dis,oRdered – Suzanne Brown

“dis,oRdered” is a visualization of the concept of entropy, derived from the second law of thermodynamics – which states the entropy of the universe is always increasing. Entropy is defined as a measure of disorder in the universe, though not in the colloquial sense. Entropy, at its core, is a probabilistic concept that represents the number of possible microstates of a system, or the various ways particles and their characteristics can be organized. So, when we say entropy of the universe is always increasing, this essentially implies that the energy of the universe is always become more spread out, more dispersed. This concept provides an “arrow of time,” one of the only ways we can actually see the passage of time in our universe, since entropy always linearly increases.

“dis,oRdered” seeks to represent all of these thermodynamic concepts. Foreground combines with background, painting warps with space, time’s arrow guides, and paint particles float away. But beneath all this, “dis,oRdered” is also a representation of the anxieties of everyday life. If entropy in a system can increase, it will, just as how it always seems as if our lives manage to become more chaotic, more dispersed, more overwhelming. Yet in the same way entropy is a universal concept, so too is stress. “dis,oRdered” not only remind us that we are not alone in going through these feelings, but it also shows us that they can be a sign of progress.