4 aprile 2014
Art of Caos Complexity
by Valerio Deho'

«The problem of science cannot be understood through scientific method... Science must be seen through the eyes of the artist». Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, 1871

According to the Aristotelian model, the distinction between science and art is reduced to a question of subject matter. Episteme is based on what is eternal and necessary, while techne deals with the transient and variable. As they are both disciplines organized by the definitions of their ‘objectum’, they make understanding possible. If they were not organised to collect and formulate the rules that define their discipline they would not have any sense. Structured understanding, knowledge, cannot exist outside the systematic rules that form the discipline. Also for Diderot, this was the case, by and large. In the Encyclopedie, science was based on empirical observations together with rules that governed them, while art was based on the organization of techniques that served to create the objects. Chaos is more important than order and explains numerous complex phenomena that concern not only physics but also psychology, sociology and economics. The University of Santa Fè in New Mexico was, in fact, created in 1984 to follow interdisciplinary research based on chaos and complexity theories, similar to the pioneer studies of Ilya Prigogine in 1959. Furthermore, chaos is the more normal state in nature whilst order is quite rare and can be easily altered by small changes and slight perturbations. It seems that Nature itself uses Chaos as a fundamental mechanism of the process of evolution. To solve the central problem of adaptation of life to survive in an environment that is constantly mutating with complex and seemingly chaotic transformations any deterministic programme would be insufficient. For this reason, Nature chooses to combat Chaos with Chaos, generating a multitude of forms of life through random mutations. Chaos theory opens the door to flexibility, to dynamic rather than static systems, to unpredictable outcomes of mutations and creations. Long term effects are unpredictable, something unforeseen happens always. Every excessive specialization results in atrophication. The variety that we witness in nature is a characteristic of survival and the collaborative strategy necessary in a universe that is increasingly less controllable or sure of its mechanisms of functionality.

