Ethereal Microcosm is a generative art project released on fxhash by its creator ciphrd to explore algorithmic organisms in a contained environment.
This piece is about the simulation of microscopic patterns using a high number of even tinier agents all following the same rules. Different species evolve and interact together, resulting in stabilizing patterns out of their parametric configurations. A form of artificial life.
This work is based on the paper "Characteristics of pattern formation and evolution in approximations of physarum transport networks", written by Jeff Jones and popularized in the artistic field by Sage Jenson. Some features were added to increase the visual and behavioral complexity of the system. Agents are divided into different species, with their own set of rules and interacting with their own substrate. Substrates also interact with each other and agents will mutate in contact of some of them.