Leaning out of Windows exhibition 2020

Photo credits: Rebecca Bair, Svava Tergesen

Exhibition 2020

Leaning Out of Windows: Emergence
January 8 – 26, 2020

Emily Carr University of Art + Design, M. O’Brian Exhibition Commons + RBC Media Gallery

Leaning Out of Windows: Emergence was the second of three exhibitions of the research. The process design for this phase of the research involved the formation of collaborative teams as a way to activate co-thought and associative thinking for comprehending complex phenomena – in this case – Emergence. There were 11 teams, each comprised of a physicist (experimental, theoretical, emeritus, and post-graduate students), a scholar (from areas such as philosophy of science, art history, environmental science, behavioural neuroscience, cultural theory) and two to three artists working in diverse media including choreography, creative writing, collage, dance, drawing, film, new media, painting, performance, photography, public art, sculpture, social practice, sound, story-telling, textiles, video, and writing. Each team worked collectively to respond to the science topic and produced a singular or shared artwork over a period of one year between fall 2018 and 2019. During the year of dialogue, each team addressed a subtopic of Emergence that connected with their physicist’s particular field of study, while also exchanging and discussing how Emergence related to diverse disciplines amongst the group. They shared their distinct approaches and methodologies, strategies and thoughts, improvising on the challenge of communicating through discipline-specific language by employing associative thinking in the form of metaphors and analogies, diagrammatic explication, or even going for a blind-folded walk.

Exhibition 2020 topic: Emergence
Standard definitions of Emergence point to a vague and generalized sense of emergence with the idea of something coming into view that was previously hidden. There are other aspects that provided each of the 11 teams with more fruitful possibilities, interpretations and representations. An etymological explication offers the following:

The common characteristics of emergence are:

(1) radical novelty (features not previously observed in systems)
(2) coherence or correlation (integrated wholes that maintain themselves over some period of time) Emergence in physics is often used as a technical term for the complex collective behaviour of a large number of elementary constituents. Of course, the term “emergence” is not used univocally in physics or in broader society. It can also refer to the formation of structures in time, the uncovering of meaning from chaos, or beyond. This project explores the concept of emergence in these varied contexts.

Each team addressed a subtopic of Emergence that connected with the physicist’s particular field of study. Some potential subtopics within this broad thematic include:

  • The formation of galactic structures in the universe from dark matter.
  • The creation of elements in stars.
  • Complex order in condensed matter systems.
  • From quarks and gluons to mesons and baryons.
  • Nuclear structure emerging from nucleons and chiral forces.
  • Collective behaviour in nuclei.
  • Hund’s rules in atomic physics
  • Emergent behaviours in charged plasmas.
  • Beam dynamics and the collective behaviour of space charge.
  • Creating molecules with rare isotopes for nuclear medicine.
  •  Jets at the LHC.
  • Uncovering signals from noisy data.
  • Emergence of spacetime and gravity from quantum information.

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TEAM 1 | Finding Common Ground via Metaphor

Physicist: Luca Egoriti
Physicist: Oliver Stelzer-Chilton
Scholar: Shelly Rosenblum
Scholar/Artist: Henry Daniel
Artist: Carlyn Yandle (facilitator)

Carlyn Yandle
SpaceCraft, 2019

Found spun polyester construction wrap, polyester string.

Sketches and diagrams by various members as well as group viewings of short videos informed the team’s conversations. They became the way toward linking concepts between physicists and artists. As the relevance of Emergence was explored in art, literature, history and science, the theme of ‘Metaphor’ was quickly complicated. What appeared to be a straightforward approach developed into ambiguity as its function was examined more deeply.

“The resulting artwork, SpaceCraft, emerged from the team discussions, pushing a spatial sense through notions of the infinite, and micro-and macrocosm. SpaceCraft is an object of hybridized thinking between space, both in terms of physical area and the universe and the multifunctional art of craft… It sits in that unsettling space between pattern and chaos, structure and collapse.”

TEAM 2Based on…What?

Physicist: Carla Babcock
Scholar/Physicist: James Charbonneau
Artist: Erin Siddall
Artist: Keith Spencer (facilitator)

Erin Siddall
Contents may have shifted, 2019

Video, found TRIUMF power supply, glue

The team conversations were generative to the artistic process allowing the group to develop new ideas of what interdisciplinary emergence might be. As part of the process, the team collaboratively took apart a decommissioned power supply from TRIUMF which emerged as an analogy for scientific modes or structures that might be discarded.

