Coined at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, in 1987, the term "artificial life" introduced one of the most radical scientific concepts of our time. Since then, different creators have used this idea as the basis of their artistic investigations, revealing how technology and biology are becoming increasingly indistinguishable and questioning the very nature of life and what it might become in the future.
In 1999 Fundación Telefónica launched VIDA: Art and Artificial Life, an international competition that encourages artists to reflect on the social and cultural implications of scientific and technological breakthroughs in the field of artificial life. Inspired by some of the most fascinating projects presented in the history of the competition, Fundación Telefónica decided to ask different experts on the subject to share their perspectives and has compiled them in this singular publication. Artists, scientists, curators and philosophers use videos, essays and images to explore the past, present and future of artificial life based on the creative potential of the hypotheses formulated in the realm of the arts.