36"H x 36"W x 6"D
Stainless steel, elevator call buttons, computer
Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
Seattle, WA 2001
Elevator Life is a stainless steel box that houses 100 working elevator buttons and a controlling computer. Designed specifically for the Portable Works Collection of Seattle's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Elevator Life is presently located in the Justice Center building in Seattle. The button lights are turned on by pressing them. Every 5 seconds an artificial life algorithm is applied to all 100 buttons at once. The program considers an "on" button to be "alive" and an "off" button to be "dead." The following rules are applied to every button. 1.. A living button with only 0 or 1 living neighbors dies from isolation. 2.. A living button with 4 or more living neighbors dies from overcrowding. 3.. A dead button with exactly 3 living neighbors becomes alive. 4.. All other buttons remain unchanged. Each time the buttons are recalculated is called a generation. Elevator Life reflects on each person's interdependence on everyone else. We are individuals who thrive or fail in the proximity of others, often because of the proximity of others. This is what the artificial life simulation points at in the artwork. We live or die because of the very people we only exchange smiles with in elevators.
©2004 Brad A Miller