Abiogenesis, 2016, is a series of eight 20X24 laser etched color thermal paper pieces. Abiogenesis is the processes involved in the transition of non-living matter into living matter. Abiogenesis is the literal transformation of the physical and chemical processes and materials of a place becoming alive. Structure of rock becomes structure of life. The surrounding chemistry of the ocean becomes the chemistry of life. Energy transfer between water and rocks becomes life's metabolism. Life appropriates its surroundings. Life is in the shape of the planet, the shape of non-living matter. Humans as conscious being are trying to make sense of this - what does it mean that our most distance ancestors were stones and water.
This project takes inspiration for its process from the theory that live first emerged on Earth at deep sea vents where heat, chemical gradients between vent water and sea water, and organic molecules converged. I start by coating the color thermal paper with a simplified mixture of the compounds present at these vents: sulfide minerals, sea water and RNA. I use an infrared laser to "print" gradients onto the paper. After “development” with the laser is completed I photographed the piece, converted it to a black and white raster image and used it as an input for a cellular automaton simulation called the Game of Life. The Game of Life was invented by the mathematician John Conway and uses simple rules to generate complex, self replicating entities on a 2D lattice. It;s a simple model for evolution. I let the program run then etch/cut the results in the piece from which it was derived.