Emergence as Self-Organization and as Generation of Novelty. A Framework for Understanding Emergence in the Context of Interactive Art

Joan Soler-Adillon

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The subject of study of this investigation is the concept of emergence and its viability as a driving force for the creation of interactive artwork. Emergence appears in the literature as related to self-organization and novelty. For many authors it is the result of multiple local interactions among agents within a system, which generate phenomena that could not be understood, nor anticipated, through the analysis of the elements and their behaviors in isolation. For others, emergent phenomena are related to fundamental novelty and, thus, to creativity. These two formulations of emergence are reviewed in this thesis in the context of interactive art and communication. The focus of the study is on the interactive works of the artistic field known as Artificial Life Art. After reviewing the foundational concepts and proposing an approach to both emergence and interactivity, an analytical framework is presented in order to assess the presence of emergence in interactive systems, which in turn shall serve as a first step to designing systems that aim at generating interactive emergent behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Penny, Simon, Supervisor, External person
  • Codina, Lluís, Supervisor, External person
Award date2 Jul 2015
Place of PublicationBarcelona
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015

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