Featuring “Simplicity” as an “Irrational Fear”

Featuring “Simplicity” as an “Irrational Fear” is an exploration of the concept of simplicity and its impact on the direction of contemporary art discourse. Simplicity, which one could argue is akin to accessibility, is so rarely available in this current climate of contemporary art and one finds that there's a tendency to intellectualise away anything that may be overly-accessible or easily understood in art.

Concepts are often times over-complicated in the circumlocutory pseudo-intellectual babble that creeps into discussions, perhaps out of some irrational fear that once it is all decoded, then nothing is left. As Raymond Havens stated in “Simplicity, a changing concept” (1953:3):

Simplicity, it would seem, is a simple matter... In the eighteenth century, critics, essayists, and poets were constantly referring to it as the supreme excellence in almost every field, the "open sesame" to every door, whether of conduct, thought, taste, or artistic production. "The best and truest ornament of most things in life," Swift called it, and Shaftesbury, "this beauty above all beauties." Lord Kames declared, "The best artists ... have in all ages been governed by a taste for simplicity," and Horace Walpole said, "Taste...cannot exist without Simplicity." Joseph Warton went even further, maintaining “SIMPLICITY is with justice esteemed a supreme excellence in all the performances of art."

Ironically, simplicity is not quite as one-dimensional as one may expect. It is engulfed in concentric skins that seemingly lead right back to complexity. Simplicity itself becomes a slippery subject with multiple personalities but nonetheless one that is tackled head on. Through this performance-based installation a multitude of characters discovered in the excavation of simplicity are addressed and re-interpreted to create a triangle of responses from three performance artists, Nathalie Bikoro, Donna Kukama and Nástio Mosquito. The physical absence of the three performance artists in the performance space creates a rift between time and space, thereby necessitating a creative clarity in a media as interaction-reliant as performance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


the missing links:

1. Ian
2. Victor
3. ?
4. ?

thank you all participants, all your dna portraits are in your mail boxes x x

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Opening night - 09 September 2010

The Opening night performances - Click to see more

Nathalie Bikoro - Autopsy, Performance via Skype.

Nástio Mosquito - Untitled (The Fisherman and The Soldier). Performance via Skype.

Donna Kukama - 1000 ways of being (Opening Speech). Performance via Skype.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Conceptual Simplicity

Conceptual Simplicity; the rule of simplicity as choosing your form/being

Einstein defined the invention of motion, gravity and energy as non-instantial ( in instantialisation the creation of an object or abstraction, in non-instantiation the object does not belong to a class to share the same structure or behaviour, it is not inherited but unique). The mass-energy equation* E=Mc2, derived from the rule of simplicity of space in Riemannian manifold (or Riemannian space (M,g) ). It is a real differentiable manifold in which each tangent space is equipped with an inner product g (a Riemannian metric), in a manner which varies smoothly from point to point. The metric g is a positive definite symmetric tensor: a metric tensor. In other words, a Riemannian manifold is a differentiable manifold in which the tangent space at each point is a finite-dimensional Euclidean space.

A Riemannian manifold carries the structure of a metric space whose function is of minimizing distance or paths in between the 'inners' within spaces. therefore a Riemannian manifold M is geodesically complete - a short complete path.

If simplicity conceptually could be elegantly understood as a way of shortening time, space and relativity, then could simplicity be an exposé for a moment of inner intensity and intimacy between people and spaces? What is the hidden element of the process of simplicity? It is non-instantial, a space that doesn't belong to a structure and behaves differently, I would like to understand how this affects the link between the audience and the performer and how this 'blur' succumb to energy and motionalise the element of the after-trace to procure the surprise. Autopsy....

*E = Mc2 originally derived from the Egyptian Hieroglyphics which Einstein co- studied with Anthropologists at the time. Einstein merely made a link and re-translated and transmitted it to the 20th century industrial world. A formula beyond mathematics that transcends into poetry, philosophy and musicology.

Simplicity as Mistake - Karl Popper's equation on Simplicity

The Popper-Dimension:


Simplicity as dissecting truths - Autopsy.

Autopsy focuses on the idea of simplicity as theory seeking to explain
the magnet of events to human minds and its relation to truth. It
incorporates a game of Chinese Whispers in which a set of descriptions are
transmitted and changed by the next recipient and travels through a process
that morphs its whole meaning from its beginning.
Corresponding to a drop in Kolmogorov complexity mathematics, an observer
thinks the shortest description of the situation as shorter than anticipated.
The basic concept of simplicity theory is unexpectedness, defined as the
difference between expected complexity (the smallest/imaginable description)
and observed complexity (improbable description). Complexity and thus
unexpectedness, are observer-dependent.

U = Cexp − Cobs = DNA portrait
Connection with probability
Unexpectedness U is linked to subjective probability P through formula:
P = 2 − U

Subjective probability can be assessed without necessarily knowing the
alternatives. Classical approaches to probability would consider all situations
in the world as having virtually zero probability to have occurred, as each
situation is complex and unique. Simplicity theory avoids this trap by
considering that subjective improbability is only due to complexity drop.

Autopsy returns to simplicity theory to make several predictions concerning
the way distance, recency, prominence (places, individuals), or atypicality
influence stimulus & engagement. A dissecting method of appropriating
transmission from audio to the visual in a series of games from an adaptation
of Chinese Whispers to create a DNA portrait of the space in the gallery.
According to Occam's razor, all other things being equal, the simplest
description is the most likely to be true. In Autopsy, the games like child’s
play are invoked as metaphors for cumulative error for the unreliability of
human recollection.

“Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth” P. Picasso
My approach to simplicity is in relation to the CHOICE point of view. You can choose life or death, but ultimately whatever choice you make you have to decide HOW; and once you choose how you reveal CREATIVITY.


The idea is to deconstruct any possible attempt of exploring the INTERESTING and making sure to express that regardless of its legitimacy, human COMPLEXITY comes from its “excessive” validation of human existence within its moral conduct, in whatever time and space.


Want to hear the stories? Sit on my lap now… surprise... surprise... The character on this side of the skype loves meat...

Nástio Mosquito