Friday, January 21, 2011

Game Theory, Mathematics, and. . .Art?

I think we might understand our own research (to use a Baudrillardian construction) as a "more pure than pure research." This, according to Von Neumann, leads to the degeneracy of research. Although, strangely enough, Von Neumann did once compare pure mathematical research to art:

"If the deductions are lengthy or complicated, there should be some simple general principle involved, which 'explains' the complications and detours, reduces the apparent arbitrariness to a few simple guiding motivations. These criteria are clearly those of any creative art" (Von Neumann qtd. in Poundstone 28)

Classical pure research

At one level, this kind of simplification is akin to our search for an image, but our image is not seeking to explain all of the complications, but to provoke people to complications. In that sense, we are more like the art that Von Neumann considers degenerate:

 "In other words, at a great distance from its empirical source, or after much 'abstract' in breeding, a mathematical subject is in danger of degeneration. At the inception the style is usually classical; when it shows signs of becoming baroque, then the danger signal is up" (Von Neumann qtd. in Poundstone 29).

Baroque Pure Research

Baroque! The question is there some way that the Baroque relates more to Abstract Modernist/Avant-Garde Art (that we are interested in) than the "classical?" I think the answer is an unequivocal YES. Baroque recalls to my mind Deleuzian rhizomes proliferating in all directions and lines of flight--irrational? Perhaps. But this baroque style is much more related to our own work. It bursts with energy and passion, breaking out of all the lines that reign thought inside. The CATTt may direct us toward an image, but ultimately the image is going to look more like a Jackson Pollock painting:

And yet, we have the CATTt. . .is this a baroque mechanism? Surely our mode of research "documentation" is closer to the baroque accumulative aesthetic as opposed to the reserved classical?

No comments:

Post a Comment