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Matthew C. Wilson

Matthew C. Wilson


Project title

Factitious Frames: The Interconnected Futures of AI, Synthetic Biology, and Film

Project description

How will the interconnected feedback loop of artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and film shape the future of scientific innovation, our understanding of the relationship between technology, nature, and culture, the dynamics between natural and artificial selection, and potentially give rise to a new form of (co)evolution?

Algorithms have discovered potential hereditary molecules and facilitated the creation of biological ‘robots’. They are set to further innovate biological circuit design and gene editing techniques. Bioinspired neural networks underpin AI systems, with DNA serving new exploratory roles in data storage and computation. Photoimaging/film and biology have historical ties, with recent advances including the use of videomicroscopy in biological research. AI continues to revolutionize filmmaking and computer vision, from hardware to software to generative AI. Simultaneously, cinema serves as a space to explore future scenarios involving both AI and the technological intervention into biological systems; it also inspires further research and primes the public for the arrival of the future.

Matthew C. Wilson’s project will probe the intricate relations between AI, synthetic biology, and film through future scenarios and moving image research. “Factitious Frames” speaks to the exploration of “factitious” — that is, artificially constructed — realities, with the “frame” pointing to the shared logics of sequencing and structuring both materials and meaning. It aims to explore how these disciplines could further co-evolve and drive transformative changes. The project will draw on approaches from experimental film, speculative documentary, and future fiction to envisage this convergence.