The American scientist John Lilly described his isolation tank as a hole in
the universe: through the deprivation of all sense stimuli, one is confronted
with oneself, and this, in turn, results in altered states of consciousness.
Modern physics is also exploring this chaotic emptiness - aggravated
through Heisenberg´s uncertainty relation. Here it deals with the scratches
and spots in a netherworld of blurred material traces. Departing from a
concept introduced in the 19th century by the paleontologist Cuvier, mathematical
differential topology led up to the theory of catastrophes. Stanislaw Lem predicted
in his book „The Principle of Catastrophes“ that creative destruction would become
a leitmotif of the 21st century. He describes the world as an agglomeration of
coincidental catastrophes - determined by strict laws- and extreme global and
intergalactic catastrophes as being a prerequisite for the development of human life.