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emergent is she

 who is emergent she 

who is something from 

nothing and nothing 

from something 

she who



deductively and

reductively deduced she

who is subjectively objective

and objectively subjective

she who is reasonably




  reasonable she who 

is disorderly ordered and 

ordered disorderly she 

who is not the whole 

of her parts


the parts of

her whole she who

is someone to no one

and no one to someone

she who is emergent

and emergent is



In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when a complex entity has properties or behaviors that its parts do not have on their own – the properties or behaviors emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole. Emergence plays a central role in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. Examples in nature include bee hives, ant colonies, snowflakes, and human cells forming organs. An example in art is Chuck Close’s work where the cells of the artwork come together to create a portrait. The poem applies emergent theory to self/identity and the construct of “she” with all its contradictions, inconsistencies, and struggles. The portrait of the woman was created through Midjouney, an artificial intelligence program and service that generates images from natural language description prompts.


Incorporated into the artwork is a tessellation pattern of a bees. A tessellation is the covering of a surface using one or more geometric shaped tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps. In Nature, tessellations and repeated patterns are ubiquitous: found in plant structures, atoms, crystal structures, living cells. Bees shape wax into hexagonal combs to efficiently store honey and pollen. These patterns vary from culture to culture in artistic and architectural applications by Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Japanese, and Chinese.

EmergentBarbara Campbell
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