On Simplicity

Art & Philosophy Research Group

A Day Workshop ‘On Simplicity’

led by Professor Klega

Tuesday, February 17th,

10.00 am – 1.00 pm, Room D107;

2.00 pm – 5.00 pm, Room M306


Simplicity is hard to find (or define) because it is hidden behind many other concepts, from the ‘simple life’ (of living in accordance with ‘nature’), to primitivism or entropy, the simple functions in manifold and complex ways. It may function as the opposition to another concept of artistic practice that seems like an arbitrary plenitude. Equally, complexity is not necessarily the opposite of the simple. Something apparently very complex, like fractals, is based on very simple equations or rules. Complexity is embedded within the simple, but it has not yet been unfolded, or ‘explained’.


The discussion will be based on the provided text (attached, or link below). Please read the text and look up any unfamiliar authors or artists mentioned in the text. It is based on hand written lecture notes of Hannes Boehringer available as a pdf



The German edition is available under the title “Auf der Suche nach Einfachheit”, Merve Verlag, Berlin 1998.


10am-1pm: Introduction, reading of the lecture on “Simplicity” (the last section in the pdf), q&a, discussion.


1pm-2pm: lunch


2pm-5pm: Discussing examples: a) historical b) contemporary

(for art practices, please bring jpgs), discussion

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