapes, each based around a thematic metaphor evoking the qualia of the natural world. The work creates a rich and elaborate visual space – a dream of strange and numinous creatures that have been evolved through a complex process of rule-based selection. These spaces are generated by complex software authored by the artist as part of the production process. The efficacy of the work is to confuse the boundaries of space, time, place, and process to offer a poetic re-interpretation of the natural and what it means to be alive.

The original software was developed for real-time virtual reality environments. This installation version is being reworked as an interactive CD-ROM version of the work.

With additional software development by Sam Sami and Justin Martin.

Universal Zoologies was produced in association with the Australian Film Commission.

This project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

You can get more information on Universal Zoologies including video sequences and installation photographs in the book Impossible Nature: the art of Jon McCormack.