Meeting #3

Posted: January 25, 2019 at 7:35 pm

I keep hoping to keep up with my reading and reflections for this project and I am not succeeding. I’m spending most of my time just catching up, rather than reading what I’ve already flagged as interesting and considering what has already been discussed. Unfortunately this post will not be any different; it’s a quick description of the last meeting and some quick notes of things to go back to.

The third meeting was a focus on artistic practise, so Karen, Robin and I talked a bit about our practises and I was struck by some very interesting intersections between Robin and I that seemed to resonate significantly with Sarah and Karen. Following are the notes taken by Robin during the meeting; I’ll provide some keywords below. (more…)


Meeting #2

Posted: January 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm

I did not get a chance to write a post about our second meeting, so I’m doing so now before our third meeting! During the second meeting we were introduced to team member Dr. Seven J. Barnes (who also served on my PhD committee). I thought I would look through my notes and list interesting terms, phrases and concepts that came up in the second meeting:

  • Primordial Soup
  • Consciousness as emergent property
  • Magnetic Frustration: Inability to find the most favourable alignment of spins
    • Does this mean the macro structure is and difficult to predict from the micro structure? Equal probability of being in different states?
    • What does frustration mean in terms of dynamics over time?
  • Spin Glass used to model dynamics in biological neural networks.
    • Spin Glass seems very interesting in itself, and I’m still left a little lost in the dynamics. Is the state of spin static in spin glass as long as temperature is steady? What happens in the phase transitions of spin glass? (Is a spin glass a transitional state of a ferromagnet?)
  • Perturbation
  • Phase-transition
  • Nucleation
  • What is the grand theory in Condensed Matter Physics?
  • Skyrmion
  • Metastability
    • Metaplasticity in learning systems?
  • (spooky?) Action at a distance.

I also wrote down a few ideas for possible “subtopics” in emergence:

  • Metastability / Metaplasticity
  • Organic vs Inorganic
  • Decay
  • Entropy
  • Disspitation
  • Life

On Open and Narrow Readings of Phenomena and Theories in Art and Science

Posted: October 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Last night a subset of the LOoW folks got together at Emily Carr for a presentation on emergence from an artistic perspective and have some informal discussions at a pub.

I just wanted to reflect a little here and focus on things that really stood out from the discussion. The physicists in the room brought up the idea of emergence (as the emergence of surprising behaviour due to the interactions of numerous believed-to-be understood components) in condensed matter physics. In the discussion some tensions between particle physics and condensed matter physics became visible. I’ll need to return to condensed matter physics later on (as I had not heard that term), and a quick look at the wikipedia page seems to indicate we’re talking about modelling complexity at the transition between states (solid to liquid, etc.). Through the discussion I kept thinking about disciplines and these various senses of “emergence” (e.g. coming from the dark into the light), and I realized that my initial and implicit sense of emergence comes from the influence of fractals, ALife, autopoiesis, self-organization through my artistic career. I realized that my sense of emergence is really about complexity science as a meta-discipline. (more…)


First Leaning Out of Windows TRIUMF Visit.

Posted: October 9, 2018 at 4:14 pm

On September 28th I was present for the first meeting of the third phase of the Leaning Out of Windows project. I’m really excited about this project as I had previously been inspired by physics in my artistic work (“Engineered“) and have been looking to get back into that body of knowledge. I applied for a few COLLIDE residency awards at CERN over the last couple of years and made video submissions available here and here.

As part of this meeting we did a tour of TRIUMF and I’ll include additional photos from the tour below. The meeting (and tour) were overwhelming to say the least and I still need some time to integrate and reflect. This blog post is devoted my initial musings and some very preliminary project ideas. (more…)