Everywhere I look, I am fascinated by invisible systems defining the behavior of my environment. Clouds being ferried across the wind. Gravity defining the structure of the solar system. Swarms of insects acting as a single organism. If I can perceive these systems, I can replicate them. In replicating them, I find myself able to more fully understand them. It’s this fascination and understanding that I want to pass on to my audience.
To this end I create self-contained ecosystems within a computer. Virtual organisms live, hunt, and die. They alter the terrain around them, leaving a record of their motion as an organically developing digital painting. From a distance, the structure of their world is made clear. Close up, everything offscreen is a mystery in a constant state of change. I elicit curiosity about these creatures and their space — a desire to explore this world that will hopefully carry over to our own.
Sam Richardson is a computer artist and programmer living in Yarmouth, Maine, where he was born and raised. His works consist of carefully programmed environments that take inspiration from real-world phenomena. Arrays of his coded objects take life on screen or in print, creating naturalistic compositions that build up over time. He began studying art and computer science at Sarah Lawrence College before entering the New Media program at Maine College of Art, where he graduated with a BFA in 2015.
1. Still from Ecosystem, 2015, Custom software, 1800 x 1200 pixels
2. Still from Ecosystem, 2015, Custom software, 1800 x 1200 pixels
3. Still from Ecosystem, 2015, Custom software, 7000 x 7000 pixels
4. Still from Ecosystem, 2015, Custom software, 7000 x 7000 pixels
5. Ecosystem controller, 2015, Custom software on Android, 1280 x 800 pixels