A couple of weeks ago, I attended an Upgrade! SF meeting filled with artists, writers, theorists, and curators within the new media arts community. The evening was filled with conversation around Chance Operations and stochastic methods related to the art making process. Luke Ogrydziak, principal architect at Ogrydziak / Prillinger Architects gave a brief talk around chance in the architecture and design processes. His presentation touched heavily on the idea of indeterminable factors affecting a final outcome or product. For instance, some of the objects constructed through C++ programming language. Although there is an element of precision through the computation, the digital environment also allows for chance to create sculptural pieces such as Time-Out / Temps Mort (pictured). Specific constraints may prohibit physical and manual production of this piece but Chance Operations, with advancements in technology, allow for organic forms to emerge.
Matt Ganucheau, San Francisco based artist, views chance as a sterile aspect of the art making process. Chance requires a bit of action. He stated,
Chance is a stimulant that requires an agent and a seed. Once you increase the production, you begin to see repeat occurrences, thus chance increases. It is always apart of the process but only through repetition do we see its potential.
Another interesting point brought up during the evening was the intent of an artist. Intention plays a major role in how chance is revealed. It’s one thing for an artist to work in solitude and engage in experimentation strictly for oneself. It’s a completely different story and outcome when the artist relinquish control of production and leaves chance up to the viewer thus making them a producer. Essentially, everything produced within an art practice and process still requires calculation and precision. Regarding John Cage’s methods of art and music making, I’m curious how technology eliminates, illuminates, or adds yet another layer or modality of Chance. Even after acts and gestures are performed within an art practice, choice determines an outcome and not necessarily chance. I’m curious, as an artist, a writer, technologist, etc. what do you define as chance operations and how has it played a role in your practice and creative process?
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Look for the following question and join the discussion, “With advancements in technology, from photography apps to programming language to 3D printing, are Chance Operations necessary in the art making process? Why or why not?”
Originally posted to ZERO1, please view the blog post here