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A surface which displays colorful,
self-organized patterns. It can be fed,
in which case it grows, extending the design.
When a piece is broken off, it grows into a
new pattern, like a sponge or a polyp.
Visual Models of Morphogenesis
What the sea-shells (and other living CA-like objects) look like [cosma, Jan 28 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
Primordial Soup Kitchen
Pretty CA pictures, i.e., things it would be nice to grow [cosma, Jan 28 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
L2K at Burning Man
"The featured item of the camp is the "pattern buffer lounge", a 30 foot dome with a ring of 2000 lights and pushbuttons that people can play with. Pressing the buttons sends light patterns moving around the ring, and then the patterns go out to a 2000 foot ring of lights around the Man." [Thanks to Jutta for the updated link.] [rmutt, Jan 28 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
CAs aren't the only way to generate pretty patterns... [egnor, Jan 28 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
artists recreate based on last version of image
see what gossip looks like as an art form [julien, Jan 28 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
||This is already kind of done in the computer field: cellular automata. If you have a Unix machine, get XScreenSaver from Jamie Zawinski (www.jwz.org) and see all the live demos. Would be cool to do with live substances, but would avant garde regenerate art be noxious and possibly infect people? Would it be funded? Would it be preserved by scientists?
||Actually, my academic day-job is
research on cellular automata; I want to
see the suckers in real life. Some
sea-shells grow patterns like what
I have in mind, and they're not noxious at
all, but they are very slow. And they
don't regenerate if you break them.
||I'm sure we'll be able to do this with nanotechnology when it starts happening.
||Granted, one has to look at the designs with a magnifying glass, but it's certainly self-reproducing. Presumably not quite as tiling-like as you want.
||This is to counter-act the current trend of degenerate are that conservatives are complaining about?