September 20 - 27, 2013
"The next century will be the century of complexity." -Stephen Hawking
Throughout the ages, thinkers have sought a greater understanding of how disparate interacting components can collectively result in singular, cohesive systems. The movements of the cosmos, the rhythms of nature, and the cycles of biology, to name just a few, each hint at underlying patterns and symmetries encoded in the mechanics of the universe.
Today, these questions intrigue us no less. Recent years have seen the rise of the interdisciplinary study of systems under a singular scientific rubric. The field of Complex Systems Theory, or Complexity for short, examines how sophisticated, non-centralized, adaptive networks emerge from combinations of elements following simple rules. This outlook has brought fresh insight to fields as diverse as economics, genetics, physics, and ecology.
This exhibition considers the role of complexity in the creative arts, as well as the possibility of creative practice itself as an emergent phenomenon. Cultural complexity, social complexity, and personal complexity all find their way into the work exhibited here. Often, the complex interplay of materials and process reveals provocative parallels between ourselves and the universe.
With the emergent intelligence of today's global network making international headlines on a regular basis, a holistic, critical appraisal of the complexity in our own daily lives is especially timely. The work on display here invites critical reflection on our surroundings in hopes of inspiring new perspectives on relationships that were once invisible to us.
Curated by Steven Pestana, MFA Digital Media 2014