ART AND SCIENCES OF COMPLEXITY

9 04 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009 5 PM @ French Institute: Debate of LOUIS BEC (FR), PAUL BOURGINE (FR), PAVEL SMETANA (CZ) and guests. In French, translated to Czech.

By shifting the paradigm of the perfect prediction, to bring it up to a prediction of the evolution of its probability, and, instead of imposing the determinist certainty of a forecasted future, but to forecast what may happen, the science of complexity opens the way to a narrow and fundamental collaboration with the experimental artistic activities, which have already been immersed in the instability of exploration and of construction of possible worlds. Thereby, an approach in which the modeling of the simulation and combinatorial optimization constitute some predominant scientific tools, becomes as well an approach which gives some domains of correspondences and some intermediary tools with artistic and technologic activities, engaged them in to a transdisciplinary multiplicity and a proliferation of expressions and of concrete and virtual universes explorations. That is why, for the sciences of complexity, as for the artistic practices, the main issue consists of modeling some spaces of plural activities, developing their multiple facets and their extensions. Artistic activities, which were previously obeying diverse systems of representations and of descriptions, engage themselves from then on, in the deciphering of an uncertain reality, stratified in multiple organization levels and having a scale of time and space where parameters can be defined.

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Louis Bec (FR, 1936), lives and works in Sorgues. For several decades, his artistic work has evolved around the interlocking of art and science. He became known through his efforts related to extending biological evolution and simulating new life forms, emphasizing in particular how these ‹could› bring forth evolution. His search for new zoomorphic types and forms of communication between artificial and natural species led to his founding of a fictitious ‹Institute Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste,› with Louis Bec as its presiding director. Bec was first introduced to artistic research on artificial life through his collaborating with philosopher Vilém Flusser, who wrote about Bec’s «Vampyroteuthis infernalis» in a book of the same name.

Paul Bourgine is director of CREA-Ecole Polytechnique and of the French National Network of Complex Systems. He holds PhD in Economics and in Cognitive Science. His main scientific interests are about generic questions, transversal to complex adaptive systems and large interactive networks, such as the reconstruction of multiscale dynamics, the universalisation of collective behaviour, robustness and resilience. He is working on genetic networks and embryogenesis, neural networks, social networks and social cognition, learning and co-evolutionary dynamics. He was involved in the emergence of fields including Cognitive Economics, Artificial Life, Science of Complex Systems.

Since the early 1990s Pavel Smetana has been artistically experimenting in the field of digital interactive media, creating installations “The Room of Desires”, “The Mirror”, “ The Cyber-Portrait of Dorian Gray” and “Lilith”. Since 2003 he directed several multimedia performances, interconnecting computer science, contemporary dance and game technologies. During the past ten years he served as a Professor of 3D, VR and Art at the arts academy in Aix-en-Provence, France, and the director of international festival ENTERmultimediale (2000, 2005) and ENTER (2007, 2009) held in Prague. He is director of CIANT, presently involved in brain-computer interface technology research, development and experimentation.

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