“I wondered how specialists from specific disciplines (art, science, education) would work together and if they might have some anxieties about their capacity for understanding the other. In our group, there was both confidence in one’s own practice and deep interest in learning across disciplines.”

Keith Spencer
Contents may have shifted, 2019

Video, found TRIUMF power supply, glue

Focusing on process and data classification was a productive way for the group to bring specific types of expertise to their discussions. In a similar way, disassembling and then reassembling the power supply was a way to link the work to TRIUMF, and also bring their conversations and discussions into a more tangible, physical space. This process enabled the team to experience the same object from multiple perspectives which resulted in a far more complex, nuanced understanding than would have been achieved individually.

“Analogy, metaphor, and associative thinking are a big part of my artistic process already due to my background in literature, so one of the most exciting moments for me came when our scholar linked the ideas in our project to a poem.”

James Charbonneau
Contents may have shifted, 2019

Video, found TRIUMF power supply, glue

Within interdisciplinarity studies, two disciplines come together to work on something new when both contribute to a third thing, outside each respective discipline. In this way, the idea of emergence informs this collective artwork. In her essay “Exploring Art as a Way of Knowing” (2014), Meredith Tromble concludes that art is a powerful way “…for those willing to tolerate the anxiety of standing on moving ground, it expands seeing, resists dangerous certainties, and urges exploration of the inexhaustibly vast borderland between the known and unknown.”

“One thing that was really surprising was how similar the fundamental processes of ways of knowing were between the fields. They all involved an exploration, an attempt, multiple iterations, and dissemination.”

Carla Babcock
Contents may have shifted, 2019

Video, found TRIUMF power supply, glue

This group explored the diverse methodologies employed by artists, physicists, and other scholars. They did a lot of associative thinking and translating ideas from one discipline into ideas of another. In the process of pursuing some of the artistic goals, they also developed scientific goals. While taking apart an old power supply for a film, they cut open a lot of components usually taken for granted (capacitors, variable resistors, etc.). For Babcock really seeing what they were made of and paying attention to how the whole system was put together was exciting.

“This is something I only do when trying to solve a problem, and it was really refreshing to do it purely for interest’s sake. I learned some things about electronic components that I would not have otherwise.”

TEAM 3 | Entropic Recompositions

Physicist: Sarah Dunsiger
Scholar: Steven Barnes
Artist: Karen Kazmer
Artist: Ben Bogart
Artist: Robin Gleason (facilitator)

Robin Gleason
Possibilities, 2019

Cement rocks and Lucite rod collected from TRIUMF

More than anything, this project was like an extended social experiment, and it took time to find a productive rhythm. Many of the early meetings were focused on “understanding” the physics, fleshing out “emergence” and “entropy” in concrete and complex details. Collecting materials together in the TRIUMF scrap yard or brainstorming in the studio proved to be more fruitful. The team spent hours together in the scrapyard, drawing, collecting and documenting, all while chatting about ideas for work. These shared moments, along with graphs, images, renderings and simulations from the resources shared by the team’s physicist played an important role as ideas developed. This work references figures and simulations exhibiting the entropic organization of irregular shapes in cubic volumes.

“The language and poetry of physics was hugely important. I really had to rely on metaphor, associations and the evocative imagery that the language brought up, in order to engage in the conversation.”

Robin Gleason
Figure Figures (Sculpting a Simulation), 2019

Graphite on vellum, metal swarf from TRIUMF

Karen Kazmer
Heave, 2019

Metal swarf from TRIUMF, resin, light table

Emergence as a topic can open up new ways to consider specialized knowledge and transform it into an accessible dialogue. In the process, collaboration allows for the weaving of different sensibilities and acceptance of sometimes unwieldy “conversations” that can inform shared projects. In many ways, the scientific process mirrors art with their shared receptivity to risk-taking that sometimes diverts away from an original hypothesis. As a result, the diverse languages can be borrowed and bent as needed.

“How important physics is in relation to the challenges we face, specifically climate change and its social effects has greatly added to my understanding of relating science to everyday life.”

