Synopsis

Standard theoretical models arising from within particular cultural contexts are often characterized by poly-reductive methodologies that radiate and diffuse paradigmatic approaches, thus favoring static and linear ontological worldviews. Nevertheless, concurrent and interrelated inquiry into the dynamics of uncertainty suggests alternatives to prevailing attitudes. DPrime positions itself in an autonomous zone of research where alternatives to the over-reliance on purely reductionist and representational models of computation, natural systems and cognitive phenomena can be explored. Inquiries into adaptive and exceedingly complex information systems (e.g. brains, bacterial colonies, companies) guide our research, exemplifying fundamental principles that can be used for strategic operations and analyses involving new forms of social and cultural organization.
Part research and development think tank, part science and technology start-up and part cultural and community organization, DPrime is an ensemble of artists and academics that collectively embody the classical institutional identity, thus enabling experimental research and development endeavors characterized by aggressive transdisciplinarity and a continuously shifting, heterogeneous structure. Phenomena such as complexity, self-organization, emergence, autonomy and ambiguity are common areas of inquiry. Solutions are informed by collaborative expertise, including implementations of artificial intelligence, machine learning, systems theory, biocomputing, dynamical systems, cognitive psychology, phenomenology, cultural theory and art.

General Research Areas

Ontology
Ontology refers to the philosophical study of the nature of being and existence. While somewhat related to the concept of the same name from the field of artifical intelligence, ontology in the context of DPrime’s research is not specifically concerned with structured (and/or static) concepts and their interrelations (i.e., knowledge representation) but rather how concepts arise and how they shape our understanding of the world and our relationship to it. While not eschewing epistemological concerns, we at DPrime are guided by the belief that ontology makes a difference. How one imagines the world influences the technological systems that they create to act in that world.
Complexity
The complexity of a given system or phenomenon is dependent upon the way in which it is conceived of and described. Systems or phenomena that occupy domains that might be characterized as ultra or exceedingly complex are of primary interest to DPrime. Systems of this nature are not fully knowable, or are entirely unpredictable, using standard theoretical models and methods. At DPrime, theories of complexity provide insights into how exceedingly complex systems might be designed and how human agents might interact with such systems.
Emergent Phenomena
Closely related to notions of self-organization and structural autonomy, emergence refers to something unanticipated and unpredictable, something that is more than the sum of its parts; manifesting complexity and nuance from simple, commonplace beginnings. Notoriously difficult to quantify, emergence in a system means that it exhibits relationships between its various parts that cannot be deduced from knowledge of the functioning of the inidividual parts. Not a preexisting property but one which is contingent upon the point of view of an observer, methods for recognizing when emergent properties occur is an important arena of activity at DPrime.