Drawing on Complexity: Experiment 9
Fri 15 March, 2024-Sun 24 March, 2024
Cultural Forecourt, South Bank

Created by: Briony Barr From: Australia

Drawing on Complexity: Experiment 9 is an immersive installation that will evolve over the festival. Artist Briony Barr invites you to become an ‘agent’ and participate in this drawing system by applying colourful tape across 3D surfaces. All agents must first learn a simple algorithm before they may contribute freely. The appearance of the work will change over time, and as more and more agents contribute, patterns will appear. This is referred to as ‘emergence’ when many smaller, simple interactions and feedback influence new contributions and the development of bigger, complex patterns.

Humans experience complex layers of systems. We have interacting systems in our bodies such as the neurological and digestive. We interact in social and financial systems, which extend into larger examples, such as national and ecological systems. Interactions give rise to higher-level patterns and the study of these interactions is called ‘complexity science’. Understanding more about complexity is a way to reflect on your place in an increasingly interconnected, unpredictable world.

The participation of agents in Drawing on Complexity: Experiment 9 is an essential part of this artwork. Typically, a computer simulation is used to study and understand the behaviour of a system made up of lots of interacting parts – people, things, places over time. Drawing on Complexity: Experiment 9 is a collaborative drawing model, which uses people instead of computer programming. It is a playful way for people to experience being part of a complex adaptive system in real time and learn about how even small decisions can affect the direction of the whole.



About Briony Barr

BRIONY BARR is a Brisbane-based visual-conceptual artist who draws on scientific enquiry, collaboration and participation as vital parts of her practice. Drawing on Complexity is a 10-year collaboration with physicist Professor Andrew Melatos (University of Melbourne). The series has enabled Briony to experiment with principles of complex adaptive systems through the design of many drawing experiments and workshops, engaging a diverse range of audiences at galleries and museums, science institutions, festivals and schools around Australia as well as internationally. Interdisciplinary research is fundamental to Briony’s practice, and she regularly collaborates with writers, musicians, dancers, educators and fellow artists, as well as different scientists and groups of people to create art, books, workshops, and performances.



Image Credit: Mick Richards

More Information

Visit the creators’ website and Instagram and Vimeo.


Fri 15 March, 2024 - Sun 24 March, 2024


9:00 am - 6:30 pm


Cultural Forecourt, South Bank

Send this to a friend