Research Observations: ‘never an accident if you respond’ J.P

754px-Chimpanzee_seated_at_typewriterNotes and general cognitive ramblings from a recent meeting.

Jackson Pollock on accident and intention: “Its not accident if you respond”.

There are two approaches to the use of chance in creative artistic practice.

  1. Chance Procedures: in the vein of John Cage’s use of chance. Through a strict procedural approach, process and strategy can be designed to implement chance.
  2. Chance as accident: A more intuitive and spontaneous approach to chance. Responding to the ‘accident’. An approach more akin to that of improvisation.

    The sound artist Maria Chavez’s use of chance more akin to the latter – fortuitous, serendipitous?

Plan / Areas to consider:
  • Exploring cultural notions of chance:
    Judeo / Christian traditions in theology: ‘divine providence’
  • Cultural scoping of the main terms and understandings:
    Eastern thought
  • Etymological roots:

Cross-cultural perspective:
John Cage infiltrated socio religious thought to determine his approach to chance and his creation of ‘chance procedures’.

Israelite Priests and Determinism and chance:
When it came to making decisions, Israelite priests would roll dice with the belief that; ‘God would civilise the result’.

On the difficulty of making clear accurate definitions of these concepts.
Computer programs input and programmed with the relevant algorithms and data required to generate the definitions of their processes?

Parallels between Chance and improvisation:
Improvisation the widest parameter of the field / context of investigation?

Maria Chavez – an entirely improvised process?

Chance through her use of ‘found material’ and her acquisation of vinyl / not listening to new material until the performance.

Improvised use of a chance process?

Procedural accidents?

The aesthetics of chance procedures?

Probability and likelihood a form of chance / chance procedure?

Context of gambling and odds: enough times you can determine the outcome

Infinite monkey theorem: given enough time, a hypothetical monkey could type the complete works of Shakespeare..

Chance and inconsistency:
Computer Sciences and ‘the ghost in the machine’
One could design all the algorithms and programme every detail and yet still irrational results may occur.

⇒Design systems and programmes that are generative – design / make themeslves / art work. – Brian Eno ‘Reflection’ and generative music.

‘The minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction’ – Physics.

Processes take place on a quantum level. Gain a more rounded deeper understanding of the major themes and concepts on a wider more general level.


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