generative art

My alter ego is that of a theoretical physicist. My work hovers around self-organization. How does the manifest complexity of nature arise from simple laws?

In the most general terms, we know the answer: broken symmetry.

Take a pencil and balance it on its end. The system is symmetric: you can rotate your head around the axis of the pencil, and it looks the same. But now gently tap the table, causing it to tumble down. The particular direction it falls depends on all the details of your tap, the roughness of the table, the air currents in the room. When the pencil is laying down, the system is no longer rotationally symmetric. We say that the symmetry has been broken.

The system with broken symmetry is more complex than that with the pristine symmetry. This is the basic mechanism for emergence of structure in the universe. 

In life, and in language, symmetry also plays a role, although more subtle.

Without context, the alphabet

{ A, B, C, D, ... }

is equivalent to

{ B, A, C, D, ... }

since any symbol is just as good as another as a signifier. This is a permutation symmetry, and it too can be broken.

Broken permutation symmetry means that the symbols are inequivalent. This is clearly true of any functional language.  It underlies the complexity of life, and language. It allows the vast number of possibilities of arranging symbols to be imbued with meaning. 

In my professional work, I am trying to understand how this works, in detail, in language, and in life.

Alien tongues imagines languages whose syntax  breaks permutation symmetry. Semantic intepretation is left to the viewer.