Bugs in the System — An Exploration of Digital Life

This project is a work of speculative design investigating the possibility of digital life. Drawing on scientific debates about the essence of life, it describes the distinct properties of living organic processes. These are then applied to digital processes, and asks both whether digital life could exist, and what it might look like.

Alongside this theoretical work are example programs demonstrating some lifelike properties, presented in a speculative installation based on the concept of a natural history museum of the future. The installation invites viewers to probe the complexity of existing digital systems and to interrogate the nature of life itself. Perhaps, like microbes do in the physical world, some digital life is already growing inside our opaque digital ecosystem.

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Buurman