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In this online session you will be able to build your own Animats which are virtual ‘animal robots’. You will be learning creative coding, visual design and a simple logical language for behaviour.

Once designed, you can send your creatures across the internet live in the Zoom broadcast space. They will instantly appear in a digital ecosystem we call a Microworld. All the creatures will appear together in a shared space which will be visualised in Zoom. The Animats will compete for resources and try to solve a series of survival challenges. They will need to find food and water and make a shelter or nest to survive the changing weather conditions. Participants can work together or solo. You can update your creature’s logical instructions and appearance using the app.

In this workshop you will learn about artificial life and ecosystems, adaptive behaviour, niche construction and survival techniques. This workshop will be interspersed with creature challenges and short talks on computer science, ecology and artificial life.

If you want to take part but don’t have access to a laptop please get in touch and we can provide these for the duration of the project to those in the Sheffield region.

This workshop is aimed at audiences aged 10+. Intergenerational collaboration between your household is encouraged. The session will have auto captions provided by and we will also have a member of staff offering additional facilitation and support over the chat function within zoom. 


Genetic Moo are creative coding couple Tim Pickup and Nicola Schauerman. They are inspired by popular science, particularly in the areas of ecology, symbiosis, morphology, mutation and artificial life.

They have shown extensively in the UK and abroad, including The Science Centre, Singapore; Eureka! Halifax; LABoral, Gijon; Watermans, London; ICC Open Sky Gallery, Hong Kong; Dreamland, Margate; D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, Dundee; Glastonbury; The Wellcome Collection. They work closely with the Lumen Art Projects & Marine Studios and sound artist Julia Schauerman and are members of the arts collective The London Group and associate artists at Spare Tyre and HKD

This session was programmed by the Society of Explorers  (Site Gallery’s collective of 14-18 year olds) from responses to our open call. The Explorer’s selected to work with Genetic Moo because they loved the idea of generating and participating in a digital ecosystem with other participants based around the country. The Explorers will also be road testing the sessions and contributing their ideas towards the family workshop.

Gif credit: Genetic Moo, 2021

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