Our second assignment was to make piece that demonstrates randomness.
What is Random?
Events that appear unpredictable to us are perceived as random. Conceptually, randomness exists but the physical reality of nature is based in layers of sequences and patterns. Designing for this project, I struggled with physically representing randomness because of its inherent non-existence. I decided to take a more conceptual approach to randomness. No science or math can map out or predict the specific details of individual human minds and how we interpret information. Human perception could be considered as “cognitive randomness.”
"Conversation Piece" is based on this concept of cognitive randomness. Two people sit on either side of the symmetrical object and simultaneously turn the knobs on their side. The center knobs control the turning of the text wheels on the inside of the box and the corner wheels control the windows through which the people can view the inside. A metaphorical conversation takes place, role playing the sending, receiving, and interpretation of layered information. Physically, the act of two different people turning the separate transparent text wheels creates a random motion and view. Conceptually, the picking and choosing of different windows in which to view the layered text creates different “random” narratives/content.
Our class discussed the rolling of dice as a random event. The randomness of dice is a result of the physical action of throwing. The outcome of the throw can be only one of a set number of choices. In the case of a 6 sided dice, the result of a roll can be the number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. An estimated guess as to which number it will be is gambling. We can apply this event to the act of verbal communication -- constructing meaning through the use of established words. When we decide what we wish to say and choose the words to communicate our idea, we are throwing the dice and gambling on how the words will fall and be interpreted by our listener. Set words, various permutations.