A bug in the system: speculations on cybernetics, superorganisms, and simulated serendipity

Class Year


Access Type

Archival Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program

First Advisor

Eva Woods

Second Advisor

M Mark


What is a cybernetic organism in the age of digital imagining? Where can we find a historical nexus between the methods used to models systems and the increasing velocity of digital images? How do bodies fracture and congeal when integrated in such an environment? How does image-based modeling move offline, producing and reproducing the systems it was meant to represent? When does an imaginative architecture become real? A Bug in the System is the culmination of a year-long research-intensive process coupled with a variety of digital studio practices. It takes the subject matter of scientific modeling of information systems–biological, mechanical, and digital–and weaves its histories into a complex, contingent, web based on the concrete instances, technologies, and media that facilitate this scientific methodology. The narrative for the studio-based practice, called “Colony Community,” rides the line between fantasy and fact. It utilized actual events, people, and scanning techniques to embed it in the real, but uses dreams, performance, and irony to subvert any claim to authenticity.

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