Signs of Life2009–2014

Interdisciplinary explorations of what it means for something to be "alive" through software, hardware, and art

Inspired by works like Braitenberg’s Vehicles and Schrödinger’s What is Life?, Signs of Life asks participants to explore what it means for something to be “alive” by prototyping projects which are alive, in one way or another. Participants made projects ranging from robots responding to feedback to instrumented gardens to writing adaptations of works like Frankenstein to explore these questions from their own perspectives.

A rainbow-colored geometric shape created by students in Scratch
Two side-by-side thermal images of someone blow-drying their hair
A student draws a series of faces changing different stereotypically gendered qualities in each
A small electronic car instrumented with sensors so it can move "intelligently"
A figure from the book Vehicles, showing how "life-like" vehicles can use their sensors and motors to identify and move toward things they want
The cover of What is Life? & Mind and Matter by Erwin Shrödinger