Complex Systems

Complex Beauty Download PDF

Massimo Franceschet

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Udine
Via delle Scienze 206, 33100 Udine, Italy


Complex systems and their underlying convoluted networks are ubiquitous; all we need is an eye for them. They pose problems of organized complexity that cannot be approached with a reductionist method. Complexity science and its emergent sister network science both come to grips with the inherent complexity of complex systems with a holistic strategy. The relevance of complexity, however, transcends the sciences. Complex systems and networks are the focal point of a philosophical, cultural, and artistic turn of our tightly interrelated and interdependent postmodern society. I argue that complex systems can be beautiful and can be the object of artification—the neologism refers to processes in which something that is not regarded as art in the traditional sense of the word is changed into art. Complex systems and networks are powerful sources of inspiration for the artful data visualizer and for the generative designer, as well as for the traditional artist.