‘Am I Gaboniontum?’ is a project responding to our semester brief ‘Jelly Worlds’, where we @design_investigations partnered with Vienna’s Natural History Museum (@nhmwien) to imagine and speculate deep time and alternate evolutionary histories. The brief emerged from NHM’s desire to explore stories around the recently discovered Gabon fossils that suggest multicellular life existed 2 billion years ago.
Our project centers around an AI-mediated conversation between a two billion year old multicellular creature, the Gaboniontum, and a present day human exploring what life could have been like such a long time ago.
Questions about our modern preconceptions of evolutionary histories arise and invite us to gain a deeper understanding of Proterozoic life.
Using a joystick and simple questions, visitors are invited to communicate with early life, during which they choose the theme of a conversation, learning about many possible lives the Gabonionta might have had, and indeed the ambiguity of our knowledge systems.. The project should instigate curiosity and spark creativity when it comes to thinking about early life.