Butterfly Effect


Organized by Fawn Atencio, director/owner of Songlines Press, Denver, CO, USA

In 1961, MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz began contributing to a branch of mathematics known as chaos theory in an attempt to predict weather patterns. Chaos theory is the study of systems in which small changes to initial conditions yield large differences in outcomes. Lorenz coined the phrase “the butterfly effect” to describe his work on chaos theory and suggested the flapping of a butterfly’s wings might precipitate a hurricane on the far side of the world—that is, a small change to the existing meteorological conditions might have a large effect on the state of the weather system. Contributing artists were asked to consider chaos theory, pattern, order, mathematics, predictability, or the butterfly effect, emphasizing and integrating one’s individual style. Butterfly Effect impacts the printmaking social network by creating a portfolio exchange where invited printmakers also invite one additional artist. Doing so introduces elements of variance to the exchange, yielding its own unique outcome—a butterfly effect all its own.

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