Fully Automated Contact Zone

Fully Automated Contact Zone

Miriam Simun / Switzerland, United States, Ukraine & Mexico

Two sites of REWILDING collide inside an AI-driven animation: Swiss Alps and my intestines.  Fed real world data, AI evolves strategies for ecosystem balance inside a game engine simulation. A live stream; a stage performance with artist, cat and algorithm; an essay film braiding together philosophical questions and my intergenerational story.

Fully Automated Contact Zone (FACZ) simulates inside of a game engine, a speculative proposal put forward by ecologists to implement ”wilderness creators” – self-evolving AI agents capable of sensing the environment, making decisions prioritizing non-human survival, and then acting upon the environment to implement ecological change. FACZ evolves two sites of rewilding – the Swiss alps, rewilded with “translocated” lynx captured in Eastern Europe, and my microbiome, seeded with bacteria-yeast symbionts produced with ancient Mayan ferments – Tepache de Tibicos. Eventually the alps and my intestines collide. The work exists in three iterations: (1) live 24 hour stream of the evolving AI-controlled ecosystems accompanied by a dreamy mix-tape of music, interview snippets, and a playful narration performance; (2) live motion-capture stage performance with a cat powering a 3D model of me as I power the 3D model of the lynx inside the game engine; and (3) a feature-length essay film combining scenes from the AI-driven animation and motion capture performance with footage from satellites, microscopes, automated camera traps, a capsule endoscopy pill camera that I will swallow. The film essay will braid together key philosophical questions FACZ raises as well as my personal intergenerational narrative of migration, deportation, and inextricable personal and ecological health.

Fully Automated Contact Zone

Miriam Simun

Director / Voice Actor / Sound Design


Miriam Simun is an artist and filmmaker whose multidisciplinary practice engages science, somatics and interspecies relations. Simun works across video, immersive installation, performance, writing and painting. Their work has been presented in museums, biennials and film festivals across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Supported by Creative Capital and the Foundations of Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Mitchell, Gulbenkian and Onassis, their work has been written about in publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, BBC, CBC, MTV, and Flash Art International, among others.