Entropic Mandala Workshop

Entropic Manadala Workshop  


Sand mandalas are a spiritual and ritualistic practice performed by Tibetan Buddhists. The geometric patterns of mandalas are symbolic of the universe; a microcosm of the universe. Crafted by using coloured sand and Chakpurs, metal flutes, that are used to draw with the sand by vibrating the flute to release the sand in a controlled manner.

Traditionally the creation of sand mandalas are completed as a mediation on the central teachings in Buddhism. The process can take days even weeks to complete. On completion the complexly created mandala is swept, brushed and the geometric patterns are essentially destroyed and colours merge together. The once boundary and ordered coloured lines are disrupted and nudged into chaos, akin to the theory of entropy in the universe.

This workshop was a practice based workshop testing out and experimenting with artistic ways of communicating cosmological theories. It also presented the opportunity for participants to discover alternative methods, reflections and ways of thinking about and engaging with scientific theories.

Participants which included artists, cosmologists and members of the Royal Society, were asked to visulise their ‘universe’ thinking through their own cosmological theories they were independently working with, using hand-made Chakpurs and coloured sand. On completion participants talked through their creations and then were asked to apply ‘chaos’ to their mandalas. The participants complied, with much hesitation.