Something I like that exhibits effective complexity is improvisational jazz. Jazz was a huge part of my hometown, being home to a Grammy Award winning college jazz band. I’d go to jazz events several times a year, and listen to my friends practice their skills and eventually go on to pursue music in college. What I learned from them is that improv jazz is a mix between exactly what the question asks about, chaos and order. Improv jazz is based on the skill, style, and mood of the musician, but it is also usually a variation on a blues scale, or the main melody or harmony of the song which the improv solo resides within. Some musicians just go completely improv, but most are relying on some knowledge of the music they are playing, music they know, music standards, and the mood they want to achieve. Despite this underlying foundation though, no 2 musicians sound the same when improvising the same scale or song, which I think lends jazz such energetic dynamism.
The Problem of Dynamics
The problem of dynamics is very interesting to me because I have found exceptional beauty in both things that are still, and things that move. There are advantages to each, and often when thinking about projects, I find myself thinking about this. A still frame from a generative code can be beautiful, as seen in Molnar’s Interruptions, but imagining her piece as not a print, but on a screen or projection constantly morphing, is just as beautiful. While static artifacts are not as continuously generative, they come from an algorithm that has the potential to be continuously generative. Static artifacts give you time to look over them and soak in the details, while changing exhibits grab your attention and sweep you away in motion. Especially in society today where everything is always moving and hurried, I wonder what suits us more? Continually generative art to keep up with us, or static generative artifacts to make us slow down? I think in the end, it depends on each specific piece and situation, and neither is better than the other.