Understanding complexity

When: 07th December 2019 - 25th January 2020; Thu, Fri, Sat, 5-8 pm and upon arrangement

Where: Former “Rollin’ Skate Shop”, Oberer Kirchenplatz 4, Villach

We are surrounded by and take part in complex systems. Yet, we struggle with the consequences of complexity. The global financial system and the climate are two examples of complex systems that inevitably affect our daily lives. Due to their apparent impenetrability, they make us feel insecure. Yet, what does complexity actually mean? Do we have to make do with the fact that “complex” merely means “complicated”? Between 7th December 2019 and 25th January 2020, the Villach-based science collective Biotop is presenting an exhibition titled “Vortex”, which aims to make complex systems accessible.

By showing how the complexity of a system unravels in the simple interplay of its parts, “Vortex” tries to show that “complex” definitely doesn’t mean “unintelligible”. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can discover an exhibition dedicated to those systems that are more than the mere sum of their parts. A playful approach invites visitors to discover the strangeness of the mundane and the accessibility of the complex: fluids in which we seem to be able to turn back time, flimsy films that are reigned by mighty turbulences, robust rings that are made from nothing but thin air, and inconspicuous solutions that spontaneously begin to form patterns.

“Rather than overwhelming our visitors with information, we want to amaze and get people thinking”, says Lukas Hutter, who has co-curated the exhibition, “feedback mechanisms play an important role in complex systems. These are something we’re quite familiar with. We want to build on this familiarity and hence convey a sense of complexity, which may prove to be a useful compass of sorts in our complex times.”

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