The doors are closed. Welcome to the cell. It’s
Autopoietic Morphogenesis (A.M.)
Placing two related terms side by side is an act of creation in itself. In this case, the debate is open as to whether these terms inform each other, devalue each other though repetition, generate a new valid term or are simply meaningless.
Maybe we need an ampersand in the middle? : Autopoiesis & Morphogenesis.
“Autopoiesis” (from Greek auto-, meaning “self”, and poiesis, meaning “creation, production”) refers to:
- a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself.
“Morphogenesis “(from the Greek ‘morphê’ shape and ‘genesis’ creation, literally, “beginning of the shape”) is the process that
- causes an organism to develop its shape.
- controls the organised spatial distribution of cells during the embryonic development of an organism.
- describes the evolution of a body structure within a taxonomic group.
These descriptive terms of biological systems provide the model we’re going to be starting with, and a framework to begin hanging discussions on. For the duration of an a.m session the walls of CAS become a membrane, and we are the biological process that ensures the cell grows, mutates and evolves in unpredictable ways.
a.m sessions will be based on the four key interrelated classes of event that characterize biological development:
- Patterning: The setting up of the positions of future events across space (at a variety of scales)
- Regulation of timing: The ‘clock’ mechanisms that regulate when events happen and can drive the evolution of new body plans.
- Cell differentiation: Changes in a cell’s set of expressed genes (its molecular phenotype)
- Morphogenesis: The processes that generate tissue organisation and shape and are usually the downstream response to the timing and patterning.
These classes will provide our parameters.
a.m: How does it work?
- A group of participants meet.
- They split into two teams.
- Activity is regulated by alternating hour-slots.
- For ONE HOUR, a team will build, create and manipulate freely within the cell space using whatever resources are to hand.
- After one hour, the teams will change, with the new team responding to the patterns and structures left by the preceding group.
- Change and mutation can be subtractive as well as additive.
- The process will continue until a point of stability is found.
- This point can be determined through durational, aesthetic or material values and limitations.
All systems need energy to ‘go’. So, for us Material Supply is crucial.
This emerging methodology was used at Associates Launch day. The experiment ran from 11am – 4pm one weekend in December 2013 at Chapel Arts Studios in Andover.