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elastic mind


Rules of Six by Benjamin Aranda et. al


DNA origami by Paul Rothemund


Sometimes an event comes along which manages to encapsulate emerging trends that in the future will be identified as defining our time. MoMA’s Design and the Elastic Mind show is one of those instances. The exhibition has so much on offer that it is easy, when walking through the galleries, to get zoned out by over-stimulation. You pretty much have to avail yourself of the adjunct, on-line materials to provide enough context and detail to understand what you have just seen. But this is a small price to pay. ‘Elastic Mind’ highlights the great ‘re-biologizing’ that is taking over human thought, as we gradually abandon the mechanical world views we have held dear since the days of Newton, back in the seventeenth century. The clockwork metaphor of the universe is being replaced by that of a swarm, whose components self-organize and dissipate in concordance to the opportunities created by ubiquitous connectivity. Not the kind of show to make huge pronouncements, Elastic Mind, promotes the notion of ‘thinkering,’ encouraging its viewers to reconnect and remix the ideas it presents, in new and interesting ways. I’m not generally a huge fan of Flash-based web sites, but Elastic Mind’s site uses its animation to show the relationship ecologies that emerge between catalogue items, as we browse through them, offering us a whole other level of opportunity for serendipitous exploration.