Being an attractor myself, I had a special investment in learning how artists and scientists understood and dealt with uncertainty. Upon meeting the artists and academics in my stream Beyond Uncertainty we agreed that despite the title of the conference, nobody had attempted to define uncertainty yet. after one day of presentations that featured artists, scientists and academics, it was clear that we were facing not one but many definitions. However, nobody seemed to have thought of or dared to, define it. We thought that when presenting our very diverse body of work, we would contextualize it by paying special attention to approaches and understanding of uncertainty.
Laura Beloff, Alexandar Cetkovic, Tyng Shiuh Yap and Mike Phillips very graciously agreed to deliver a concise paper in order to focus on the discussion that followed.
the definitions and approaches to uncertainty that followed were pleasantly diverse and productive. for instance, Beloff defined uncertainty as what trigger imagination and curiosity (thus making the erasure of uncertainty impossible during any scientific and creative process). Her impressive and very imaginative wearables originate from unlike situations and arise out of unpredictable circumstances
Cetkonic examined the apparatus of regulatory features and assumed standards hiding (and being hidden) behind the so-called liberating and adaptive flexible architectures (use of gravity, haptic and oblique functions etc..);
Yap’s Augmented Reality installation revealed the disorientation that affects the participant who is forced to adjust his/her sense of space when interacting with her work. Our sensory apparatus is so accustomed to usual and predictable spaces and situations, that any small change requires a re-training and rethinking of our senses. Finally, Phillips spoke of “trauma of the uncertainty of things”. we normally think of “things” as self-contained objects. however, even as objects, things never come alone.
they are are encrusted with a patina of intertwined entangled objects
This means that Uncertainty makes us uneasy, it surrounds us in unpredictable ways, and accompanies us in all situations. dealing with uncertainty then means coping, but it is exactly in this moment of coping that we create, retrain ourselves, adapt to new situations in the most diverse ways. this is probably why we avoid addressing uncertainty directly.