Ben Bogart
Imagined Field from the Decomposition of an Apparatus, 2019

Digital print

The aesthetic integration among the team members’ works emerged implicitly; their collective approach to structure was rooted in the tension between Cartesian space and the richness and complexity of decay, natural form and entropy. The form of decomposition of found materials at TRIUMF, such as a crumbling block of radiation-absorbing concrete and metal swarf from the machining of experimental apparatuses, are mirrored in Bogart’s algorithmic decomposition of photographs. His image is composed of approximately 130,000 image fragments extracted from over 100 photographs captured at the TRIUMF facility. The arrangement of the photographic fragments by colour and orientation, and the boundaries of the fragments themselves, are emergent structures resulting from machine learning algorithms.

“I was inspired by Karen Barad’s concept of “…‘cutting together/apart’ which aligns very closely to what I’ve been thinking about as Machine Subjectivity that is enabled by imagination as boundary-making and a critique of classification…”

Sarah Dunsiger
Folding, 2020

Aluminum and mylar

This group’s discussions took up the concept of emergence and entropy, which expresses the number of different configurations a system defined by macroscopic variables may assume. These ideas led them to the work of Sharon Glotzer, understanding how many natural systems are structured by the ordering of repeated, distinct geometrical shapes and how crowded particles optimise their local packing. Folding is inspired by the effect of boundaries on the spiral patterns often observed in the packing of flexible structures.

“Our group’s discussions have been enormously rewarding for me. On a professional level, my own research focuses on interactions, specifically in magnetic systems. This was an area of research of which I was previously unaware. On a personal level, I found our group very welcoming, open to ideas and willing to see where they would lead.”

TEAM 4 | Everything not forbidden is compulsory

Physicist: Pietro Giampa
Physicist: David McKeen
Scholar: Tara Ivanochko
Artist: Christine D’Onofrio
Artist: Deborah Edmeades
Artist: Jacqueline Turner (facilitator)

Jacqueline Turner
Limiting Infinities, 2019

Poem printed on tyvek

The topic of emergence can gather language from across the varying pursuits to create a unique language set. Turner’s methodology in this work was informed by theories of assemblage where she gathered and arranged the languages that emerged from her team discussions. She became fascinated by the language of equations which have a lyrical quality as well as stories that use analogies or metaphors to translate them into something more widely comprehensible.

“There is an attempt at precision in the equations that stories don’t allow, but yet the equations are also subject to manipulation if they don’t work to progress the thinking in an area. The Gell-Mann concept of limiting infinities (from which my poem takes its title) is an example of the slippages of meaning that are necessary for the articulation of something that hasn’t been said or seen before.”

Christine D’Onofrio
Under the Rug, 2019

HD video

Conversations with one of her team’s physicists about photography and scopic capabilities as well as the machines, technologies and conditions he works with to ‘capture’ data, and ‘microtopic’ emergences made for new links in D’Onofrio’s artistic work. This was part of the inspiration for her lens-based, raster imagery, that reanimates common objects into new relationships and visual renderings via orbits of algorithmic behaviour. Capturing metaphors and visual abstractions we depend on, technology is not always about what we can ‘see’, but instead how we can detect and see differently. Conversations almost always returned back to the values behind ‘rules’ of practicing physics, which is the inspiration for this team’s sub-topic on Emergence.

“There have been times over the year, in other parts of my life and tasks that I’ve drawn upon my experiences in our conversations as a group, and continue to do so.”

Deborah Edmeades
Quintessence, 2019

Resin, steel, copper, quartz crystal and sand/soil

It was the proximity to TRIUMF physicists with their research around dark matter, and the even more mysterious dark energy that for Edmeades, became the springboard for making art. The theme of emergence played out through the process set by the project’s parameters, culminating during the visit to TRIUMF to look at and potentially take home discarded materials.

“When I saw the pile of metal shavings at the bottom of the dumpster, I immediately knew that I had to make orgonite. Orgonite is a contemporary phenomenon indebted to Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone, which is variously described as pseudoscience, esoteric energy or universal life force. Proposed by Reich in the 1930’s, it can be thought of as analogous to Ancient Greek æther, medieval quintessence, Anton Mesmer’s magnetic fluid, Henri Bergson’s élan vital and so on.”

