Experimental Poster Design Project


Experimental Poster Design : Clockwork Universe

Inspired by a piece of discordian philosophy called the aneristic illusion which states:

"We look at the world through windows on which have been drawn grids (concepts). Different philosophies use different grids. A culture is a group of people with rather similar grids.

Through a window we view chaos, and relate it to the points on our grid, and thereby understand it. The ORDER is in the GRID. That is the Aneristic Principle.

Western philosophy is traditionally concerned with contrasting one grid with another grid, and amending grids in hopes of finding a perfect one that will account for all reality and will, hence, (say unenlightened westerners) be True. This is illusory [and is known as the Aneristic Illusion]."


This poster explores this idea on a number of levels both mathematically and aesthetically. It features a clockwork like machine representing a rationalist, scientific and mechanistic view of the universe. The machine in this poster is the result of a Lindenmayer System or L-System for short.

L-systems are sets of rules and symbols (also known as "formal grammars") that mathematically model evolutionary growth processes. Although this clockwork object looks at first glance a chaotic or artistic creation, it is merely the result of a mathematically modeled evolutionary process (in this case rendered in 3D using a mathematical scripting language). At its core it is based upon a simple and fixed set of rules and symbols.

Here it is used to represent the mechanistic view of the universe, in the midst of apparently chaotic surroundings. But are they truly chaotic?

The background to this piece is modeled using random variables and chaotic mathematics but is ironically itself the result of a defined system. It is merely that the resultant output from this system is too complicated to reverse engineer to discover the principles behind its creation in the same way that might be done with the clockwork machine if it were to be considered in sufficient depth for long enough.

There has and probably always will be a religious aversion to the idea that all of reality can ultimately be explained in mechanistic terms that are currently beyond our understanding.