Deeply Organized Chaos ** Workshop piloted by Manuel Eguia ** 07-13/07/2022

Deeply Organized Chaos

Getting into the Swing of Simplicity and Complexity

Workshop piloted by Manuel Eguia in the framework of the L.I.F.E.
Project conducted at PAF by Gabriel Catren

July 7th - 13th 2022 @ Performing Arts Forum

In this workshop on Chaos theory, we shall invite non-scientists to undertake a whimsical and hopefully pleasant path through the history of physics in the quest for simple laws, patterns, and structures among the “multiplicity and confusion of things”, in Newton’s words. His law of Universal Gravitation, formulated using simple and elegant mathematical formulae, is perhaps the paradigmatic example of such a successful quest. Yet soon it was apparent that even for the case of only three bodies interacting gravitationally (like for instance the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun) the possible solutions turn out to be multiple and confusing. At the end of 19th century, studying a simplified version of this problem, the mathematician Henri Poincaré found a solution so complex that in his own words he was “not even attempting to draw”. The new tools developed by Poincaré led to the development of Chaos Theory during the last decades of the 20th century, widely popularised by the image of a “flap of butterfly’s wing in Brazil setting off a tornado in Texas”. This interest for chaotic and complex behaviours arising from simple rules came along with a process swinging in the opposite direction through the discovery of new simplicities, hidden forms of order, and universal patterns emerging from otherwise disordered systems in different domains of science. Dramatic examples of this swinging between order and chaos can be found in the formation of whirlpools in the atmosphere, flocking in birds, fibrillation in heart attacks and bubbles in financial markets.

In this workshop we shall drive through and over these non-equivalent antagonisms: order/chaos, simplicity/complexity and determinism/chance, with the help of concrete examples, conceptualizations accessible to the non-experts, and also through aesthetic and embodied experiences (explorations with fractals, jam sessions with nonlinear dynamics, and forays into the wilderness of the forests that surround the site of the workshop).

The lectures will be given by Manuel Eguia. Manuel is a physicist and an artist, founder of the Acoustic and Sound Perception Lab (LAPSo) at the College of Arts, National University of Quilmes (Argentina). This year we shall also count with the assistance of Emily Roff. Emily is a PhD student in mathematics at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Her research has to do with notions of magnitude or size: volume, dimension, diversity, capacity.

The workshop will take place at the Performing Arts Forum (Saint-Erme, France) during seven days (starting on July 7th in the morning and ending on July 13th in the afternoon) consisting of four working days interspersed by three “free” days in which the participants will have the time to rest, to work through the new material, and/or to participate in the related activities that we shall propose.

The prices including meal expenses (15€ per day), accommodation for 8 nights (18€ per night if you stay more than 5 nights, otherwise, it is 20€ per night), PAF membership (12€ one-year), and the tuition fee (30€) adds to an amount of 291€ for the whole workshop. In order to allow people with little or no resources to attend the meeting (and following similar initiatives currently taking place at PAF), this year we shall experiment with a differential pricing or sliding scale. So, we shall (un)fix the cost of the whole event to an amount between a baseline depending on the number of nights you stay (e.g., 291€ for eight nights) and 400€ per person. Even if you can pay 20€ more than the baseline, it will help someone else. If you would like to participate and you do not have the financial conditions to do so, please let us know and we will try to make it possible for you.

Dates: July 7th - 13th, 2022.
Location: Performing Arts Forum in Saint-Erme, France.
Price (sliding scale): 291€ - 400€ per person.

Reservations are mandatory by writing to The maximum number of participants is 40 persons. People who attend the whole workshop will be given priority. For any questions, you can write to Manuel Eguia ( and/or Gabriel Catren (

This workshop has received funding from the Laboratoire International Associé (LIA) Identities, Forces, Chaos, Quanta (CNRS, Laboratoire SPHERE - Sciences, Philosophy, Histoire, UMR 7219).