Mapping art to systems thinking

  • Paul Goodfellow Northumbria University
Keywords: Systems Thinking, Systems Art, Systems Aesthetics, Land Art, Psychogeography,


This paper is about systems and their pervasiveness in society, and a possible role of artists to actively engage and reflect upon this increasingly dominant mode of thinking about, understanding and organizing the world. Systems thinking is now at the core of many areas of human endeavour, from climate science to economics and politics and much of this work has been made possible by the production of masses of spatially and temporally coordinated information about these subjects. The paper makes the argument that some contemporary artists have responded to society’s shift to systems and ‘big data’ analysis, and the consequent alienation of the individual and their first-hand experience in these societal processes by dealing head on with issues related to systems, space and experience.

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