Whilst today, art has regained an extraterritoriality role in respect to to the rhythms of postindustrial work, it is the world of economics that increasingly values the use and interaction of artists in the respective fields of research. In fact, all contemporary creative artists, whatever language they choose, are effective communicators, have a clear cultural understanding of their time and have the gift of synthesis. They can give cohesion and unity to information and emotions as no other message can. After all, knowledge is passed on through institutions that inherited the Early Medieval division of disciplines into the Quadrivium and Trivium where the former devolved into the exact sciences which avoid problems of opinion while the latter became the liberal or humanistic arts which do not possess the certainty or necessity of the first. For this reason, if the articulation of disciplines in the sphere of knowledge directly descends from Aristotle, it is the concept of matéma (that which can be taught), from which derives the importance of mathematics and its ever increasing prevalence in the field of science that has exaggerated the divisions between the Episteme and the Techne. Renzo Bergamo has always shown, that is literally made clear, the visible relationship between chaos as a force driving ideas and novelty and the creativity of the knowledgeable artist. Contrary to other declinations of informal or aniconic languages, Bergamo has always followed a precise project, not trusting in the ethereal or the consoling ability of the unconscious that speaks alone in a soliloquy to be interpreted later. In fact, in such a tendency exists a denial of a rational understanding of reality and presents a chaotic universe which provides the only evidence for being and acting. The results achieved in Art Informal derive from psychic automatism and is linked to artistic practice and attempts to free interior energies. In the ‘gesture’ there is no conscious moment that tries to rationalize or explain what comes from the unconscious. In any case, we are dealing with a practice tied to man and his culture, therefore, to his subjectivity. But the ‘gesture’ is also a generator of signs, linking the semiotic universe with cosmic energy. His ‘Aesthetics of Chaos’, developed above all in the last ten years of the 20th century, is a paradigm of the relationship between art and science, the synthesis of an incessant reflection on the forces of the cosmos and those of the artist. Bergamo knew how to develop a ‘natural’ poetry that is never descriptive but searches for a reflection of the forces that agitate the universe in the interior of his own artistic being. Spontaneity issues from experience, but, above all, from a vision that is able to create a parallel between art and physics without entrusting one with the function of the other and, above all, without reducing painting to the role of becoming a simple metaphor of the other. Not only was Bergamo capable of producing a cohesive, coherent cycle of works, but he also wanted to permeate the intensity of Chaos as a vital current, a conflict of form and substance, an infinite return of difference. His paintings constitute a new language that cannot be linked to preceding experiences apart from superficial similarities. He was capable of uniting a profound personal need to comprehend cosmic order with a clear intuition concerning the constitution of the fundamental forces of the universe. His work is not limited to finding simple analogies or attractive ideas. His project also had a social value as the Chaos that became the protagonist of his cycle of work has both a scientific relevance but is also a metaphor for society. Art and science become one, and this is the novelty that gives a vision of our contemporary world that enriches through the conjunction of ethics and aesthetics. The artist’s vision is an answer that unifies the macro and microcosm under the sign of the Will. It is not possible for Art and science not to assume responsibility. They must go further than the normal ‘solution of problems’. Can abstract art manage all of this? The reply is positive when we consider the artistic quality of Bergamo’s work and also his desire to give to his paintings a different meaning to the one than is usually given, that is simply a pleasant accessory of the world. It is interesting to consider Bergamo’s capacity of synthesis concerning the role of the artist in society and also in the world. Aniconic art, for him, was an area of conflict between internal forces of creation, between Light and Earth according to the philosophy of Heidegger, but also a privileged area of assumption of the reign of will of Schopenhauer. We are not passive subjects; man can modify the universe beginning with himself. We must avoid the seduction of representation, the lies of seeing, in order to create an image of Chaos that is, in some way, linked to an eventual order. Bergamo represents these processes, reveals the rules of the game in a conceptual synthesis of artistic language and scientific theory without hierarchies or subordinations.It is no coincidence that Aesthetics and Ethics live together in the same word. Also because there is a constant reminder of a sort of order of beauty, even of the nineteenth century aspects close to asymmetry and amorphism, compared to an ethical conception anchored to an ordered structure of the world. The artist collects the elements of the procedure, the realisation of things and this leads to a vision where the aesthetics seems like a confining line, seen as a symbolic approximation. It is the concept of asympotote, a line of tendency, an infinite development of forms. Chaos can have a negative connotation in that it can be a mirror of society that offers the help of aesthetics as a useful, new paradigm; the incapacity to decide, the multiplicity of directions, the desperate search for a solution or clarification of processes. These are metaphoric elements of a social universe in grave crisis, like ours today. For this reason, the position of RB is complex. Chaos and Complexity are, in fact, two, closely related scientific concepts. His idea was to maintain the connection to painting, the structural values of painting as an artistic procedure and as a positive attitude of refection on the world. Around his painting he was able to construct a conceptual structure that was not constrictive from the point of view of creative work but, at the same time, solid as a contextual reference. His way of painting originates from his capacity to involve the sensibility of the artist with the actual process of creation. The relationship with colour is always carefully measured; nothing is left to chance exactly because it is a substance that is being processed. However, at the same time, it is clear that behind the apparent formal deconstruction, underlying forces lie hidden that animate the ductus and the incisive lightness of colour. Even his characteristic accumulation of chromatic profundity dazzled by apparitions of light, denotes an investigation of light emerging from the darkness His signs look like writing, ordered, syntagmatic ties, and recall the semiotic rhythms of Kandinsky. Chaos, says the artist, is not Chance, Duchamp’s Art of Chance, except for an irrelevant percentage, that which applies to all forms of art. We witness through his works a wide interaction of forms and significances, a positive and deliberate conflict where Will meets the World and Art merges into Science. Chaos is also ugliness, like a negation of beauty and a place where the unrelated Will manifests itself as evil, according to nineteenth century thought. But today, it possesses dynamic elements of beauty, visions of purity and internal sound also because painting is a protagonist of contemporary thought, philosophy of life and knowledge. The work of Renzo Bergamo exists in this passage from one register to another, in placing the subjectivity within an awakening of nature, of its abdomen, a sediment of history, of a past before any trace of man. Probably this result has the effect of inducing contemplation that looks at one and at all, because its object is mutable and significantly rich with different meanings. Art investigates after it has found its subject; the artist decides to investigate after having chosen his section of the world and its subjectivity. Before the investigation we have an interest in the subject for contemplation, that is, ‘inter-esse’, which is ‘the being within’ and greatly involves us in this ‘within’. But memory which is the basis of intelligence and narrative is also needed. Memory is also a measure (from the Greek mnemosùne) and it is a place where you find things seen and learned, or where we invent. And to invent (from the Latin invenire) simply means to find. ‘You wouldn’t be looking for me if you hadn’t already found me.’ Said St. Augustine, referring to the dialogue between man and God.