Clarity & Chaos in Systems

Created as part of the Open Book Workshop, Tuesday 28 July 2015 at the Parsons Center, East Michigan University

10
Crystal | Simple, Inorganic, Ageless
The simplest of structures, crystals are made up of one molecule, endlessly repeated in few configurations -- clear yet inorganic molecular action.

9
Stars | Primordial, Galactic, Directing (Motion-Keeping Pattern)
Rocks in the sky, used for human navigation and myth making. Lifeless, untouched by the tensions of earthly entropy.

8
Moon | Ancient, Seductive, Recurrent
We Earth-dwellers mythologize its organizing properties, and in turn, the Earth determines the moon's trajectory. Unlike stars, the moon directs life on track, cyclical, organized.

7
Clouds | Coalescing, Whimsical, Electric
The hemispheric beginnings of life, water molecules aggregating and disbanding. Their groupings, movement and amalgamations form complex patterns that maintain a semblance of order.

6
Rain | Foundation of (Disordered) Life
Representing one of the ever-present fuels of life — water — rain resides in-between heaven and earth, continuously agitating and renewing somewhere on the globe.

5
Soil | Decomposing, Rich, Antifragile
Healthy soil is the ultimate balance of chaos and clarity, a balanced ecological system harmoniously consuming decomposing plant matter at the same rate as it provides fuel for new life.

4
Falling Leaf | Inert, Transitioning, Purifying
As a leaf falls from its tree, it separates itself from and moves toward death; its death, in turn, is the beginning of another life cycle.

3
Mushroom | Random, Living, Reproducing
The mushroom's destiny is simple entropic consumption through soil nutrients, and entropic dissipation through spore production.

2
Chipmunk | Complex, Intentional, Restless
Complex life forms have the added chaos of individual agency. The chipmunk determines when, where, and how her activity happens.

1
Tree | Meta, Systemic, Robust
The tree is both a life form, and a habitat for other life forms, simple and complex. It is a large-scale representation of life's entropic tension between accelerating entropy with consumption, and curbing entropy with activity.