Brief Note on Complexity

 

 

The highest simplicity of structure is produced, not by few elements, but by the highest complexity.

                                                                                                                                                       Emerson  

 

With regard to my own work, complexity is an emergent property (or attribute) arising out of relatively simple, constituent, elemental parts.

 

The concept of emergence is key. For these pictures result from a cascade of interconnected units built-up, layer upon layer, until a coherent and novel structure emerges in a sufficient density of visual incident.

 

This compositional strategy is, by way of analogy, not unlike the Darwinian model of natural selection. Re: from quasi-random molecular interactions in the primordial soup, over time, a higher order of assemblies emerges, eventually culminating in complex organisms and, ultimately, mind.

 

From an iconological perspective the work aims to achieve a condition of ambiguity, both optical and cognitive. The final results of this condition is neither representational nor abstract. It is instead a melding, a tacit synthesis, of these two opposing ends in the spectrum of possible pictorial structures. And this fusion of opposites is, in and of itself, a characteristic quality of non-reductive complexity.

 

 

Frank Gillette

 

East Hampton / January 14th 2002

(Remark for the Complexity show at the Samuel Dorsky Museum Of Contemporary Art, New Paltz / New York 2002)