Process: Mnemosynaea - Vitropolis Island

posted: 28-04-2021

An AR intervention as part of The Urban Field Naturalist Guide to Lesser Known Pollinatiors. Andrew Burrell and Zoë Sadokierski

Neither the critters nor the people could have existed or could endure without each other in ongoing, curious practices. Attached to ongoing pasts, they bring each other forward in thick presents and still possible futures; they stay with the trouble in speculative fabulation.
Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble : Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 2016.


This ongoing AR intervention generates a virtual world from imagined connections within the text of the Lesser Know Pollinators Taxonomy. Over the duration of the exhibition, the number and type of virtual inhabitants of Vitropolis Island will grow—and their behaviours will emerge—as they seek to find a balance afforded them by their programmed virtual natures.


Ongoing development and process will be documented on this page, along with the emerging narrative of Vitropolis Island. Mnemosynaea loosely gathers together a number of experimental, generative virtual environments developed by Andrew Burrell under an overarching narrative construct.

Stage 1 - Inhabitants

Stage 1a: A solo agent moves randomly around the confines of the vitrine.

  • avoids landscape.
  • remains within confines of vitrine.
  • will be known as a "Day Flyer"

Stage 1b: multiple agents of the same kind:

  • they avoid each other as well as the above conditions

Stage 1c: Seeds drop to the landscape.

  • They grow to a random height and produce a single flower.
  • They will be known as "Day Flowers"

Stage 1d: Day Fliers are attracted to Day Flowers.


Stage 2 - Inhabitants

Visitors to the island will notice the presence of a new type of virtual inhabitant—the "Night Crawlers". They may at first appear clumsy, but it is this clumsiness that enables them to move so freely across the islands surface, perhaps spreading the results of the Day Flyer's pollination successes.

  • "Night Crawlers" can sense the surface beneath them, and use this knowledge to navigate the valleys and peaks of Vitropolis Island.

An Early Observational Note on the Nature of the Island

Vitropolis can sustain a certain (as yet un-quantified) number of Base Elements—a Base Element being a single cube 1cm x 1cm x 1cm. Each Base Element can occupy a place in the World Grid, a place it is possible to share with another Base Element if they are so compatible. We wait to see what will happen, If and when the Island reaches capacity of Base Elements beyond what it can sustain.