→ concepts and applications of chaos theory at the intersection of art and science

Following an initial interaction with the public in June in Timișoara, Uncanny Order, Qolony’s latest research and artistic production project, is set to arrive in Bucharest at the MOBIUS gallery (Strada Piața Amzei 13). It will be accessible to visitors from July 14 to 31, Wednesday to Saturday, between 17:00 and 20:00. The vernissage for the interactive installations, providing participants with the opportunity to witness the emergence of patterns and explore the complex dynamics of chaos, is scheduled for July 13 at 19:00.

The initiative began with the frequent superficial and often misguided appropriation of concepts and ideas from the realms of science into art, as well as other cultural areas. Chaos theory, for instance, is commonly known to the public primarily through the allegory of the butterfly effect. Beyond this accessible popularization, Uncanny Order aims to informally explain and exemplify the definition of a nonlinear dynamic system and the peculiar order that spontaneously establishes itself, commonly known as synchronicity, which remains unfamiliar to most people. Whether it involves populations of insects visually or sonorously pulsating in unison, trillions of atoms emitting photons at the same frequency, cardiac cells in our hearts, or group social behaviors, chaos, although often described as “random,” adheres to strict mathematical rules derived from equations, and nature seems to exhibit a tendency toward this order.

The secondary objective of the project is to clarify chaos theory for the general public, while the primary goal is to create installations that use mathematical models from chaos theory as new tools for artistic discourse, addressing various contemporary themes—from the fragility of nature to social collaborations and attitudes toward cultural heritage from other eras. Rooted in synchronicity, the subtheme embraced by Uncanny Order, these installations are grounded in the mathematical modeling of ordering phenomena: the synchronization of firefly lights, applause, and laser emissions—natural, social, or synthetic laboratory phenomena.

The works, crafted by the team of artists—Floriama Cândea, Claudia Chiriță, and Cătălin Crețu—along with programmer Cristian Bălaș and researchers Marian Zamfirescu and Ionuț Andrei Relu, provoke discussion not only about the conditions under which synchronization occurs and is sustained but also about the role of the spectator in these contexts—acting as both a perturbing factor and a facilitator or performer of synchronization. The installations share various aesthetic elements in the visual and auditory spheres: the repetition of geometric forms, chromatics, and harmonization of audio signals emitted by the works.

Visitors will receive guidance to interact with the installations, and through their presence and interaction, the audience will actively engage in challenging disruptions of initial conditions, determining changes in the behavior of artworks. This allows the artworks to follow unexpected and unpredictable paths—kinetic sculptures based on the intelligence of a hybrid swarm of fireflies, rhythmic applause whose synchronization triggers visual reactions, and music composed using the chaotic behavior of laser system emissions. These represent some of the artistic research directions proposed by the team.

We hope that visitors will take a moment to reflect on the role they play in various types of interactions—interhuman, with nature, or with technology. We aim to encourage them to question the reasons behind seemingly unexpected orderings or synchronizations in daily life. Sometimes they are not merely coincidences. Furthermore, we hope to inspire the public to think critically and research, as much as possible, the science behind stories, allegories, or hyperboles like the butterfly effect encountered in various cultural environments, including art galleries. Not everything that flaps its wings is edible," says Claudia Chiriță.


ARTISTS: Floriama Candea, Claudia Chiriță, Cătălin Crețu
CURATOR: Mirela Vlăduți
PROGRAMMER: Cristian Balaș
RESEARCHERS: Marian Zamfirescu and Ionuț Andrei Relu.

National Institute for Lasers, Plasma, and Radiation Physics
Simion Stoilow" Institute of Mathematics of the Romanian Academy

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Proiect Co-finanțat de Administrația Fondului Cultural Național. Proiectul nu reprezintă în mod necesar poziţia Administrației Fondului Cultural Național. AFCN nu este responsabilă de conținutul proiectului sau de modul în care rezultatele programului pot fi folosite. Acestea sunt în întregime responsabilitatea beneficiarului finanțării.