Tag Archives: Complexity

The Mathematics of Life

Kit Yates is a Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Bath, UK, where his research focuses on the mathematical modelling and analysis of biological systems. Throughout his career to date, he has worked on a variety of intriguing problems, modelling the random motion of single molecules at one extreme, to the large-scale migration of swarming insects at the other. In this exclusive interview he discusses his research and work in Mathematical Biology.

from ‘Element’

Cecil Balmond OBE, is widely considered to be one of the most significant creators of his generation.

An internationally renowned artist, architect and engineer, Cecil Balmond transcends the conventional boundaries of discipline working in the crossover between art and science. In this dynamic area, he has re-invented the very concept of space, transforming the meaning of geometry, form and structure.

Balmond’s design approach engages inner organisational systems – a process based on rigorous research. He has spent over 40 years investigating the relationship between form and the very roots of order at the core of life

Signs of Life

Julius Colwyn is a nomad, in between disciplines, walking the strange places between the bodies of knowledge, a thought ecologist.

His work is concerned with how we grow an understanding, how we can incubate a meaning within a metaphor, a metaphor in a pattern, the pattern within a form, the form within a structure, the structure within a space.

His theoretical background is in art history and literature, and his artistic practice engages scientists of various disciplines, exploring questions about reality and human nature that lie between disciplinary boundaries.

If I Were an Astronomer. If I Were a Botanist.

From 2013-2015, Kozloff challenged herself to bring the decorative and cartographic together. Spurred by recent travel along the silk route, she returned for the first time to the Islamic star patterns that structured her early art. A group of works titled “If I Were a Botanist” and “If I Were an Astronomer” revisit two artist books Kozloff made in 1977, in which she manipulated the black-and-white diagrams in Islamic geometry books, morphing and tessellating the patterns to create kaleidoscopic compositions saturated with color. Using these earlier pages as templates, Kozloff employed digital processes to reimagine the arrangement and expand the scale of the patterns. She then infused these intricate paintings with collage elements comprised of outtakes and trial proofs from previous projects, overpainting every tiny bit of attached paper with delicate brushstrokes. Merging the biographical and the political, each panel becomes a microcosm of the artist’s career. In “If I Were a Botanist: the Journey,” patterns radiate and converge in constellations of interlocking shapes unfurling across thirty feet of canvas. Their joyful aura disguises the embedded political content, visible on closer inspection.

Sculpture. Installation. Drawing. Text.

“Mapping, ornament and other languages of systematic representation are a focus of my practice. My sculptural language transposes between the graphical and the spatial using the tropes of cartography, ethnographic ornament and scientific illustration. The resulting work is as much a map or model of itself as of its referent.”

Simeon Nelson is a sculptor, new media and interdisciplinary artist interested in convergences between science, religion and art, complexity theory and relationships between art, architecture urban sites and the natural world.

Pattern Finding and the Thirty-Seventh Move

“People have always searched for the “song beneath the song” – a way to discover, match, and predict the patterns of a complicated world. Every job, from firefighting to lawyering, demands that practitioners learn the patterns, say, of how a fire grows or an argument is made. But how deep do patterns go? Are there patterns that underlie it all? Can our computers learn them for us?”

Pattern and Meaning

“Pattern can be discerned at all scales that exist between the infinitesimal and the infinite. We humans oddly seem to occupy nearly the mid point in this scale, which has been commented on as a new type of anthropocentrism. Humans (and to varying extents other living creatures) have an inborn and intense predisposition to perceive, represent and create pattern to make sense of a perilous and confusing world around us. We have primordial awareness of pattern to make sense of our place in the scheme of things and to make meaning and purpose out of our finite and limited existence. Pattern is both a function of our perception and an attribute of the world. The entire cosmos could be said to be an eternally unfolding sequence of patterns.”

Simeon Nelson is a sculptor and installation artist. He is currently professor of sculpture at the University of Hertfordshire

Dendrites, Brains and Frontiers Reimagined

Dr Marius Kwint is Reader in Visual Culture in the School of Art and Design at the University of Portsmouth, UK. In 2012 and 2013, he was lead curator of the highly popular exhibition, Brains: the Mind as Matter, on the visual and material culture of neuroscience at Wellcome Collection, London, and at MSI Manchester. His most recent major project was co-curating, with Sundaram Tagore, the Venice Biennale official collateral event Frontiers Reimagined: Art That Connects Us, featuring 44 artists from around the world on the subject of cultural crossing-points.