cloneGiz is an interactive Java applet for online use. CloneGiz is an applet which adresses the question of controlled genetic design. I.e. with given specific genetic material/data (like "parents") the existence of controlled genetic design would mean that it would be possible to design new life forms ("clones") by a controllable process ("a formula").
In CloneGiz a set of image parents (to be found in the parent bank) allows to " breed " (i.e. generate) new images, which are called "image clones". The image clones are a " mixture " of the image parents.
The " image parents " are pictures, which the user may draw via the additional drawing interface (parent editor). There is a set of example image parents. These are front views of Manga faces and drawings of Noh masks.
The " cloning " process is encoded in a mathematical formula, which can be interactively entered in the main window. I.e. the user decides how to clone - he/she has the control over the genetic design.
The parents of a clone correspond to the variables in an equation. The factors in front of the variables correspond to the weights of the parents. For example: The result of 2*father+1*mother is a clone, whose "genes" were "built" with double influence of the father.
CloneGiz is featured in the
final show of javamuseum, it is featured at the global networking project:
and thus participated e.g. at the Images Festival for Video and New Media in Toronto/Canada - 6-17 April 2005.
The conceptual interfacing-backbone of CloneGiz is to link visual information directly to mathematical expressions (as being an " abstract algebraic language "). This is done via providing interfaces for linking e.g. images to a computer algebra program, which has been adapted to that purpose. For details on the computer algebra programm (called JSym) please refer to the homepage of Tim Hoffmann at http://www-sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de/~timh/. The concept of " algebraic links to visual information " allows for new ways of formulating mathematics as well as it allows for new approaches to image manipulations. CloneGiz is our first concrete " proof of concept ". Hence CloneGiz should be seen as a project in itself and at the same time as an example of the underlying interfacing-concept. Remark: For further illustrations of the concept please refer to the project In2 and InU2 on our homepage. Here we display examples for "mathematically motivated " image manipulations. However the " algebraic linking " for In2 and InU2-type manipulations hasn't been implemented (yet).
From the mathematical content it is clear that with cloneGiz no real "genetic manipulations" are modeled. Realistic models for that purpose (which are nothing else then mathematical formulas) will be much more complicated. For that reason cloneGiz can not be abused by racists. On the contrary - cloneGiz rather demonstrates the ridiculousness of controlled reproduction and rassistic ideologies: the model we use is rather simple but the outcome already looks quite unpredictable (see also "about genetic design").
The repetitive application of a formula yields a sequence of results, i.e. in CloneGiz a sequence of images, i.e. a film strip. We plan to include that feature into cloneGiz. Again- for an example how such a thing may look like in principle see In2 and InU2.
In a future edition of CloneGiz it will be possible to include a background image (e.g. a photo) in the parent editor. With this it will be easier to outline "real" faces or given artistic images. Remark: In principle you can try to find a formula for yourself e.g. by including pictures of your ancestry (for physiognomy) or (as an artist) for your works. But first read our "about genetic design" remark!
It is rather a technical than a conceptual problem to set CloneGiz into 3D and we think about it. (see also Tims homepage at the project "mathematics in virtual reality - the PORTAL") at the TU Berlin.
The iteration of mathematical transformations on body features is of course already some kind of evolutionary process. Nevertheless in order to come close to some "real evolution" one usually includes a "survival of the fittest" choice. This "adjusted iteration" is usually called a "genetic algorithm". In a new project called EvoluGiz we use the basic technical features of CloneGiz for an applet which allows for the implementation of a kind of "Do-it-yourself" genetic algorithm. Although we will partially make use of the technical features of CloneGiz, we hope it is clear that EvoluGiz is conceptually completely different from CloneGiz. CloneGiz is about the question of controlled genetic design, whereas EvoluGiz is about the design of evolutionary processes. But of course, as in real life, both matters are connected.