FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Creature from the Network

A secondary school in the city of Trondheim, Norway, in collaboration with artist Lars Paalgaard and the Bengler Collective, an artist group specializing in electronic media, has created a "network organism" that lives and interacts within the community of 1,000+ wired students. The Nomen Nominandum (NN) project's webpage describes it best:

Nomen Nominandum (Name to be Known, for those of you who didn't major in Latin) floats around on the school network. If you call for it by voice or mouse movement it may come to your machine. If you play with it in the right way it will stay until it gets bored. When sleeping it curls up on its secluded plasma screen. It has real-time moods, sleeps in on Mondays and may decide to go away for a month in January. Its growth is very slow and as with living things you may never see it grow, but rather remember that it looked completely different some years ago.

Although conceived as an art project, such an organism could be created for productive purposes, such as business collaboration (in which it could be a virtual group coordinator), or as an educational or therapeutic tool. However, it could also be deployed for ethically questionable and even sinister purposes. NN is, after all, little more than a controlled virus.

Source: we make money not art