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international painting annual 5 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Caroline Harman
Newtown, Connecticut



detail image


I am interested in complex adaptive systems, and I use painting as a platform to explore how these non-linear systems continually shift between chaos and equilibrium. The science of Complex Systems Theory has evolved in order to model chaos and complexity and its impact across a broad spectrum of social, political and biological arenas, with a specific focus on mapping the design principals of multi-stability and multi-rythmicity that can lead to increased robustness, higher levels of flexibility and better adaptability to changing environmental factors. As an artist living in a time of increasing instability, I'm interested in what science is learning about how non-linear systems adapt, and am curious to see if painting can serve as a visual corollary to the discoveries and maps produced by Complex Systems Theory. Taken a step further, can art reveal anything about the behavior of complex systems as they shift from chaos to synergy? Can a painting itself become a complex system that evolves, and if so, what are the conditions that lead to emergent phenomena like pattern formation, self-organization and stability? I regard each painting as a research journey, and as such I set up a consistent framework of parameters for each piece, including random events (or marks), multiple shifting spatial and temporal scales and slow variables (a history of events, or marks, interwoven over a long period of time). The object is to then push the painting, or open system, right up to and past the edge of chaos and observe what happens. Perhaps for a moment the point of emergence is achieved, and the entire system comes into balance.





born: 1964, Baltimore, Maryland



Gettysburg College, BA


selected publications

New American Painting; Northeast Edition, No. 86: Steven T. Zevitas, ed


selected group shows

No More No Less,Washington Art Association, Washington, Conneticut, 2014
Working It Out, The Painting Center, Chelsea, New York, 2013
Radius 11, A Program of the Aldrich Contemporary Museum of Art, Ridgefield, Conneticut, 2009
What's Cooking?, Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, Conneticut, 2008



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