TEAM 5 | Decay

Physicist: Doug Bryman
Artist/Scholar: Denise Ferreira da Silva
Artist: Mark Igloliorte
Artist: Sara-Jeanne Bourget (facilitator)

Sara-Jeanne Bourget
A Chain of Events, 2019

Charcoal Monotypes on BFK

Sara-Jeanne Bourget
Inside the Bubble Chamber, 2019

Charcoal Monotypes, paper, charcoal, pastel, copper, patina, MiracleGro, nails

In some ways, the communication process with this team was about emergence, constantly emerging without being fully concretized. In terms of physics, a particle’s decay is the immediate process of an unstable particle morphing into multiple particles. It relates to the printmaking process, where one matrix (substrate) when pressurized, can form multiple images (the ghost, the matrix, the print). In Bourget’s art practice, decay points to creation and its inherent invisible consequences (or side effects): dust on the floor, leftover crumpled paper, charcoaled fingers leaving marks on light switches…

“Decay is another word to symbolize emergence; weirdly, decay and emergence are both synonymous and antonymous …[T]he metaphorical content of the word applies to all my processes, from making charcoal to pushing charcoal onto paper, from extracting an image from an already existing drawing to cutting up drawing to form a new image.”

Mark Igloliorte (with Sara-Jeanne Bourget)
A Chain of Events, 2019

Charcoal Monotypes on BFK

Site visits to TRIUMF were an important part of the experience. Some of the group discussions addressed how physicists problematize the General Theory as a mode of inquiry and how satellite coordination relies on time differential formulas developed out of the Theory of Relativity. The similarities of research practices between the Fine Arts and Physics were particularly inspiring.

“Working with custom painting stencils of satellite imagery with topographical wireframes, it is interesting to learn about the line patterns representing the surface of the land, and how streams of formulas and satellites travel along time relative yet different from our own.”

TEAM 6 | Thinking like an Octopus

Physicist: David Morrissey
Scholar: Sanem Güvenç-Salgırlı
Artist: Holly Schmidt
Artist: Emma Soares (facilitator)

Emelina Soares
…like an Octopus, 2019

Nylon mesh, rope, lead weights, and found materials from TRIUMF

In the beginning, there was a learning curve for the artists, scholar and physicist as they gathered fuel to realize what was to emerge out of this endeavour. In a sense, the team emerged from the same body, which lead to their collective artwork …like an Octopus. Like tentacles, they extended together in unique directions, seeking the same goal of emerging as a collective to make sense of Dark Matter, our physicist’s research area.

“I definitely think things went a little bit obscure when we realized we all were like blind learners, where other aspects of our senses were in motion: touch, sound, and smell.”

Sanem Güvenç Salgırlı
…like an Octopus, 2019

Nylon mesh, rope, lead weights, and found materials from TRIUMF

From the start, this team had a tacit understanding that the process itself would be emergent, and it was best to just surrender to the unknown. Of course, the collaboration had a telos, the making of the artwork itself. In many ways, the concept of emergence in physics aligned with the foundational questions of Güvenç Salgırlı’s focus on sociology and political philosophy.

“I was fascinated to see how our individual processes of making research was similar to one another and I believe was one of the crucial things that connected our experiences. Once this was on the table, once we realized that our research practices are going through similar processes, we started
to relate to one another via that.”

David Morrissey
…like an Octopus, 2019

Nylon mesh, rope, lead weights, and found materials from TRIUMF

Working in a team helped to increase the amount of interaction and collaboration. The tours of each other’s studios as well as rummaging through TRIUMF’s discarded materials made for unconventional and enjoyable conversations. Though often expressed in very different languages, similar ideas did emerge.

“Communication is essential, and in-person meetings (together with sketches and illustrations) were by far the most productive way to communicate. The languages used were mainly tools to get at the deeper, underlying ideas. Metaphor and analogy both played important roles.”

Holly Schmidt
…like an Octopus, 2019

Nylon mesh, rope, lead weights, and found materials from TRIUMF

This team started with tidy notes in their respective journals, but over time the note-taking moved to a large sheet of paper at the centre of a table. Eventually they shifted from sharpie pens to charcoal and then the words were accompanied by drawings that grew beyond the edges of the sheet. These giant messy pages of words and images reflect their tentative groping for metaphors and associations that would give form to amorphous thoughts and ideas on Emergence. As a result of David’s research, dark matter figured strongly in their conversations. In simple terms, dark matter is thought to be particles that don’t absorb, reflect or emit light.

