Monday, August 22, 2011

"Complementarity: An Archipelago" Published On-Line

(Somehow this post didn't get finished in a timely fashion. I just found it languishing in the land of "draft".)

This spring my interdisciplinary paper "Complementarity: An Archipelago" was published by Alan N. Shapiro, technologist and futurist, on his website.

An archipelago is a sea containing scattered islands. In this paper the term is describes a scattering of texts embedded in a particular context; a cluster without overt pattern but with some as-yet-not-fully-determined connectivity. The context the reader brings to this collection is the axis about which the islands spin. Thus the archipelago is a generative system embedded in a process greater than itself.

From quantum mechanics we know that particles also act as waves, depending on what we are observing. We can see light or an electron in one or the other aspect, but to get a full appreciation of their characteristics we need to balance both concepts in our mind at the same time. Niels Bohr called this duality complementarity.

The article was first published as a chapter in the book Choreography as an Aesthetics of Change by Daghdha. I covered the 2009 launch in a previous article.

Once you've read my short but highly distilled article, check out the rest of Shapiro's site. I've written previously of Shapiro's book Star Trek: Technologies of Disappearance, which is an insightful exploration of this popular series as culture industry and as modern mythology. It's mind-expanding for fans and genre-breaking for those into media theory.


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