Skip to main content

COT x Music #5: Can we hear self-organization? - Dr. Tomas Veloz & Dr. Vincenzo de Florio

Location: Online
Add to personal calendar



Zoom Meeting link:
Meeting ID: 974 6991 5284
Passcode: CDfe3Y


Chemical Organization Theory is a formal method to study autopoietic properties of a reaction network, which can represent not only a biochemical, but also economic, social, cognitive, or any general system. The dynamics of an organization can be highly non-trivial, as complex self-organizing mechanisms are generally required to keep its autopoietic structure. By applying a method to convert time-series of general kind into sounds of instruments developed by Vincenzo de Florio, we are able to "play" the dynamics of the reaction network,  by either interpreting the time-series of the concentration of the species of the network, or interpreting the time-series of the happening of reactions. Since the behaviour of the reaction network is or not autopoietic depending on its structure, initial conditions, and dynamical constraints, we can explore the sound that emerges from the different types of behaviour that the system exhibits at the species and reaction levels.


Dr. Tomas Veloz has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies and an MSc in computer science, with majors in mathematics and physics. He is one of the few experts worldwide in COT, who has proven mathematical results such as the decomposition theorem and the existence of quantum-like organizational structures. Over the last years, he has developed novel algorithmic methods to make the analysis of organizations computationally tractable.

Vincenzo de Florio is a computer science researcher and an amateur musician and composer. As a researcher, he received a PhD in applied sciences from the University of Leuven, and was post-doctoral researcher at K.U.Leuven and UAntwerpen. He is now a researcher with CLEA/VUB. His major interests are resilient systems and organization, adaptive and evolving systems, computational antifragility, complex systems, philosophy of science. He has published more than 100 papers and his google scholar  H-index is 24. In 2013 Vincenzo received an IBM Faculty Award for his research. He was keynote speaker and gave seminars in many prestigious venues. As an amateur composer, he writes jazz, neo-classic, prog-rock compositions, and Grundgestalts (Generative and hybrid compositions). One of his hybrid compositions was selected by Roel Vergauwen (programmator of the Rock Werchter) and broadcast on Studio Brussels last year.


The COT x Music online seminars discuss the possible applications of reaction networks - in particular the Chemical Organization Theory (COT) - to generative systems in art, focusing on music & sound. This series is an international collaboration around the research project "The Origins of Goal-directedness: a Formal Scenario based on Chemical Organization Theory and Cybernetics" led by the Center Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit Brussels and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. 

Read more about the seminars here:
and about the research project: