Generation of Ego Dynamics


Dr Adolfo Adamo

Theatrical Writer and Director, Actor,

ESG Group Collaborator, Department of Linguistics, University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende - Cosenza, Italy.



Dr Assunta Tavernise, PhD.

ESG Group, Department of Linguistics, University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende - Cosenza, Italy.






In the performance “The Strange AttrACTOR” chaotic dynamics create the suggestion to investigate deeply  what happens inside man. The main aim of  the performance is to use the stage (and not only the stage) like another possibility to research, experiment and think about man, identity, infinity, art. In this way man introduces the actor, who in turn introduces the Strange AttrACTOR, who revolves and moves in the atmosphere created by particular music (composed starting from dynamic systems – Cellular Automata  and Chua’s System -) and  figurative representations (Strange Attractors, which emerge from Chua’s Oscillator).

Starting from fixed rules, the performance is “generated” by using the feedback coming from the audience. The metaphor foresees that psychological dynamics are chaotic: sometimes these dynamics are on a steady state, sometimes they are disordered and/or disorganized, influencing behavioural expressions. Music and video dynamics, coming from strange attractors, are present in the performance as well.


1. Introduction

Scientific disciplines are based on the experimental method, which specifies constant laws and mathematical formulas. In the evolution of a physical system it is impossible to determine exactly its future status without precise information about its initial one [1]. In fact any infinitesimal difference in the initial positions between two systems create a wide variance in their development: such kinds of systems are scientifically labelled as “chaotic”.

A “strange attractor” is a particular solution of a chaotic dynamical system, while The Strange AttrACTOR (by A. Adamo) is a theatrical performance in which the main character uses the stage like “another dimension” to think about the relationship between man and science and about himself [2]: each man’s daily life can be considered like a dynamical system with two entries [3]: inter-individual (the world) ↔ intra-individual (psychological dynamics).

2. “The Strange AttrACTOR”

Theatre is, among the arts, the closest to life. Some art forms use  inanimate materials (colours, stones, and so on), while theatrical art uses the best living material: man with his/her physique, gestures and personality.  Thus the performance The Strange AttrACTOR introduces a dialectic between cause and chaos, order and disorder, organization and self-organization, becoming a continuous “laboratory of research and experimentation”. In fact  the performance was produced in scientific settings (University of Calabria, thanks to professor Eleonora Bilotta, Pier Augusto Bertacchini, Mauro Francaviglia and Pietro Pantano) and was on stage in scientific conferences (for example, “Mathematics, Art and Industrial Culture” Conference, Cetraro – Cosenza - Italy, 19 May 2005), while the conventional theatrical stage was far away.  

The scenography of The Strange AttrACTOR is a mixture of elements used in scientific laboratories: music is composed starting from discrete (Cellular Automata) and continuous (Chua’s System) dynamical systems and there are videos which show figurative representations emerging from Chua’s Oscillator (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Some strange attractors which emerge from Chua’s System.

In “Mathematics, Art and Industrial Culture” Conference the stage was casually “built” by the audience through “strings” [4, 5], that seemed to outline a precise differentiation between the stage and the audience (Figure 2), but there was no separation. The stage can be generated  in infinite possible ways.


Figure 2. The main characters (A. Adamo, F. Bertacchini, C. Senatore)  and the “strings”.

In this way there is not “the fourth walls” and the actor can talk to the audience (Figure 3), inviting it to an active participation in the show.

Figure 3. The ”Strange AttrACTOR” (A. Adamo) and the audience.

The audience becomes a key part of the performance, or rather a “part of the observed system” in the oscillation author-actor-character. Thus the performance refers to Pirandello’s theatrical works (in particular to Ciascuno a suo modo), Von Triar’s “invisibile walls” in the movie Dogville, and Matte Blanco’s “spider web of psychological relationships”. According to Blanco [6] every knowledge of the world is a knowledge of relationships: an event is a relationship between two events  and a relationship itself, so what we know are only relationships, relationships among relationships, relationships among relationships among relationships and so on.

Scientific elements are also used in the script of The Strange AttrACTOR (laws, butterfly effects, initial conditions, strange attractors, and so on).  The fragmented and numerous Ego dynamics [7] are generated on the screen (Figure 4) following the splitting and multiplication of different personalities. Reciprocity, exchange and conflict are on stage in a “chaotic order”.

Figure 4. AttrACTOR’s multiplications (Videomaking by M.G.Lorenzi).

The AttrACTOR invites the audience to change the common way to consider the world, showing himself like a group of parts, like “Uno, Nessuno, Centomila” [8]: Luigi Pirandello wrote that a person chooses a form to look at himself in a coherent way, a single personality, but the others look at him from different perspectives; so he believes to be one for himself and for the others, but paradoxically he is many persons.

3. Conclusions

Thanks to The Strange AttrACTOR, science does not look like an austere and unyielding dimension, playing instead with the innovative theatrical language and acquiring the possibility to reach a wide audience. Even if the performance refers to scientific subjects, it is a theatrical performance which derives from the movements of the XX century: its main legacy is an attention to the psychological dynamics [9] and their expression through verbal communication. The recovery of dramatical writing runs in parellel with the link between science and body, gestures as well as man in his totality, for a new “REALTIFICIAL” theatrical art.


[1] Ceruti M.,  Lo Verso G. (1998), “Sfida della complessità e psicoterapia”. In M. Ceruti, G. Lo Verso, Epistemologia e psicoterapia. Complessità e frontiere contemporanee, Milano: Raffaello Cortina.

[2] Adamo A. , Tavernise A. (2005), Dalla scienza alla coscienza: alcune riflessioni sulla creazione dell’atto unico L’attrATTORE strano. Proceedings of “Mathematics, Art and Cultural Industry” Conference, Cetraro (Cs), 19-21 May, 2005, Bertacchini P. A., Bilotta E., Francaviglia M., Pantano P.

[3] Morin E. (1984), Scienza con coscienza, Milano: Franco Angeli.

[4] Petry M., Francaviglia M., Lorenzi M.G. (2005), Superstrings installation version 2.0, Proceedings of “Mathematics, Art and Cultural Industry” Conference, Cetraro (Cs), 19-21 May, 2005, Bertacchini P. A., Bilotta E., Francaviglia M., Pantano P.

[5] Petry M., Francaviglia M., Lorenzi M.G. (2005), The Space Between: Superstring Installation III, 8th Generative Art Conference GA2005, Milan, 15-17 December 2005.

[6] Blanco I.M. (1975), L’inconscio come insiemi infiniti – Saggio sulla Bi-logica, Torino: Giulio Einaudi Editore, trad. 1981

[7] Figà L., Dore T. (1978), La logica dell’inconscio, Roma: Edizioni Studium

[8] Pirandello L. (1926), Uno, nessuno e centomila, Milano: RCS, ed. 2003

[9] Sinisi S. (2001), Neoavanguardia e postavanguardia in Italia. In Avanguardie e utopie del teatro. Il Novecento, vol. 2, Einaudi, Torino, 2001.