Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

BITS – Markos R. Kay’s Algorithmic Diatoms

In ALL, BITS by Alex Pedersen

Markos R. Kay‘s digitally engineered living systems are a microscopic marvel. First exhibited at the Ernst Haeckel Phyletic Museum (2008-present), Kay’s  well known video art experiment aDiatomea communicates mathematically generated artworks that take on organic forms.

“Diatoms are microscopic unicellular algae and one of the most abundant groups of phytoplankton. It is estimated that they’re responsible for up to a quarter of the world’s oxygen production and almost half of the ocean’s primary organic production. Besides this biological importance, diatoms are most famous for their magnificent geometric outer skeleton made out of silica, known as a frustule. These outer shells come in a wide variety of shapes, from squares and triangles to stars and more complex geometrical shapes.

These biological shapes are a testimony to nature’s mathematical way of working that becomes more apparent when looking at her simplest creations. In fact a mathematical equation known as the superformula is able to produce many of these shapes found in nature, and when extended into 3D can produce forms that are strikingly similar to diatoms and other simple organisms.” – Markos R. Kay

Here are a few of our favourites below:

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

Markos R. Kay aDiatomea

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About the Author
Alex Pedersen

Alex Pedersen

Alex is a critical scholar and social scientist. During her degrees, Alex recognized a dearth of knowledge transfer between the academy and the general public. To address this gap, she extends her empirical research through multiple mediums including: publications, formal lectures, public speaking events, radio, theatre and photography. In diversifying access to her research, Alex honed a unique set of skills to plan, design and produce events for a wide variety of audiences. To date, she was responsible for several successful lecture series, community events and fundraisers across diverse settings. Most notably, Alex organized and implemented the 2015 Chancellor Dunning Trust Lectureship and was an advisor for the “Free Queen’s” Steering Committee (an initiative encouraging graduates to bring their work to the wider public). In addition, she has written numerous successful grant applications. An activist at heart, Alex advocates for critical thinking in and beyond academic institutions.