Chaos, Complexity, and Creativity

Krystyna Laycraft
Proceedings of Bridges 2009: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2009)
Pages 355–362


During the workshop, we introduce the main concepts and principles of chaos theory (positive and negative feedback, bifurcation points, attractors, complexity, self-organization, dissipative structures) through brief introductions, discussions, and a variety of stimulating and interactive activities like improvisation, active imagination, exercises of self-reflection, and techniques of disappearing. To illustrate some concepts we use the author's paintings. Then we analyze the process of creativity by applying these concepts. Creativity could be referred to as “self-organizing dissipative structures,” originating spontaneously in far-from-equilibrium conditions. They emerge only through a constant exchange of energy/information with their environment, continuously create bifurcation points of instabilities and fluctuations, and transform themselves into new organization of increased order and complexity.