Formulas for Now

Formulas for Now

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Imaginative formulas for negotiating contemporary life from an eminent group of artistic and scientific minds.

For centuries the formula has been one of the building blocks of human knowledge. In mathematics and science, formulas express information symbolically—to solve a problem, to describe an observable phenomenon, or to postulate a theory. More generally, a formula can be a plan of action; a statement or declaration; a definition or rule; or a list of ingredients or recipe to achieve a desired outcome.

For all the contributors to this unique volume—including eminent minds from the fields of art, science, mathematics, performance, architecture, design, literature, and sociology—the formula is a fruitful way of investigating the nature of human existence. Selected especially for the book, more than one hundred invited participants have produced or chosen their own personal formulas to express the realities of contemporary life and to offer a means of negotiating a path through it.

At times quirky and idiosyncratic, witty and playful, some of the formulas here register an indisputable fact or propose a speculative idea; others provide a method of bringing order to a complex universe—or point to the impossibility of doing so; still others suggest propositions for a better future. Together they help us understand who we are and the world in which we live.

Contributors include Marina Abramovic; David Adjaye; John Baldessari; Matthew Barney; Louise Bourgeois; Thomas Demand; Elizabeth Diller; Olafur Eliasson; Brian Eno; Damien Hirst; Rem Koolhaas; Jeff Koons; Harry Mathews; Yoko Ono; Gerhard Richter; Nancy Spero; Rosemarie Trockel; Wang Jian Wei; James Watson. 105 illustrations, 48 in color.

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