Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB
5th Dec 2009 to 10th Jan 2010, Wed to Sun, 10am-6pm.
Closed 24th/25th Dec 2009 and 1st/2nd Jan 2010.
Much of what defines humanity is the product of cultural transmission. Language, music, and art arise from an endless cycle of observation, learning, and copying by generations of humans. We are all engaged in a huge game of Chinese Whispers, and our unique behaviour is the result.
Simon Kirby has created a miniature petri dish for cultural evolution in the form of an online memory toy, where the game you play is another player's creation. You will be given a game chosen at random from a growing tree of note-sequences.
Your attempt to remember this sequence will be added as a new branch on this tree, for another person to play. You can explore the tree to see how the sequences evolve down the generations and diverge down different branches. Notice how the game evolves to get easier as the branches get longer. Culture adapts to ensure its own survival.