# INTERVIEWS /// Francois Roche (Swarm 2/3)
This is the second interview of the Swarm thematic about R&Sie(n)‘s work and research.
Interview Leopold Lambert / september 17th
Short stories from an acephala body / f. Roche
You are using swarm/network intelligence as a process of creation. Would you say that it is a form of loss of control from the architect ? If it is the case why would you think it is relevant in our era ?
This notion has to be used carefully, to avoid a direct and reductive analogy between bird, ants and humans. The swarm intelligences work in the nature at the condition to reduce and limit the inputs, but contradictorily, humans are known to de-multiply inputs and outputs, between their perception and the illusion of their perception and the paranoia of the both…
The first who introduce for me the politic hypothesis of Swarm intelligences was Ilya Prigogine in his book ”the end of certainty’, where his thermodynamic analyze showed the opposition between Newtonian and Entropic scientific approach.
- In the Newtonian one, people consider the trajectories of particles as the way to describe a system, where everything has to be in the spectrum of predictability and forecast.
- In the thermodynamic one, people consider the whole system as a permanent and endlessness research of equilibrium and disequilibrium. The knowledge of its disorder, with the calculation of the value of entropy is not only describing it’s convulsively and the dynamic exchange, but it s integrating the non reversibility of the movement as the acceptation of the arrow of time. In this case each particle cannot be entirely predictable in their individual trajectories, and their relationship, their contingent and reciprocity behavior are able to be analyzed and described as a protocol of transformation, of dynamic metamorphosis. By this way the freedom of the system has to be qualified in his mutation with the criteria of exchange linked to internal and external environnement.
In the first case we are talking about determinism and master-planning, where everything has to be fixed, predicted and redacted, and in the second we are manipulating uncertainties, permanent adaptation, and reactive mutation according to the inputs within and around the system.
The swarm intelligences notion could be linked as the second law of thermodynamic > While a system can undergo some physical process that decreases its own entropy, the entropy of the universe (which includes the system and its surroundings) must increase overall.
If we consider the swarm as a pure protocol of neighborhood exchanges, we are reproducing again a new version of closed biotopes, with more complexity, but without entropy. At the contrary, if swarm intelligences become a strategy, a vector to resolve a dynamic conflict (as obstacle for bird), its internal logic will be intrinsically embedded in the reason of the confrontation and the agents of disequilibrium will force the system to react.
We cannot, by this way dissociate swarm intelligences to the final purpose (to avoid the obstacle). We cannot dissociate the emerging aesthetic to the recognition of ‘’causalities and dependencies’’ inputs and outputs. That is for us the first point. Swarm intelligences as to be contradictorily functionalized, or more targeted…
Ilya Prigogine demonstrated not only the importance of this permanent entropy as a factor of knowledge, he also compared the policies, the politic of the both system. On one way, the permanent research of equilibrium and disequilibrium could be compared to a democratic situation, and on the other, at the opposite, the determinism of positioning of each particle (each citizen) can be the expression of a frozen situation, as monarchy or autocracy, or the worst fascism.
But it s not innocent if Antonio Negri, in the Multitudes reactivated this notion, in it s political and social organization term, but he never tried to define the toolings, the protocols which could be able to apply this physiological and ideological approach in a human social contract and organization…
Swarm intelligence is based on a neighborhood negotiation; how do you make that happen as a designer ?
That is the unknown path we tried to borrow. What could be the data, the inputs we could used to define this individual and neighborhood protocols of exchanges. Could we use naively some cellular automata process and justify that this logic of life and death could be a mimesis of swarm intelligences social meanings. Of course not. That is tricky, naïve and ridiculous.
To take an example: Lsystem describe the mimicry of the branching of the nature but it s never describe the permanent logic of re-adaptation of the growing, of the photosynthesis exchanges and the research of the equilibrium of trees, as incremental and recursive process. We are exactly on the same borderline. Swarm intelligences cannot be reduced to a morphological toolings or computational exercises. It has to be a part of the research, but it cannot be the core of it, still less its technoid alibi. Swarm intelligences is a tool for political and social transformation, its voluntary reduction to a ‘’geek’’ attitude will burn its potential.
For example, in the ‘’Ive heard about’’ experiment, we have first tried to re-question the emission of the desires and own the desires is able to be collected to start in a second step a neighborhood protocol.
We know that the human pheromones (vector of sharing knowledge) are missing or so weak, that we cannot distribute an instantaneous and collective informational network so easily. On another way, we could suspect the language and the notion of ‘’libre arbitre’’ to be too easily influenced and manipulated (Spinoza show us how this notion could become, contradictorily our own lever of slaveness).
To start a protocol of swarm intelligences, we have first to develop the factor and vector of exchanges from something which could be shared…
One way we tried was to analyze the multiple disorder of the human secretion, the body chemical emission, and to introduce a balance between language as the expression of our personal contradictions in the public space and the neuro-biology as a direct analyze our chemical body…Some things between consciousness and pre- consciousness…negotiating the schizophrenia between the vector of the emission of ‘’ libre arbitre’’ (free will) and the chemical secretion of ’’le corps acéphale’’ (body acephala), ‘’le corps chimique, neurobiologique’’. (Concentration of Cortisol, Dopamine, Adrenaline, Melatonin…).
We have developed a nano-particle interface (see pictures) to re-read this chemical aspect with a safe intrusive system (without syringe and blood collect) by analyzing the composition of the air coming from the breathing.
The protocol is:
NANOCAPTEURS INTERFACE – Nanoreceptors, n. (physics, from nanos, 1nm = 10-9 m) -1. Nanoparticles (NP) used to capture and detect the presence of a chemical substance in a particular atmosphere. -2A. Nanoreceptors can be inhaled, making it possible to “sniff” the chemical state of the human body. -2B. Functioning: Like pollens, they are concentrated in the bronchia and attach themselves to the blood vessels. This location makes it possible for them to detect traces of stress hormones (hydrocortisone) carried by the haemoglobin. As soon as they come into contact with this substance, the phospholipidic membrane of the NP dissolves and releases several molecules, including formaldehyde (H2CO) in a gaseous state. The molecules rejected by the respiratory tract are detected using cavity ring-down spectroscopy (C.R.D.S.). This is a method of optical analysis using laser beams programmed to a particular frequency, making it possible to measure the density of air-borne molecules. The wavelength used for the detection of formaldehyde is around 350 nanometres. -3. Consequently, the nanoreceptors are becoming the pheromonal re-reading of the chemical body, as one of the vectors of the negociation between neighbourhood.
This chemical aspect in real time, could work as a substitute of the missing pheromone….
What are the political impacts of such a process ?
We will see…. First it s how this work of three year ago, in a lost territories of Paris, is becoming a subject of research in US as Pratt…I could be afraid if you are not going further, beyond of post-parametric process…
Would you say that we are heading towards an interactive ubiquity ? May you tell us a short story about it ?
Interactive is a word I try to never use. What interest us is to increase the possibility of MPD (multiple psycho disorders) to deliver an other negotiation between fiction and reality. As Alice in Wonderland, where mathematic become the support of illogic, or which appears as illogic (Lewis Carroll as mathematician)
In this case ‘’interactive’’ is something which articulate our paranoia (psycho production) with our biology (physio production)