Yingyang Zhou-LookingOutwards-6

This is a collection of work of a course happened during 2015 spring in RISD led by Carl Lostritto who is a Graduate Program Director and Assistant Professor of Architecture at RISD.

Aaron Tobey

Rami Hammour: A text of random meaning!

Matthew Solomon



These work are inspired by the most reliable source of randomness universally available on the computer, random.org, which samples natural phenomena and digitally records and processes it to achieve “true” randomness, many students are inclined to operate physically, and experiment with material media to generate random values. Students find themselves facing the same quandary raised by Bishop Derry. Something like a splatter of paint may be unpredictable at first, but as the mechanism for splattering paint becomes more controlled–and less contingent, it becomes clear that randomness can be rarely achieved by physical means–at least on the scale of paint. But it can certainly be done. Lavarand is one example in which the behavior of Lava Lites helps to generate random numbers. Another related example entails creating a manually-operated random machine with geometry. In a course I once taught, Matthew Solomon created a random number generator with a triangle as a seed. A line bounces within the triangle based on a set of rules. Numbers are generated based on where the line intersects the edge of the triangle. Aaron Tobey wrote a script to execute a similar though slightly more complex series of geometric operations and logical rules to build a random sequence.

The work suggests that computing may serve as a medium for art rather than a tool to make art. Because randomness so inhuman, to wield might mean to undermine our humanity, but it also might function as a foil in our efforts to better understand the nature of our own creative instincts.


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