Santa Fe Institute Collaboration Platform

COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

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Contact: Caitlin Lorraine McShea, Program Manager,

A Stab at Time/KaroleArmitage

From Complex Time

Notes by user Karole Armitage (The Armitage Foundation/ Armitage Gone! Dance) for A Stab at Time

Post-meeting Reflection

1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:

  • Presentation highlights
  • Open questions that came up
  • How your perspective changed
  • Impact on your own work
  • e.g. the discussion on [A] that we are having reminds me of [B] conference/[C] initiative/[D] funding call-for-proposal/[E] research group

Highlights of the Stab At Time Meeting are various. This was a unique occasion to share perceptions on topics including physics, dance, music, traditional Navajo culture and ballet culture. Several concepts that dancers know deeply but never articulate verbally were shared at the meeting, including the way in which dance is fundamentally the architecture of time. Greg Spears' summary of the relationship to time in baroque music, medieval polyphony and how in Stravinsky's neoclassical period this was translated into musical voices expressing various time frames simultaneously was enlightening. Continuing his look at the use of time in music, led to learning about a contemporary approach in process oriented music, which is one of the exciting ideas in the music language of today. This involves using frameworks such as the notion of decay to reveal natural processes that become a part of the listening experience. John Harte's summary of the history of ideas in physics from the Greeks to bosons, quarks and other post quantum processes delivered a history of science as well as philosophical points of view that was profound, succinct and filled with exciting conceptual material that we are translating into images for dance and music. The ideas of entropy giving directionality to time and how at the smallest scales there is no arrow of time were enlightening, confusing to my mind and exciting. His precise articulation of discreet time with the herky jerky sense of movement to match the sense of continuous time that involves solid stance and smooth movement was a great gift in seeing the dance come alive. John's articulation of the ultimate sense of paradox at the heart of time is a great highlight to serve at the core fo the dance production .

The many points of view on time led to an exciting discussion on the instrumentation and spatial configuration for the instrumental layout on the stage serving as a metaphor for time and includes the use of negative space to serve the thematic material. The casting was finalized to capture the ideas of discreet time, continuous time and the paradoxes involved in the limits of our understanding of time. Jock's sharing of experience at the most profound level of dance thinking was a special highlight for me. The meeting resulted in a clear outline shared by all of us - John, Jock, Greg and myself - for the substance and vocabulary of the dance production, one informed by art, paradox and science.

Reference material notes

Some examples:

  • Here is [A] database on [B] that I pull data from to do [C] analysis that might be of interest to this group (insert link).
  • Here is a free tool for calculating [ABC] (insert link)
  • This painting/sculpture/forms of artwork is emblematic to our discussion on [X]!
  • Schwartz et al. 2017 offers a review on [ABC] migration as relate to climatic factors (add the reference as well).

Reference Materials