Last three days of Experimenta Make Sense at RMIT Gallery!

Critics and audiences have voted – Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art at RMIT Gallery is a success, engaging and thought provoking, and appealing to audiences across all ages.

Both playful and challenging, this exhibition asks audiences to immerse their senses into a ‘thinking,’ ‘feeling’ and ‘doing’ contemplation of what it is to be human in the age of technological acceleration.

The exhibition will close at RMIT Gallery on Saturday 11 November at 5 pm – and then make its way across regional Australia as part of a three year tour.

Come on in while you are in the Melbourne CBD and catch the very popular works by 20 artists. There is still time to put your mark on artist Briony Barr’s experiment Drawing on Complexity which combines collaborative, expanded drawing with an exploration of complex adaptive systems. This is the first artwork in a new series of  Barr’s experiments; rule-based, participatory artworks created by groups of people using colourful PVC tape.

Make your mark – participants have been adding to Briony Barr’s Drawing on Complexity work at RMIT Gallery, part of Experimenta Make Sense. Photo: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2017.

Following simple rules determining placement of the colored tape, the work encourages collaboration with others – and everyone from young children to groups of school kids and seniors have been down on their knees adding their mark. As the lines build up over the course of the exhibition, so too have the emergent patterns – a hallmark of the complex adaptive systems that have inspired the project. This process is also inspired by ‘agent-based modelling’, a digital method used to model systems with many interacting parts.

From a bustling crowd of people, a fluctuating stock market to the behaviour of a weather system or grains of sand in a desert, complex systems can be found everywhere around us. They are studied by an extremely diverse range of scientific disciplines, from sociology to physics to mathematics.

Like a ‘grass-roots’ movement, complex systems evolve from the ‘bottom up’, meaning larger patterns and behaviour (like a stock market crash or a hurricane) evolve from interactions and feedback between the parts. This unpredictable process is often described as ‘the whole being more than the sum of the parts’.

Part of a larger investigation into pattern formation, this experiment is part of body of work that will compare what patterns (social or aesthetic) will emerge when different groups of people make a drawing together within a similar set of parameters.

Drawing on Complexity (The Experimenta Series) is based on a concept created by Australian artist Briony Barr (left) in collaboration with physicist Andrew Melatos (right).

Briony Barr is also part of  Scale Free Network and along with collaborator and physicist Andrew Melatos, who worked with her on Drawing on Complexity, Barr is part of the team that created the popular work A Hierarchy of Eddies in the exhibition.

Artfully and paradoxically, this work invites the viewer to respond to the sight and sound of turbulence in rapidly flowing air by searching for visible and audible patterns in the flow. “Where chaos is anticipated, order emerges,” Dr Melatos explains.

Where to next? Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art will be going on a national tour after it closes at RMIT Gallery on 11 November. 


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