Overview of the Center for the Study of
Network Emergence

The Center for the Study of Network Emergence is an interdisciplinary research and consulting effort to look at questions of hierarchies and 'emergence' within networks. .What are the implications for the deployment or understanding of power and politics in and through networks? For the more technically oriented, what new softwares are being developed to produce or exploit dynamic hierarchies, such as use in data organization and remote-sensing architectures? For the more theortically oriented, what are the implications of 'multiple levels' (rather than the two-fold, or three-fold sign-signifier-signified) for the understanding of meaning and communication within and as a network? What are the implications for the arts when the notion of the 'audience' 'the object' and the 'artist/s' become reconfigured? What are the implications for NetWar where it take a network to fight a network? What are the implactions for developing democratic, sustainable societies? How does communication occur across levels? What do limitations in communication work to produce 'levels'? How do these new perspectives tie-in to theories of systems, cybernetics, soft organizations?

This collaborative effort seeks make use of anthropology, sociology, communications research, ecology, history, and a variety of systems oriented studies to examine the ways in which modern media knowledge, information, and organization are distributed in a culture/s. How do organizations, communities, or socieities deal with cultural or organizational complexity? What are the optimal strategies? How can we know? As such, it seeks to draw upon developments in chaos, complexity, and hierarchy theory, ecosystems theory, social network and agent-nework theory. We wish to investigate the role and nature of social and cultural complexity in actual, concrete societies, and to the pardoxes of communication and perspective across levels. We encourage interdisciplinary and trans-organizational approaches.

At the same time our goal is not one of simple theoretical descriptiveness. There is no way to simply 'theorize' into this reality. We look to support inquiry into complexity and emergence in social, cultural, and technological situations: how did these conditions arise, how is the situation handled, and how is it changing. What is the role of the 'researcher' or of any organization, educational or otherwise. We also seek to introduce psychological contexts. Why is it important to be able to handle complexity and ambiguity to stay healthy mentally. What what we mean by mental health needing to handle an 'ecology of opposites?' Together, we seek to find pathways beyond theories of reductionism and holism towards theories of interdependence, beyond theories of small scale dynamics interpersonal relationships and statistical mass studies toward more complex, multiply mediated events, potentially recursive events.

In the future, this site will begin to assemble a list of our current projects, lectures, and the ongoing development of a journal. Please feel free to get in touch with us with any suggestions.


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