The beauty of complexity
John SharpWriting and Research
Ethan D Silverman
Barbara B. Morris
Have you ever lost yourself looking at a murmuring flock of birds?
Emergent structures can be found in many natural phenomena, from the physical to the biological domain. From animals to humans. Complexity is what governs us and our behavior, but its intangible characteristics makes it very hard for us to understand and perceive that we are part of a whole and that there is a complex continuity of human nature with the natural world. We tend to live and see life through a micro-scale without considering the impact of our behavior on a bigger scale, which is what influences our lives. This project explores the relation between the individual and the collectivity, by letting the user be at the mercy of complexity and be physically controlled and hacked by a flocking algorithm.
Complessità is an Interactive Installation/performance that is a journey into the beauty of complexity and our role within it. The user/performer will be at the mercy of complexity thanks to a wearable device that will control his/her movements by modifying his/her equilibrioception (sense of balance) according to a flocking system behavior. A flocking system behaving like a murmuring flock is projected on and behind a performer (or user). The algorithm’s direction will be injected into the user inner ear through a Galvanic Vestibular Stimulator that will force him/her to move left or right by applying a small amount of electricity that will modify the his/hers balance perception.
With this installation I want to raise awareness of the role of complexity in modifying, altering and conditioning our behavior and how the whole and the part are mutually interconnected.
Enrica Beccalli is a designer and a Fulbright scholar. Having previously completed a BFA in industrial design, MFA in systems design at ISIA Roma in Italy and a MFA in Design and Technology in Parsons school for design. Fascinated by interaction between the individual and collectivity, complexity and aesthetics her projects are all about emotional connections and behavior.