hypertext dissertation - by Robyn Stuart

Random vs Order in Creation

Complex systems comprise both order and chaos in a dynamic relationship (Kirschbaum, 2002). Kaiser (1988a) suggests that for art-work utilising computer programs, satisfaction or artistic fulfillment is most likely by combining a balanced mixture of randomness and order, in the rules algorithms. As mentioned in 'Evolution of a Living System' Curson has been working toward creating 'thinking' software, which allows the digital scenography to be highly flexible in its relations with the Pc. For example by playing back pre-recorded Vc in a multitude of different sequences, allowing an operator in real time to create Vc and yet easily return to pre-recorded Vc, and to 'learn' Curson's patterns of use and retain this information. The software is 'becoming' an ever-increasing giant web of order and random patterns... and the software dictates the boundaries within which our creative product lies.

Reading Complexity Theory has made apparent to us that 'order and randomness' not only pervade our software, but also pervade the Pc in web-like structures of relationships. In creating Rhizomes it was our intention to investigate relationships, connections, and higher order characteristics that would hopefully emerge through the process of creating, rather than through significant pre-visualisation or pre-organisation (Quote 2). Indeed throughout our research in this MA, Curson and I have made an active decision to play with our 'variables', to create primarily through improvisation, to play with elements which 'Fate' has thrown our way without vetting them too much with preconceived ideas of what may or may not 'fit together', to create by intuition / accident and to play with randomness. So Rhizomes is very much a product of an artistic search to create ordered pattern/s from a collection of random 'bits' . I hoped an overlying order would emerge through the creative process, because the 'bits' were collected and crafted by Curson and my combined aesthetic. (McKenzie and James’ (2004) suggest using aesthetics for judgement on emergent results from complex systems.)

Our research has also been overlaid by an ORDER given from 'small' research questions such as:

1. How can I use my movement on the dancers and develop it out of its original context into something else?
2. How can I create movement for each dancer that 'belongs' to their body and yet includes my aesthetic for quirkiness?
3. How can Curson and I create Pc and Vc that evolves together?
4. How can I create a 'narrative' within a scene from the 'seemingly' random bits I have collated.

We have used Complexity Theory to stimulate us beyond our well-trodden paths of thought and expectation of what a 'dance' can be and hopefully strode headlong into uncharted territory. Rhizomes has been a COMPLEX system from the very beginning of the creative process. It has evolved from a dynamic interplay of ORDERED structure over our RANDOM creative process. We anticipated EMERGENCE of new properties....


2.4 Home Page, 'Beginning', Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, Rhizomes Performances, Performances as References

alKamie are members of Chisenhale Dance Space.
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