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Baroque and Complexity

March 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Hi Richard,

I’d like to start the conversation about baroque and chaos by trying to shift the terms from chaos to complexity. Why? Because I do not know much about chaos theory… but the little I know moved me towards complexity. If chaos theory establishes that given the initial conditions of a system, the different future states of the system can be predicted, then I would contend that —since we do not know about how baroque works—we lack a theory that can determine future states of a system. In this case, it would be systems of culture (this is my contention), of which representations (mental or public) would be an important part: how to determine this importance….? This is one of our tasks.

Complexity has been defined in many ways, but I especially like a few ideas such as: 1) many parts connected in different ways; 2) local behavior rules that translate differently when the system is observed at a different scale; 3) a complex system has to be seen through many scales; 4) a complex system evolves.

I would like to ask you to expand on the notion of scopic regime (in perception, I am trying to study what people are doing in cognitive neuroscience). I hope that the neo-baroque is just a state of things that researchers are trying to describe and in this context, I agree,  we should be unearthing the ontology of the baroque. We are trying to do that, in the London (Ontario) part of the project by using stuff like agent-based modeling, visualization of artistic info collected in a database and with topic maps. The problem, as it is happening with all the hard sciences, is our ability (mathematical and computational) to visualize many things.

I love the term non-linear aesthetics. Check out this site by architect and team member Ricardo Castro! http://web.mac.com/rlcastro/hispbaroque/links.html  and http://web.mac.com/rlcastro/arch523/welcome.html

Best,

Juan Luis

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