Bio Morphosis

by Stanislas Chaillou

Nature is home to nearly 400,000 plant species. Grouped into large families, their immense morphological variety constitutes an admirable catalog of forms. It is to the representation of this fantastic herbarium that the photographer Karl Blossfeldt has dedicated his work at the turn of the 20th century. Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows us today to decompartmentalize the natural order. With Bio Morphosis, AI cuts across species and usual classifications by transposing biomorphism into the poetic field.

In 1928, Karl Blossfeldt published his first herbarium, “Urformen der Kunst”. This extensive collection of meticulous plant close-up shots is today a significant landmark in the history of Photography. Our work expands on Blossfeldt's ingenious masterpiece. A fascination for the graphical purity and ornamental variety of vegetal patterns drives our investigation.

Karl Blossfeldt's Photographs

Bio Morphosis consists of a series of AI-generated animations, giving life to the herbariums. Trained on some of Blossfeldt’s collections, Bio Morphosis uses statistical learning to recreate astonishing plant hybridizations. Through this new medium, we capture and reveal our flora’s multiple facets, blend its different aspects into an impressionist synthesis. The resulting dynamic simulations blur the boundary between natural forms, categories and species, to reveal our flora’s formal richness.