The chaotic balance of a cosmos

Chaos, Kosmos
Chaos, Kosmos, LEA21

Chaos, Kosmos, now open at LEA21, is Giovanna Cerise’s latest full region installation. It offers a fascinating environment intended to reflect the idea of the relationship between the cosmos and chaos as seen through the lens of ancient Greek cosmology; the one (the cosmos) having arisen from the other (chaos), and which itself is still reflective of its origins, prompting generations of thinkers, philosophers and scientists to understand its structure and order, and impose upon it an order of their own.

This is an incredibly intricate – and at first glance, no pun intended, chaotic – installation. Structures exists on multiple levels, each comprising a mix of solid-looking and semi-transparent prims. All appear haphazard in design and placement – but all have an underlining organised structure, arising from the use of algorithms in their creation. Flowcharts representing these algorithms lie under, around and on the structures, further suggesting the orderliness of their form and design in contrast to their undisciplined appearance.

Chaos, Kosmos
Chaos, Kosmos, LEA21

Givanna describes this relationship thus, “the beautiful, good and rational order of the world, which always comes from a messy background. The Chaos is not definitely passed by the construction of an intelligible world and of the shapes, but it still continues to be as the foundation on which also the Kosmos stand.”

It’s a very visual representation of a complex concept  – one which, I have to say, works very well. So much so that I’d suggest that more than one visit will be required to understand all of the subtle complexities in the design, and that in doing so, the visitor is liable to have their perceptions challenged and challenged again – just as the cosmos has persistently challenged us to re-evaluate our thinking about it.

Chaos, Kosmos
Chaos, Kosmos, LEA21

Order from disorder – or at least the unformed – also arises in art, through all its many mediums, as Giovanna notes, “It could be understood as a creative act of the artist who derives a sense and an aesthetic and meaningful order from the formless matter.” Again, this is strongly reflected in the nature and style of this installation as a whole, and also in much subtler aspects of the work. One element of the piece, for example, features a design representative of a human hand on which neumes appear, a clear reference to music, reminding us of the link between music and mathematics, here forming almost tonal algorithms which echo the foundations of the installation itself.

The best way to observe the piece as the artist intended is to set your windlight to sunset or midnight, although other lighting works well with many of the structures; then use the teleport system (indicated by the compasses) to move around the elements of the build in the order Giovanna desired. Once you have completed an initial circuit, I’d recommend spending a little time flying and observing for yourself, as there is a lot to seen beyond the preset teleport destinations.

Chaos, Kosmos
Chaos, Kosmos. LEA21

All told, an intriguing installation – one which will open to the public through until the end of December 2014 as a part of the current round of the LEA’s Artist In Residence programme.

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