“I was struck by the need to use metaphors such as spider’s webs to describe cosmic filaments and clusters. I was also struck by what emerges from collaboration. Our interdisciplinary conversations and process of creation were filled with a sense of wonder, which is so integral to art and science.”

TEAM 7 | Visuality

Physicist: Patrick De Perio
Scholar: Alice Wang (facilitator)
Artist: Gwenessa Lam
Artist: Marian Penner Bancroft

Gwenessa Lam
Event display (nuebar_nuebar_000_040_075), 2019

Graphite on paper

The topic of Emergence in physics was open enough to allow for this team to interpret its possibilities quite broadly. These drawings are based on neutrino event displays generated by the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector. The event display is a type of visual map created when a neutrino interacts in the detector. The resulting interplay of particles emits rings of Cherenkov light that are captured and used to study the properties of the neutrino. Using this data, the work attempts to generate a three-dimensional rendering of this neutrino interaction, by imagining the starting point. How do you give shape and make visible an unseen process? What is its form in terms of space as well as time?

“Collaboration is about letting go of one’s own assumptions and sharing another perspective. It also requires careful listening.”

Marian Penner Bancroft
Oscillation, Mixing and the rifting of Pangaea, 2019
Interference (Easton Bavents Suffolk, UK), 2019

Video loop, 12 minutes | Three photographs

Emergence takes an infinite number of forms. This multiplicity was reflected in the diverse disciplinary languages of the team as well as the expanded potential for various forms of artmaking. A focus of these conversations was Patrick de Perio’s work on “neutrino oscillation”. Easton Bavents is a remnant of a once-thriving village that has disappeared over the last several hundred years, having been washed away by various storm surges on the North Sea where England was once joined to Europe by a stretch of land known as Doggerland. Doggerland disappeared underwater approximately 10,000 years ago.

“I was thinking about existing visual coordinates that point to various durations of time, and how neutrinos, those smallest particles of matter, are constantly moving through us on paths and with behaviours that are difficult to discern.”

TEAM 8 | Knowing/Not Knowing/Unknowing

Physicist: Jess Brewer
Scholar/Artist: Randy Lee Cutler (facilitator)
Artist: Lindsay McIntyre
Artist: Deanna Peters

Randy Lee Cutler
An Invitation to Participate, 2019 | Blindfolded Walk, April 21, 2019

Intervention | Documentation of walking exercise at Mosquito Creek Trail, Vancouver

Emergence is a tricky concept. In physics, it is used as a technical term for the complex collective behaviour of a large number of elementary constituents. With this team, it meant learning about the physics and manifesting its potential in a series of movement exercises and mind-melding games. The effect was to collaborate with the emergent energies and skills of the team through not knowing where these experiences would lead, unknowing our habitual ways of working and, in a way, willfully not knowing what we were doing.

“I had to be very open to the process as a facilitator, scholar and artist in the group. To a certain degree, this ensured that I physically, emotionally and intellectually let go of individual control and together we became something like a single entity.”

Jess Brewer
An Invitation to Participate, 2019 | Blindfolded Walk, April 21, 2019 | Emergence, Free Will and Magic, 2019 | Emergence: An extremely brief history of one universe, expressed as a sequence of science fiction poems

Intervention | Documentation of walking exercise at Mosquito Creek Trail, Vancouver

The group was quite comfortable and familiar with the concept of emergence, although perhaps the word itself was not what they associated with their experience. Among other activities, the team was engaged in physical exercises, a blindfolded walk in the woods and navigating the potential of the “Knowing, Not Knowing, Unknowing” constellation. Certainly analogy, metaphor and association, essential tools in any physicist’s thinking, were part of the team’s working process.

“I have rarely had Physics students engage with such enthusiasm or display such deep understanding!”

Lindsay McIntyre
An Invitation to Participate, 2019 | Blindfolded Walk, April 21, 2019

Intervention | Documentation of walking exercise at Mosquito Creek Trail, Vancouver

The team had a slow and easy flow of conversations without fixing themselves to the final artwork. Not surprisingly, they ended up in a very different place from where they started; and conceivably they could continue this dialogue indefinitely into the future. Thinking about emergence, autocatalytic sets and failure were important aspects of the team meetings.

