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Future Tense: Art, Complexity, and Predictability


Evolutionary biology, meteorology, neuroscience, and robotics are just a few examples of the complex systems that artists engage with in the exhibition Future Tense: Art, Complexity, and Predictability. Complex systems are dynamic, uncertain, and unpredictable. They are characterized by chaos, feed-back loops, self-organization, and emergent behavior. Future Tense features both emerging and established contemporary artists who utilize the concepts of complex systems in traditional media and new technologies such as computer modeling, robotics, and data visualizations. The exhibition includes work by Ralf Baecker, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Julie Mehretu, Clare Rojas, Theresa Schubert, and Laura Splan, as well as new works by Newton Harrison, Chico MacMurtrie, Lucy HG Solomon & Cesar Baio collective, among others commissioned through the Beall Center’s Black Box Projects artist residency program. Exploring complex systems at various levels, from microscopic organisms to the totalizing implications of global warming on a planetary scale, the goal of Future Tense is for audiences to understand how complexity functions within individual works of art while also appreciating the beauty, intricacy, and wonder of each complex system.

Artwork credit: Baroque Bodies (Ambient Portals #1), 2022, Laura Splan. Still from digital animation created with 3D nucleosome model and AI-generated image. Courtesy of the artist. ©Laura Splan.

Beall Center for Art + Technology

712 Arts Plaza, University of California, Irvine


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