CyberZoo Biological Hazard    

artificial life

Conservation of the biodiversity

Conserving life, natural as well as artificial, specially the life of the most representative species of the threatened habitats of Earth, should be the immediate goal of every modern zoo.

From the conflicts of the biósfera we have passed to those of the infosfera: this will be the new scene of the fight for survival.

The new ecology of information implies new responsibilities for the conservationist task as well as for the biodiversity amateur. The diverse forms of new artificial life will develop in this ecosystem. But how can we define them? How can we classify them?

The posmodern writer and naturalist William Burroughs affirmed that the word is literally a virus that has not been recognized as one because it has obtained a relatively stable state of symbiosis with its human carrier.

For the zoologist Richard Dawkins, the idea-genes should be regarded as living structures, not only metaphorically but technically. "When you plant a fertile idea in my mind, you literally turn my brain into a parasit vehicule for the propagation of that idea, in the same way that a virus can parasite the genetic mechanism of a hoste’s cell."

God is a virus

For this english zoologist, author of the book "The selfish gene", God truely exists, although only like a pattern of brain’s structures and reproduced by the minds of thousands of million people everywhere.

But this idea-genes are not only ones that propagate compulsively: among the most known figures than felt attracted by the ideas of Dawkins we can count the father of the nanotecnología, Eric Drexler as well as Richard Brodie. Brodie is indicated as the technical assistant of Bill Gates and the author of the original version of the Microsoft Word. We could ask ourselves if the reproduction of this contagious piece of information cpuld not be compares to a plague, moving to other species and becoming prey of other may be smallest but numerous predators as they are the computer viruses.

Art as reservoir of latent viruses

Although the communication is the natural place for the infection of all artificial life, the dissimilar evolution of each medium faces us with new challenges when we approache the task of classifying the different species and detecting those in danger. Which are the species promoted by the television? Which ones, while threatened, hide themselves in the Internet? Which merge like inoffensive species to disseminate themselves freely through the cultural medium? Which ones react to the censorship by untying their more virulent flank?

But in addition to direct infection (the brain to brain form) there exists another form of propagation: the one that is based on the reproduction beyond the human carrier. There are pieces of information that lie asleep (like the Egyptian glyphs), encripted, hidden in texts or images, hoping to being reactivated to infect to future carriers.

Historically, the art has been the place chosen by the more radical forms of life to surpass the limit that death imposses to human carriers, death that should suppose the danger of its own extinction.