“Working with the diverse team members in our group was a fascinating experience in melding disciplines. None of us had the same way of working through ideas and it was endlessly fruitful to discuss our ideas together, play and make work. The great thing was how willing everyone was to bring their whole selves to the table and step outside of their comfort zone.”

Deanna Peters
An Invitation to Participate, 2019 | Blindfolded Walk, April 21, 2019

Intervention | Documentation of walking exercise at Mosquito Creek Trail, Vancouver

In this group, collaboration began when Peters voiced her feelings about whether she would fit into the academic context which exposed and revealed everyone’s vulnerabilities. As a result, the team dynamic was immediately generative with an under-standing that they would produce a shared artwork. Like many movement projects, most of their time was spent in the process. An Invitation to Participate is an improvised performance created with the participants/audience of the Leaning Out of Windows exhibition opening. Via a series of invitations, a sort of performance emerges in and around the other artworks in the exhibition.

“Emergence is more than the sum of its parts. Its detection often takes thinking/sensing in new ways. Taking away ‘the eye’ can create situations of unknowing.”

TEAM 9Hidden Sector

Physicist: Djuna Croon
Scholar: Katherine Gillieson
Artist: Leó Stefánsson
Artist: prOphecy sun
Artist: Teo Monsalve (facilitator)

Teodoro Monsalve
Series #1 Time Transfer Events, 2019 | Series #2 Particle Magic Events, 2019

Digital image, acrylic transfer on wood | Collage and mix media on wood

This team explored dark matter, hidden sector and the geometry in particles. The science was accessed often through metaphor, analogy and associative thinking allowing for an expanded and fluid field of inquiry. Monsalve was invested in connecting the physics with his own interests in politics and magic drawing on the potential of radical imagination to understand the complex phenomenon that occurs in the cosmos. He proposes that the hidden sector is made of the collective unconscious of humanity, a space one enters through deep meditation or shamanic ceremonies.

“I believe the diversity in cultural backgrounds of the team members is a key element that enriched the outcome of the project. It helped to expand the possibilities of associations through cultural references, which is healthy because it diversifies the possible outcomes of the project.”

Leó Stefánsson
Spectral Composition of the Atlantic Ocean, 2019

Single-channel video installation

The group engaged with a variety of topics including symmetry, consciousness, magic and the hidden sector. Collectively they were attracted to the hidden sector, a term that encapsulates the unknown (or hypothetical) area of physics. Stefánsson produced a computer program that converts videos of the ocean to animated 2D Fourier transform plots showing how the frequency and amplitude of the waves change over time. He was experimenting with this around the same time as the first images of a black hole were produced. This led him to realize that the specific composition of frequencies in our visual field creates an impression in our vision (and ultimately our consciousness).

“Maybe our brain (or consciousness) is capable of communicating with the consciousness of other systems – such as the ocean.”

prOphecy sun
Hidden Sectors: A Collection of Symmetric and Luminous Decays, 2019

Four-channel video and sound installation

The theme of emergence was engaged in a multitude of ways. Each participant questioned, translated and made sense of a variety of concepts such as dark matter and hidden sectors. Simply put, hidden sectors are areas we cannot probe or see. Matter doesn’t act with or for us. In response to these poetics, sun created a four-channel video and sound composition that layers feedbacks and decays back into itself. The work highlights the potentiality for luminous and un-observed moments in time to be seen, felt and heard. The sound emerges as a mixture of textures, elongated and decaying tones, breath, vocals, field recordings and loops of air taken in situ.

“The theme emergence provided me with new ways to look at and interpret data through extraction technologies such as drones and smartphones into new divergent potentialities.”

TEAM 10 | Coming into View

Physicist: Ewan Hill
Scholar: Sadira Rodrigues
Artist: Scott Billings
Artist: Roxanne Nesbitt
Artist: Russna Somal (facilitator)

Sadira Rodrigues with M. Simon Levin and Randi Lee Taylor
A Boring Berm of Dirt, 2019

Colour light jet print mounted on Dibond, pine plywood shelf, site-based soil, pine needles, broadsheet text

Collaboration is a commitment and process and needs to be gently and expertly guided. “I learned that defining the term was not as important as the space it allowed for a curious collection of people to come together and begin a conversation. I observed how we moved from our own habits of thinking and doing towards places where other’s ideas could contaminate ours. In many ways, I observed emergence as a process.” Engaging with the physicists through writing was rewarding, hearing their thoughts and challenges. The text “A Boring Berm of Dirt” speaks to the many ways an ecology of practices can inform one’s emergent experience and approach.

