Since the publication of 'Metacreation' by Mitchell Whitelaw [>] , i have received several requests for more information, more pictures and the source code for mutagen. Mitchell's interest in the project, along with his insights into the larger context of metacreativity, has renewed interest in this otherwise obscure project. however, as far as i can tell mutagen is in stasis for the indefinite future, with no particularly conclusive outcomes. this said, it does cover many aspects that i have an ongoing interest in and will most likely pursue in one form or another into the same indefinite future.

So these well meaning requests seem strange to me, something akin to asking for the fingerprints of those things that were growing in the back of the fridge. petri dishes collecting condensation. Let me explain.. .

Mutagen evolved out of a series of discussions, fortuitous accidents and some questionable misinterpretations of both computer architecture and evolutionary biology. It gradually took on recognisable shape during some delirious weeks of programming toward the end of 1996 and moved forward in bursts and breaks during 1997. It has been exhibited in various stages of incarnation, notably at Experimenta in 1997 and the 6th alife conference in 1998.

After the initial development, there have been several attempts to get the old code working in less obsolete environments, but none of these has really gained much momentum. The material that has survived various crashes, corruptions, moves and upgrades is possibly interesting, but almost definatly wont work. Some of the ideas have found their way into other projects, but they remain deep undercover.

The material that has been previously available from this site remained relatively undisturbed and unnoticed until recently and presented a rather random cross section of material from various stages in mutagen's development. it is most likely misleading and quite possibly wrong. What is still available, for misinformation purposes only, includes an article by Belinda Barnett [>] and some old images [1] [2] [3] [4]

While this is not representative, it is also not entirely irrelevant to the course of development mutagen has undergone.

There is of course a tangled mess of notes and code which is not really in a presentable state, but has a chance of becoming more organised at some point during the confluence of things.

any further updates or tangents could be found here [>], here [>] or here.

nik gaffney/bxl.20040831