The origin of this paper lies in the fundamental question of how complexity arose in the course of evolution and how one might construct an artistic interactive system to model and simulate this emergence of complexity. Relying on the idea that interaction and communication between entities of a system drive the emergence of structures that are more complex than the mere parts of that system, the authors propose to apply principles of complex system theory to the creation of VERBARIUM, an interactive, computer-generated and audience-participatory artwork on the Internet, and to test whether complexity can emerge within this system.

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