Emergent behaviour is an outcome of a complex system. A close relative of Chaos and Complexity, Emergence is a scientific phenomenon describing dynamic systems that self-organise from the bottom up in unpredictable
ways. Think flocking birds, ant colonies, street fashions, performance. Jane is a specialist researcher working with the theories of emergence and complexity in performance that uses digital technologies. She recently completed a practice-based PhD with Chichester University based on her work over the last 10 years in this field. A regular contributor at conferences on the subject, Jane is currently working on a book proposal on Emergent Performance.
Interest in these theories came out through working with long-term collaborator Daniel Biro (composer - Director of Sargasso Records). The exploration of scientific ideas that generate dynamic creative patterning / new performance works started in 1996 with an improvisational duet between us Strange Attractors. Gradually, through some initial research projects involving scientists, artists, creative computer programmers, the e-Merge project was born. Supported by European Commission's cultural programme Culture 2000 it took off 1999 in a residency at CAMAC France with Prof. Igor Aleksander of Imperial College.
e-Merge involved a science-arts team that included computer programmers and software designers, key collaborators, being Nick Rothwell and Ian Willcock. They developed a new technological system enabling rule systems to be networked via interactive technologies - wireless headsets, floor sensors, computer screens - to the performers during the performance, and enabling the performers to feedback into the system as the work unfolded. By using digital means to orchestrate performers actions the project explored the interaction of technology in generating emergent performance.