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Subtle Emergences Kadish, David C.


We often understand the world around us by studying its parts. This approach, known as reductionism, has long dominated rational inquiry. The limitations of using this approach in isolation have started to become apparent as people have started to realize that complex systems, such as ecosystems, do not behave as a linear combination of parts. In many cases, the emergent behaviours of complex systems cannot be deduced empirically. I explore the role of experience and embodied inquiry as an alternative approach to studying complex systems. Through the proposal, production, installation, and exhibition of a complex, interactive art system, Subtle Emergences, I argue that experience of complexity is a valid and vital tool in our attempt to grapple with the uncertainty of complex systems. Ultimately, we need to use all available methods together, if we hope to be able to understand complexity.

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