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"Non-Linear Modern  
Nobutaka Ueda Paintings and Computer graphics 2000-2003
" 2004

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Nobutaka Ueda
Hidenori Kodama
Yutaka Matsuzawa,
Nobutaka Ueda
Stan Anderson
Nobutaka Ueda
48page A4 size

 Prologue by Yutaka Matsuzawa

Sowing the Wind, Reaping the Whirlwind:
Non-Linear Modern Fragments

Nobutaka Ueda

   Deutsch  Wind säen und Wirbelstürme ernten,
       Nicht-lineare Moderne Fragmente.pdf    

Modernism I

      The major works of modern art, produced in France from the end of the nineteenth century to the first  half of the twentieth century, were born in a crucible where mysticism  and modern science were mixed  together.   According to Arthur I. Miller, Cubism, to take  one example, was born from a marriage between the theory of relativity and theosophy.*1  With a hint from four-dimensional geometry and the idea of an “astral plane,” from which things can be seen simultaneously from all directions,  cubist forms were created by relativizing  and combining different aspects of form.  Various kinds of mysticism, including theosophy,  were tremendously popular between the late nineteenth and the early  twentieth century, and the first stirrings of the new science also occurred during this period. 
     Einstein’s theory of relativity was an incredibly novel idea, although it was still an extension of on classical physics.  That was how Einstein himself saw it.  The type of science based on the old  dynamics is now  known as linear science.  It is science without the arrow of time, science that can only  make  statements about phenomena without relation to time.  The science that progressed along this  path envisioned a description of the world in the form of a single equation.  It had to be  elegant and  simple, like E = MC
2.  Science was driven by the concepts of evolution and   reductionism.  Similar impulses stimulated modern art.  Influenced by the theory of   materialism garnished with the ideals  of Marxism, artists used minimal materials and   physically reduced forms.  The progress of Modernism  was in a parallel relationship  with the progress of modern science. 
       Although the mystical and spiritual concerns of early Modernism have been carried on by some artists,   for example, Joseph Beuys, they eventually lost their vitality.  The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle  disturbed  and demonstrated the limits of all science based on classical dynamics, and a more complex,  non-linear science appeared.  This development had the effect of weakening modernist art.



       Postmodernism wanders endlessly through multi-layered structures.  Its journeys are aimless and without   goals, like the stairways depicted by Escher.  This could be likened to the cycles of Samsara or transmigration, which contains no concept of progress. What is the position of Postmodernism?  It is that each discrete context  allows a privileged  viewpoint that only refers to meaning in a higher context.  There are an infinite number of such higher viewpoints and, therefore, no viewpoint is superior to any other viewpoint. Ken Wilber, in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, wrote that taking the average of all these viewpoints will not create a relationship between them.  This in itself is only one peculiar privileged viewpoint.  But because of the nature of such viewpoints, it results in self-contradiction.  Thus, no superior viewpoint exists, except one’s own.  Wilber says that the postmodern poststructuralists substitute a state of frenzy without a viewpoint for literary  and political criticism.*2  The impulse started by the breakdown of a conscious viewpoint in Cubism progressed  and changed, leading to the crossing of boundaries between different types of art and the relativization of cultural values.  There is certainly some sort of meaning in this process, but it ultimately ends in nihilism. The ebbing of a concern with higher values is probably related to the present slowdown  of spiritual advancement.  A new modernism is necessary in order to restore the impulse toward progress in culture.

Modernism II

       Because of the reductionist character of Modernism, physical works of art must inevitably disappear.  Reductionism contains the seeds of its own destruction.  It is a way of thinking that makes physical emptiness logically necessary.  That is why Yutaka Matsuzawa’s “final art,” sculpture without form and painting without color, is undoubtedly the final form of Modernism.  A single theoretical thread connects the artistic developments from Minimalism to Matsuzawa’s “final art.”  Modernism reached its final stage with the beginnings of Matsuzawa’s conceptual art  in 1964. 
      Eventually, Matsuzawa arrived at what he called “quantum art,” a previously unexplored territory. In his   “Quantum Art Manifesto,” he states, “This art cannot appeal directly to people’s senses.  They cannot see it  or touch it directly.  This art can only be known or understood by direct intelligence, that is, the operation of  thought – judgment, reason, and the formation of concepts.  Oh!  It is a making special through intelligence leading to radicalization.”*3
  Matsuzawa aims at becoming a transcendental person in a  world where human  beings have been eliminated, meditating transcendentally on the limits of the nth dimension.  Will he make the ultimate leap to consciousness only? Recently, he is putting his concepts into written mandalas in the form of a square grid,  nine lines of nine ideographs each.  This form is a gate of passage from a higher to a lower world, read in a spiral moving right from center.  It represents the practices undertaken by a bodhisattva in order to save all sentient beings.  Matsuzawa’s art consists of acting on the audience through these mandalas and performances.  This art of a single gesture or a few words has a catalytic effect, calling up images and concepts that criss-cross and interact, leading us to an encounter with an unknown world.  Through this art, Matsuzawa moves beyond point zero at the ultimate limits of modernist reductionism.

