Chaos in Motion: about murmurations & mental processes

05/09/2016 02:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Prior to writing an article, a storm might rage through my head. Ideas spontaneously sprout, patches of words, too fast to grab, fly by. Separate figments spin round like autumn leaves on a windy square. Meanwhile, elusive associations whirl down ceaselessly, occasionally shaken up by a plumping picture.

2016-05-09-1462778901-1105422-10_starling_murmuration.jpg

Over time, I've gained the confidence and experience, that this is how I work and that there is some structure hidden in that chaos indeed. That it's only a matter of outing the magic. This is my creative process. Like a sculptor, I chop a way through a shapeless piece of stone. Debris and dust fly around, until the hidden content becomes visible. I know, I feel that eventually some sort of shape will emerge and am curious what it will be. All I have to do, is connecting the individual elements. Simple as that.


Ferromagnetism, Rupert Sheldrake, connection, synchronized orientation, sort sol, spatial awareness, collective consciousness, bee swarm, sense of direction, leadership, swarm behaviour, the Borg, correlation, flock, morphogenetic fields, individualism, mystery, decentralized system, cohesion (chemistry), Escher, Avalanche, critical mass, murmuration, chaos theory, migration, self-organisation, Barbapapa, attraction, Descartes, crystallization, starling, wildebeest, stigmergy, herd behavior, fractals, fish shoaling and schooling, morphogenetic resonance, cohesion (geology), thought processes, sunset, magic, interaction, cohesion (linguistics), movement, inspiration

And if this might seem utterly incoherent...? It isn't. All of the above items have at least one common denominator; they're all connected to my main subject.

As soon as I sit down, the first characters trickle in; an announcement of things to come. Not very clear yet, but it is a start. I look forward to more of them and countless associations and inspirations rush by. Somewhat incoherent, but slowly but surely they start to clump together. Increasingly, letters join and little by little they form intelligible words. Words organize themselves and become neat phrases, until the point that I actually perceive some logic. Sentences become longer and more complex. Their number increases fast and together they form paragraphs. They change position and shape and like a game of Tetris, they puzzle together, faster and faster and faster ....

... everything seems to gain momentum. Individual clusters attract each other like magnets and they integrate so naturally and smoothly into one gigantic whole. Despite the speed of their they approach, the encounter runs fluidly, as if it was rehearsed a thousand times before. They create new compositions as naturally as can be, everything in perfect harmony. A both indefinable and intangible something fills the air with a huge energy and demands all attention. It speeds up and slows down, shrinks and expands, goes low and high, in waves and in staccato and each player knows his role.

While I am being swallowed by the hypnotic rhythm of this enormous 'something', the magic has just begun. As if there's a secret agreement; at this place, this time The Great Event will take place. My thoughts are displaced by hundreds of thousands of starlings, that coalesce into one huge creature, that pulsates entirely logical and smoothly through the air, in some sort of magical dance. I get lost in a whirlwind of harmonious chaos and synchronized aerial acrobatics. With each glance, the shape of the cloud changes, like a giant Barbapapa, dancing the show of its life against the pink evening sky.

Eventually the swarm dives down, battle-flew, arises once more, to do one last farewell flight and then finally goes to sleep...

Descartes : "the ordinary laws of nature tend to produce organization"

... the raging flow slows down, characters fall into place, piece by piece. They commit into a unit. Thoughts settle down, eventually moving slower and more logically, resulting in their final shape ...
The storm settles.
It is done.

2016-05-09-1462778663-270356-1_starlings.jpg
Ideas spontaneously sprout, patches of words, too fast to grab, fly by.

2016-05-09-1462778610-6938493-2_mutmuration_birds.jpg
Separate figments spin round like autumn leaves on a windy square.

2016-05-09-1462778746-7122501-3_flock_starlings.jpg
There is some structure hidden in that chaos indeed.

2016-05-09-1462778790-4432235-4_starlingswarm.jpg.jpg
Somewhat incoherent, but slowly but surely they start to clump together.

2016-05-09-1462778970-1112952-5_murmuration.jpg
They change position and shape and like a game of Tetris, they puzzle together, faster and faster and faster ....

2016-05-09-1462779014-5640657-6_swarming.jpg
Individual clusters attract each other like magnets and they integrate so naturally and smoothly into one gigantic whole.

2016-05-09-1462779054-8864770-7_starling_murmuration.jpg
They create new compositions as naturally as can be, everything in perfect harmony.

2016-05-09-1462779092-8158162-8_starling_flock.jpg
It speeds up and slows down, shrinks and expands, goes low and high, in waves and in staccato.

2016-05-09-1462779149-2178343-9_starling_murmuration.jpg
Each player knows his role.

2016-05-09-1462778901-1105422-10_starling_murmuration.jpg
As if there's a secret agreement; this place, this time The Great Event will take place.

2016-05-09-1462779198-1255518-11_starling_murmuration.jpg
Thousands of birds shaping one gigantic bird

Photo's & text: Roeselien Raimond
www.roeselienraimond.com