Nexus 2 is the beginning of an exploration of colour in collective intelligence art. Nexus 2.1 (right) was with a small collective of four individuals, working at different locations but connected by the internet.
It was very interesting to observe how the participants in this experiment were far more emotionally involved in the process than the previous Nexus 1 drawings, which did not include colour. Colour is clearly connected very strongly with our emotions. This is good, as conflict is required for the collective intelligence to operate. It is not to be confused with 'group think'. It is not uniform, it is working together. It 'instills human emotions and sensibilities into the emergent intellect' (Rosenberg, 2015). In the case of these Nexus 2 experiments, using democratic voting systems or polls at various stages of the process.
As the creator and facilitator of these Nexus events, it is very important that I get the structure and procedures right so that the collective intelligence can emerge - that individuals can be individuals, signalling their emotions, making propositions, but then moving on once votes have been taken, recognizing the importance of the collective, feeling at one with the process.
Observing Nexus 2.1, I think that I need to introduce into the process the idea of 'mindfulness', and a letting go of thoughts/actions as they arise. This is closely linked with the neuroscientific idea that the individual ego, consciousness even, is an illusion that is useful but not all important. The practice of mindfulness is very useful in this collective art making as it demonstrates that the individual is not a fixed, independent, unchanging identity, and that the actions of others with which we may disagree are not to be taken as a personal affront. Democratic decisions are made, actions taken, and then the collective moves on. I plan to really test the limits of this process with much larger groups. First, with over 400 students at OREC in February, 2016. A little later with the town of Oxford, NS. And finally, with large groups worldwide using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Rosenberg, P (2015) How the Internet's Collective Human Intelligence Could Outsmart AI At: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-the-internets-collective-human-intelligence-could-outsmart-ai
Nexus 2.1 by Mathew Aldred is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.