Paula Nishijima

Game of Swarms

In Western societies that privilege individuality, collaboration is considered a value—but not a standard. In contrast, “Game of Swarms” explores how living organisms work together, without central control or hierarchy, in order to adapt to changing conditions. The project itself originates in collaborations with biologists from different research centers, as well as exhibition audiences. Theories about self-organization and swarm intelligence manifest in an audio-visual work titled “Life Lived Along Lines” (a reference to Donna Haraway’s notion of


) and a game that generates new forms of relationship based on cooperation, rather than competition. The rules of the game are co-created through a series of workshops open to the public.

Paula Nishijima is a visual artist with a research-based practice that often unfolds at the crossroads of life science, technology and participatory social practice. She recently obtained an MA in Art and Culture from Leiden University.