::: chance :::

when & where

the exhibit "chance" runs from october 19, 2017 - october 2018 at the tweed museum of art.

an opening celebration will be held the evening of october 19, 2017. there will be additional events announced as the year unfolds.

» download postcard

video work samples

work in progress / sketches

chance core screen recordings ::: 1 screen
prelude to chance screen recordings / circles ::: 1 screen
prelude to chance screen recordings / lines ::: 1 screen
sound fabric for the chance project

track » northern spark 2017 ::: prelude to chance

track » minimalist soundscape for out-of-phase multiple channels


chance, uncertainty, randomness, variability, noise, polyphony, ecosystems, multi-threadedness, dynamical systems, networked art, generative art, algorithmic art, orchestration, language, humans and machines, webs, stuttering before god


Chance is a synergetic installation that combines code, image, and sound to create a cross-sensory, polyphonic experience. A landscape of painted walls and multi-channel sound encloses the viewer. Choreographed by code, a circle of machine quartets investigate chance, emergence, friction, resonance and change.


"Chance" is a site-specific work for the Tweed Museum's Sax Gallery. It is composed of eight networked machine quartets. A circle in circle orchestration governs the rendered dynamics within each quartet and within the whole. A spatially-distributed soundscape creates a near / far aural experience that converges, collides ::: articulates the space ::: stains the walls.

The pattern of 4 is repeated in the machine quartets, color palette and in the 4 tonal centers that mirror the strings of the cello. For several months leading up to the Fall opening, the walls will be painted ::: the human imprint ::: the hand ::: cave drawings. The space will be tuned ::: the sound shaped to the room.

Chance will open on October 19, 2017. I envision the year-long exhibit to have the feel of a living, evolving space ::: a residency / habitation / research lab / performance space. Printed artifacts will be left in the space to give the feel of blueprints / notes ::: a score. A table on the balcony and near the main floor entrance will hold these materials. A bench and yoga mats will be available for visitors to linger awhile.

This is a time of great planetary change and political turmoil. Chance has evolved under these skies. There is a machine / human friction present in the space. As the work evolves I have a sense of stuttering before god ::: a struggle towards language & coherence ::: an ongoing ritual of conceal & reveal / imprint & erasure.

other thoughts

This work explores the intersections between art & technology / humans & machines / polyphony & mathematical systems. Mathematical models are often used to represent physical systems ::: our ideas about how the world works. They are like a score / orchestration / script / generative code. They act out the assumptions embodied in our model of the world. They are a blueprint to draw the contours of change and movement ::: convergences, divergences, emergent patterns and cascading, system-level impacts. Mathematical models help us see the implications of our way of knowing the world around us ::: they help us question our frame. They are an expression of our longing to know the mystery of this place we inhabit. Numerical experiments provide insight into the complexity and profound tension between independent threads and the bounds of interconnected webs ::: the polyphony of life.

Chance is a frayed thread, a stochastic cloud, a pointillist field, a variance, a complexity, an uncertainty, a ragged line. Chance is a prayer ::: slim window of chance ::: survival in this time of profound climatic change. Evolution requires variability, chance and fruitful deviation. A system's ability to adapt to change depends on its ability to mutate ::: on trial & error & improvisation.

This installation combines code, paint, and sound. A pure tone can be modeled with a sine wave. Sounds produced by horsehair, pine pitch, metal, wood, friction, sinew, bone, breath and reed are a complex crash and tumult of waves more like an ocean than an oscilloscope. Worldly sound is gorgeous in its noise and deviance from pure tone. The exhibit blends the generated hum of sine waves hovering near 4 tonal centers with a subtle chordal wash of natural sound.

Indeterminacy ::: a line opens into a surface of possibilities. Random numbers ::: probabilities ::: a pattern emerges from the haze. Time & space carve out convergence or dissolution ::: balance, extinction or chaos.

Connectance ::: ecosystems embody the tension / balance between individual life threads and the complex web of community. Resilience of the whole depends on intricate relationships between the parts. To live in a networked, interdependent system is to be bound but also to be fed.

still media sketches

generated tests

thank you

Exhibition funded by Tweed Museum of Art, UMD, Marguerite L. Gilmore Charitable Foundation Fund, and through funds from the Minnesota States Arts Board through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment

Funding for an early prototype was provided by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.


technology used