A Model Of Urban Growth In Living Matter

A New Orleans artist has created a bio-art project about the future of cities. Artist Allison Kudla created an algorithm that combines urban growth patterns with the growth of cells. Then she used a robot arm to print a representation of it onto 4 foot-by-6 foot sheets using agar, a living and growing gelatin used in biology experiments. This is just one of the weird science-art projects on display this weekend at the DesCours festival in New Orleans. There's even an art project about talking to people in other cities using your ass.

A Model Of Urban Growth In Living Matter

The Ex-Com Couch will make its debut this weekend in New Orleans as part of the DesCours Festival. Similar couches will be placed in Sydney and Los Angeles. When someone sits on one of them, the other couches will make a "signature motion" to indicate who's sitting, and on which part of which couch. It's the first butt-powered telecommunication setup. (On the left, an actual segment of the couch in progress. On the right, a computer illustration of what it'll look like. Ex-Com stands for "external communciation," natch.)

You'll also have a chance to interact with the ReSpore NOLA project. ReSpore started out as a "virtual petri dish" that simulates the dots of mold that slowly covered the walls and ceiling of artist David Sullivan's house and his friends' houses after Katrina. If you go here, you can see ReSpore cover your own webcam image with mold. But this weekend, you'll be able to see a live installation.

Also on display: Hover, a canopy that stores solar energy during the day and uses it to power fabric cells incorporating photovoltaics and LEDs, for an off-the-grid lighting source. Plus artificial snow, textile art, a mobile photo booth and more.