"Accidental are the features which are due to a particular way of producing the propositional sign. Essential are those which alone enable the proposition to express its sense [...] A particular method of symbolizing may be unimportant, but it is always important that this is a possible method of symbolizing. And this happens as a rule in philosophy: The single thing proves over and over again to be unimportant, but the possibility of every single thing reveals something about the nature of the world." - Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 3.34.
3.34 is an exploration into the space between explicit calculation and unforeseen emergence. Within a robotically actuated system of string-like agents, the end point of each agent is cast into a continuous, self-organizing steady-state. While the three-dimensional position of the end point is explicit, the algorithm is blind to the shape created by the remaining body of the agent. The resulting form is both an essential condition of the prescribed algorithm as well as an unexpected sculpting of passive agents. This tension between explicit control and accidental form invites a meditation on the relationship between logical calculation and unexpected consequences. To what extent are we blind to the auxiliary effects of decisions in our own lives? And what does it mean to be mindful of them and treat them with as much care as those explicit decisions we make every day?