Order Is Numbers
In Order Is Numbers, Darren Aronofsky’s 1998 science fiction film Pi is deconstructed into its individual frames, with all frames blacked out except for those corresponding to the Fibonacci integers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…). The length of the film and the exponential growth rate of the Fibonacci sequence allow for only 25 frames, with the majority of them appearing in the first 3 minutes. At 1/25 frame per second, each frame is but a flicker, barely registered by the viewer’s eye.
The film centers on Maximillian (“Max”) Cohen, whose obsession with discovering the underlying pattern within the chaos of the stock market gradually leads to self-destructive behavior. The number “pi”, the Fibonacci sequence, and the golden ratio are intricately connected in the film, serving as mathematical proofs in Max’s relentless quest for the ultimate order and pattern amidst seemingly chaotic systems.
Gaviria’s self-reflexive visual study functions as a time-based code that mirrors the exact scheme Max Cohen seeks, representing one code within another. In its altered format, the film reconstructs the original 84-minute narrative using only a limited number of scattered images, creating a daunting and, perhaps, contrived representation reminiscent of Max Cohen’s personal search for patterned order within chaos. Ultimately, Gaviria’s treatment of the film serves as a reaffirmation that the line between order and chaos is subjective and fragile, and it is a construct of our own making, devoid of intrinsic meaning beyond the significance we choose to impose upon it.