Origin (2006) is a persistent programmed object that ‘reads’ The Origin of Species through Natural Selection by Charles Darwin, line by line, for years. It is a deliberately simple, sober and flat textual element rooted within the spectacularly abundant visual environment, Second Life.

Here one invents an alter-ego, an avatar that is consciously designed by selecting from various presets and defaults, opting for various attributes and cultural memes, or by simply buying custom anthropomorphic features, parameters of both attitude and visibility. In order to read Darwin’s first-person narrative of genesis in the midst of this virtual free-for-all, one is necessarily doing so from this curiously embodied subject position.

From this vantage point, peering out onto the vast glistening ocean, listening to the recurrent lapping of resplendent digital waves, one can inch through his text, contemplating the transmutation of flora and fauna, while embedded in a visual equivalent, an algorithmic model of his evolutionary thought.

Origin was part of a commission to participate in a large-scale exhibition on Sudo Island.

    Custom software (Linden Scripting Language / PHP) in Second Life