Russna Somal
What wasn’t there before #1, 2019 | What wasn’t there before #2, 2019

Acrylic, oil stick, paper and cut canvas on multiple wood panels

Emergence means very different things to different disciplines as well as from person to person. Not only can it be defined in diverse ways, but it also represents constant change. “Similar to attempting to converse with someone who speaks another language, we relied on hand gestures, drawings, images and videos to fill in the gaps (language barrier).” One of the more productive experiences in terms of collaborative strategies for this team were the site visits, seeing how and where group members worked as well as the ways in which energy is focused on the sensorial experience. Visiting TRIUMF, Kaur realized that everything could be broken down into line, shape, texture and colour including the colour of bins and pipes or the textures of crinkled aluminum foil, transparent cellophane, sheets of stacked paper, woven cords, rusted metal and ribbed tubes.

Roxanne Nesbitt
Higgs bells before sounding, 2019

Two drawing prototypes for ceramic forms

These drawings explore the potential of emergence through an iterative process by documenting change in physical scale through sounding scale. They represent prototypes for sounding ceramic vessels. LOoW physicist David Morrissey showed Nesbitt online software for generating graphs from quadratic equations which directly related to her research on new musical instruments tuned via physical transformations.

“I am more interested in particle physics than I was before starting the project. For many years I have studied the physics of sound and how musical instruments work but not engaged in any way with other elements of physics.”

Scott Billings
Beneath the Berm (another boring Fern), 2019

3D Printed resin, acrylic, motor, software and controller, stroboscope, laser pointer

Emergence is everywhere if you choose to see it. Among many speculative encounters, Rodrigues’s A Boring Berm of Dirt, informed Billings’ artistic response, manifest in a storm of messy whiteboards filled with pine cones, escape tunnels, and plots of the Higgs Mechanism. The result is this installation which features a vertical plastic facsimile of the Cyclotron escape shaft. Inside, a 3D-printed zoetrope performs an impossible vertical choreography. Something peculiar occurs when a strobe light and motor are tuned to the Fibonacci growth patterns that make up things.

“Re-imaginings of pine cones and fire ants scurry upward, while jets of particles collide and stumble downward; a trap of fictitious near-misses performed by heavy matter and virtual spectre. The inaccessibility of the unseen space beneath the berm is subject to fantastic speculation.”

TEAM 11Sounds and Sonification

Physicist: Art Olin
Physicist: Des Ramsey
Artist/Scholar: Giorgio Magnanensi (facilitator)
Artist: Brady Marks

Giorgio Magnanensi
Facilitator/Artistic Director, Vancouver New Music

Resonances Festival, The Appearing of Something New, October 17 – 19, 2019 Taking inspiration from predecessors, or mining non-sound related data and information, these artists traced paths through sound and performance that diverge into new forms, expressions and ideas. A table ronde/ meeting with VNM Festival on October 19 at ECU featured festival artists and Leaning Out of Windows’ artists and researchers.

In his own practice, Magnanensi learns about music as the becoming-body of the knowledge of sound, and how to foster his own ever-changing – and at times randomized – perceptual flows. Emergence here has to do with resonance, vibration, gradual or sudden accumulation of materiality and creative energy.

“I continue to believe even more strongly in dialogical forms of communication and research as I treasure the richness of the myriads of contributions, interpretations, visions and dreams that such an approach can afford to the intensity of our envisioning processes.”

Des Ramsay

This team experienced wide-ranging discussions including quantum physics, reversible logic gates, methods of turning data into sound and how to modify existing sound. Ramsey shared data from Ultra-Cold neutron tests that distinguish a gamma-ray pulse from neutron pulse by the shape of the pulse itself. Artist Brady Marks played with the data to see if it might be possible to tell a neutron from a gamma just by the sound of the sonified pulse.

“I learned a lot about “New Music”. In my opinion, it really is a type of emergence that a mess of different instruments playing what looks like junk on the page can be something that is actually fun, even moving, to listen to.”

Brady Marks
Goldilocks fights off Pareidolia, 2019