Reducible Complexity (2013)



3x 1ch HD video, 2ch sound
Duration: 5:00 seamless loop
Dimensions: variable

The phrase “Irreducible Complexity” refers to a “single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning” (Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, 1996). Pseudo-scientific jargon invented by proponents of intelligent design, used to try and dispute Darwinian evolution by natural selection. They often use the ‘eye’ as an example of a so-called ‘irreducibly complex system’, one that apparently could not have evolved through small incremental changes, as they claim ‘you cannot have half of an eye, as what good would that be’. The natural world however, is already full of examples of all stages of eye evolution, ranging from simple light reactive photocells, to multiple different implementations of complex eye mechanisms – also an indication of convergent evolution.

“Reducible Complexity” is part of a series of works that challenge ‘irreducible complexity’, exploring the emergence of complex systems and behaviour through the interaction of multiple simpler processes, incremental updates and “numerous, successive, slight modifications” (Darwin, Origin of Species, 1859). It is also inspired by people’s uncompromising obsession to abandon reason and evidence, conjure up stories and adopt pseudo-scientific, ‘rational sounding’ alternative theories just to be able to reconcile observations with their faith, and maintain room in the world for their god.

A realtime online version (webgl) was part of
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale, Wilderness of Mirrors Pavillion, 2013. It can be found at (requires webgl enabled browser and a powerful graphics card).

Related Dates

2015 Dec 16-2016 Feb 13,
Exhibition , Reducible Complexity,
Monochrome, at AkSanat, Istanbul, TR.
2014 Oct 20-26,
Exhibition , Reducible Complexity,
Show Off Art Fair, Paris, France
2014 Jun 15-Sep 15,
Exhibition , Reducible Complexity,
Infoversum, Groningen, Netherlands