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The hypothesis of interactive evolution

Dmitry V. Galkin (Department of Humanities and Informatics and Institute for Arts and Culture, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




This paper aims to formulate the hypothesis of interactive evolution as evolutionary development of interactivity in relation to complex spatial relations. It also attempts to show that interactive evolution should be considered as a crossroad interdisciplinary conceptualization of social dynamics and technological growth.


The methodology is based on and directed by ideas, concepts and problems of the first‐ and second‐order cybernetics, theory of artificial life, social sciences and contemporary technological art. It shows that there is a need for further conceptual clarification of spatial dimension of interactivity. Clarification and formulation of the hypothesis is given through interdisciplinary analysis of artistic experiments in early cybernetic and contemporary interactive art as well as through addressing small group social interaction in social sciences.


The hypothesis was formulated of interactive evolution describing interactive evolution as a cyclic process that begins with the seeds of feedback reactivity (response), goes to the emergent conversation and developing towards the symbiotic relations (new entity evolved) that goes into the same cycle on the different level. Each evolutionary step has its spatial and structural specifics. Interactive evolution changes spatial structure of interactivity shifting space up from physical distance to new symbiotic totality of betweenness.

Practical implications

The hypothesis can be a useful framework for modeling complex evolutionary design processes and evaluation/development of social processes such as teambuilding, organizational change and social networking.


The innovative aspect of the paper is that it introduces the original hypothesis of interactive evolution, shows important relational aspects of interactivity and its spatial dimensions and provides some interdisciplinary evidence for the interactive evolution (based on social science and contemporary art).



Galkin, D.V. (2011), "The hypothesis of interactive evolution", Kybernetes, Vol. 40 No. 7/8, pp. 1021-1029.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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