Popular cultures vision of the unity between man and machine is very different from reality. From Frankenstein, over RoboCop to the Matrix. Hollywood draws an image of fear and battle between the two. In reality technology is an assistant that can lead to new understanding.
“It is the science of calculation - which becomes continually more necessary at each step of our progress, and which must ultimately govern the whole of the applications of science to the arts of life.”
250 years ago Charles Babbage had foreseen how strong the impact of the computer could be. This project explores how the post modern team of man and machine can work together. The power of computing and the beauty of creativity can explore the world in a new way. The tools of todays discoverer are not compass and ship anymore, while the mission stays much the same than 500 years ago. We are again on the journey over the Atlantic ocean to India and most probably the modern explorers will also not land up where they thought they will. The contemporary oceans are filled with data. Todays ideas about the prospects of the new entity between man and machine are big. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi pictures a future where we will predict society in the same way than we predict weather today. Stephen Wolfram wants to find the universal formula of the universe and than start computing his own one.
Personally I looked at complexity. What is it? And is the sum of the parts worth more than every piece? The value of things is in the connections between them, or as Nicholas Christakis puts it, graphite and diamond are actually the same things, only differently connected. The idea that networks throughout social, technological and natural structures all show a similar behaviour is striking. How can it be that there are similarities between the four billion year old structures within our cells and my connections on Twitter?
My aim was to merge the fields of design, art and science. Science provides answers, design solves problems, and art asks questions. Or to translate it into the project, there is an underlying pattern between complex structures, how can we transform that into meaningful form, and what does that mean.
The end result was a comparison of 140 power-laws from technological, social and natural scientific studies.