Non-linear Science

       The world cannot be reversed.  In other words, time cannot go backwards.  In spite of the efforts of Newton and the physicists who have followed him, most of the world remains complex and impossible to measure.   Phenomena that are determined in a linear fashion, that is, phenomena that can have the same motion in reverse time, are extremely rare.  This fact became decisive in the 1970s when it was found that a peculiar active order can be born in the gap between passive order and chaos.  In an open system
far from equilibrium,  a peculiar non-linear phenomenon occurs that is irreversible. In molecules that ordinarily collide and interact at random, a small fluctuation occurs and high-level self-organization begins.  This is the nature of the famous dissipated structures discovered by Ilya Prigogine.  According to Prigogine, the farther matter is separated from equilibrium, the more intelligent it gets.
      This sort of non-linear science produces a world view different from the mechanistic world view that has prevailed since Descartes and Newton.  Classical mechanics and the physics derived from it were decisive theories in the machine age but they could only explain a small part of the world.  Nature does not move like a windup clock.  It is a fact that chaos exists in the world we live in, and it is from the zone of disorder, instability, and diversity on “the edge of chaos” that a new and higher order can emerge through a small fluctuation.   The paradigms of science must be changed along these lines.  Life on the earth and the economics, politics, and culture created by human beings are endlessly undergoing transformations, moving from chaos to order and from order to chaos.   In dealing with these transformations, the new science has caught a glimpse of a macro factor driving evolution.

 Paradigm of Flowing Movement

         Suppose that a fractal structure with numerous folds like an n-dimensional fold can be maintained  in empty space and that all phenomena are enfolded within this fold.  How can this state be achieved? 
        If a drop of ink is placed in a viscous  liquid that fills the space between two concentric cylinders, and the small cylinder on the inside is rotated, the ink drop will be attenuated to a point where it cannot be seen with the naked eye.  The ink will become a narrow thread, forming a circle like the rings around Saturn.    After the first drop of ink is rotated several times, a drop of a different color of ink is rotated several times.   Repetition of this process creates an image of enfolded total flow.  This is a model of total flow that the physicist David Bohm has used to make an alternative proposal of the nature of  the universe, rejecting  previous atomic theory as incomplete.*5
        The memory system of the brain, as presented in the conclusions of the brain scientist, Karl Pribram, shows remarkable affinities with this concept.   Pribram claims that  the memories are preserved throughout the system of the brain like a hologram but at the same time individual memories can be retrieved from separate parts.  In this theory, the  brain can be thought of as a computer using a hologram as the medium of memory.
        Let us go back to the model proposed by Bohm and increase the speed of rotation of the inner cylinder.   As the speed passes the limit at which
    it is possible to maintain a stable increased flow, a fractal  structure like a wall in space appears.  Empty space may be able to support a structure of this kind.
 Yasushi Kajikawa, who worked together with Buckminster Fuller in his later years, did important research into synergetic topology.  He has described how a regular dodecahedron constructed only of  the lines forming the sides can be rotated and folded into a regular tetrahedron.   The folding can be done in four ways: rotating to the right or to the left, and turning the regular dodecahedron upside-down and rotating it to the right or to the left.  Kajikawa has proved mathematically that with these four ways of folding,  the arrangements of the sides that come together at the apex of the tetrahedron are all different, so there are four ways of breaking its symmetry.*7  If, as stated by Fuller’s disciple, Amy  Edmonson, space contains “certain spatial characteristics” like the regular  tetrahedron and the regular dodecahedron, this folding model shows by analogy how transformations of spatial structure are possible.*8    As the symmetry of space-time is broken, space is transformed into a different structure through the creation of a vortex.    In this case, topological transformation is done in the form of a vortex.
          Flowing movement like the turbulences formed in water or air is not generally well understood. A German expert on this kind of motion, Theodor Schwenk, has studied the macro movements of liquids. He has shown how extremely sensitive forms are created on at the interface between liquids of different kinds, for example, of different densities or temperatures.  The forms created by these vortices, spirals, and  meanders are the prototypes of the forms of organs of living creatures.*9
  The muscles between the human  shoulder and hand resemble the forms taken by water flowing in a pipe bent at a right angle, and a pattern of fluid flow is engraved into the surface of the scapula.  The forms created by flowing liquid are quite different from those of a machine as sembled from separate parts, and they resemble ancient patterns like those created by the Celts or the Jomon people of Japan. 
What is meant by these signs that can   be described as a fluid flow paradigm?  Do they predict the advent of new non-linear paradigm?    Are they just bubbles that have emerged accidentally in the flow of the history of science?  They have an inseparable relationship to the complex systems of non-linear science and forms like spirals,  vortices, and meanders.  When Manfred Eigen discovered hypercycles in the process of glycolosis,  the gap between matter and life was greatly reduced.  The breakdown of sugar in the cells is self-organizing, creating a complex cycle and a circle of unusual motion.  In the theory of chaos and complex systems, a peculiar circle, called an attractor, describes the movement of the system.  It explains the formation of repetitive complex movements, turbulence and fractal forms like nested dolls.

