Entropic System is an interactive artwork comprised of a 2-axis “drawing” machine and a real-time display screen. The machine draws on a terrain of glimmering Black Beauty sand (that is, in fact, coal slag). A solid gold-colored pendulum is suspended from the machine to graze the surface of the sand. Controlled by a small microcontroller, the pendulum slowly inscribes complex geometric patterns covering the surface of the sand over a period of time.
Motion sensors detect when visitors are in close proximity and cause the machine to move much quicker, spurring the pendulum to swing and spiral – altering the originally calculated geometry. It can then take several minutes for the machine to stabilize and return to its purpose of creating pure patterns. On the nearby screen, a continuous real-time feed provides a satellite point-of-view of the pendulum’s movements. This system is symbolic of the politicization of ideologies, dictating responses to activities outside and within its borders.
Laleh Mehran constructs elaborate artworks focused on complex intersections between politics, religion, and science. The progeny of Iranian scientists, Mehran’s relationship to these issues is necessarily complex; even more so given today's political climate in which certain views can have extreme consequences. Her research, often modeled on and about the very ideas of science and technology, takes advantage of their cultural importance in order to articulate a set of ideas which require precisely these kinds of mediations from both political and religious intolerance. Mehran received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work has been shown individually and collaboratively in venues including the International Symposium on Electronic Art (United Arab Emirates), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), Electronic Language International Festival (Brazil), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Massachusetts), The Georgia Museum of Art (Georgia), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pennsylvania), Denver Art Museum (Colorado), Biennial of the Americas at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Colorado), 404 International Festival of Art & Technology (Argentina), Next 5 Minutes 4 Tactical Media Festival (Netherlands), and the European Media Arts Festival (Germany). Mehran is a Professor in Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver.