Emergence How

In collaboration with Huide Cheng (sculptor), 2018

Emergence is the condition of an entity having properties due to interactions among each part. It plays a central role in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. By placing an interactive particle system on this sculpture surface, Emergence How creates a weak emergence (a type of emergence in which the emergent property is amenable to computer simulation in terms of physical systems) combining computer simulation with life entity.


Abstracted from Michelangelo’s Bound Slave, the emblem of life is embedded in the white marble. Given a certain order, each particle is interacting immediately with its surroundings and following the formation of the sculpture as a system.


When observed and interfered by audience, the particles disperse to acquire an adaptability which bird flock exhibits when threatened by the predators -- a behavior of teleological nature to avoid the annihilation of collectivity.


Emergence How is the question continuously asked during the whole creation process. It also reflects limitation of human cognitive ability to some extent: Man can only interpret the law of emergence in terms of semantics or make computer simulation and observation at a level of epistemology. As a member of the whole evolutionary mechanism, human beings are also trapped in it. 

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