Non-Linear Modernism

             The creation of a new modernism that will not lose its impetus toward progress is a necessary condition for the progress of culture.  It cannot be a form of reductionism.  It must lead to self-transcendence, a necessary condition of evolution. The dynamics of self-organization is the only paradigm that fulfills  these conditions at present.  Erich Yantsch gives three conditions of self-organization.*10  The first is an open system.  In a closed system, energy reaches equilibrium and self-organization does not occur.   The second is disequilibrium.  This condition implies the existence of a flow of energy, such as heat or physical mass, toward the interior of the system.  The system must be vitalized with an inflow of energy.  The third is the existence of positive feedback, known as a self-catalyst.  With a self-catalytic function,  the system and the materials formed in it accelerate its own process of organizing itself.  “Positive” indicates a quantitative increase in the plus direction.  In reality, however, the system would eventually break down if it only functioned to accelerate self-organization.  Negative feedback, which regulates this generative function, is also necessary.   A new order must be precariously established in the balance  between these two functions.  Can we create an art of this kind?  It would be an art that is not closed  toward others, does not plagiarize from others, and does not lose its self-referentiality.  It is also necessary  to create a condition of disequilibrium, an element that might be described as “heat,” in our culture.   These are the tasks faced by art today.
           Previous modernism was based on two major elements, science and mysticism.  Earlier in history, art was something that could harmonize the spirituality of religion and the materialism of modern science.  If art loses spirituality it faces “death.”  It can only play the role of a jester in relation to science or be a subcultural king without clothes.  A culture that
    retains the impulse to progress must be based on non-linear science and cannot be reductionist.  It must also create a new spirituality.  This is the new  Modernism that I dream about, a non-linear Modernism.  Perhaps I am  sowing the wind.  Will  people reap the whirlwind as a result?  Will they gather rice stalks with no grain in them?  All I know right now is that in order for self-organization to occur we need a “fluctuation,”  a perturbation like a breath of wind.

1.      Arthur I. Miller, Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc,  Basic Books.
2.      Ken Wilber, Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, Shambala, 1995.
3.      Yutaka Matsuzawa, “Quantum Art Manifesto,” To Spiritualism – Yutaka Matsuzawa  1954-1997,  exhibition catalogue, edited by Hajime Morita and Sanae Murata, Saito Memorial Kawaguchi  Museum of Contemporary Art, 1997.
4.      Friedrich Kramer, Chaos und Ordnung, Deutsche Verlags – Anstalt GmbH, Stuttgart, 1998.  
5.      David Bohm, Fragmentation and Wholeness, The Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation, 1976.
6.      Ken Wilber, ed., The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes, Shambala, 1982.                        
7.      Yasushi Kajikawa, “Symmetry Breaking Processes of Dodecahedron, ” The Land of Doragon, Onomichi – Symbol and Forms, exhibition catalogue, edited by Shinji Umebayashi, Onomichi  Municipal Museum of Art, 2000.    
8.      Amy Edmondson, “Synergetic Geometry,” Synergetic Circus: R. Buckminster  Fuller’s Sea of Intuition,  exhibition catalogue, edited by Rumiko Kanesaka, Alternative Museum, Tokyo, 1989, p. 3.
9.      Theodor Schwenk, Sensitive Chaos, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 1961. 
10.    Erich Yantsch, The Self-Organizing Universe, Pergamon Press, Ltd., 1980.

Emergence and Movement Op.5   2008

   Yoseph Beuys

  Nobutaka Ueda
right  Yutaka Matsuzawa
photo Hiromasa Naganuma

A example of the dissipative structure
Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction
  Implicating Rheo Movement by David Bohm  


 Image picture


karman vortices
photo Nobutaka Ueda
Vortices by Torus
photo Nobutaka Ueda
 three conditions of self-organization

To the publication of "Crystallography of Turbulent Flow Works of Nobutaka UEDA 1997-1999"

Implicating Rheo Movement Op.8
1999    162cm×130.5cm


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