Slow numbers

Nicolas Sanin

How “random” real events are? How random can they be? How can we predict them?
Slow numbers is an exploration of “randomness”, focusing on testing the degrees of effectiveness of different “random” generators. The goal is to reveal the nature of these methods by using them to produce “random” data that we will have the chance to analyze, observe and compare. That way, revealing subtleties of this fascinating subject and also raising new questions.


Slow numbers is an exploration of randomness, focusing on testing the degrees of effectiveness of random generators such as six-sided dice, digital algorithms and “human simulated six-sided die results”. In this process, the idea is to “harvest random results” from each method, so we can hopefully reveal possible biases and patterns on each random generation system. And we can also compare them after, to see how the definition for “randomness” works according to each method.

The goal of this project is to look at what we call Chance or Randomness, and real it’s subtleties. It is an effort to understand it by means of an interdisciplinary dialogue. And also to highlight the beauty behind it, from a conceptual point of view, and from an Aesthetical point.

The project is based on an empirical method, with an artistic vocation, inspired by the scientific methods of thinking and creating knowledge by creating practical experiments that can be analyzed after some action has been taken. Very much in the spirit of Intermedia: the collaboration between art and other disciplines. In this case, setting up a dialogue between Art, Mathematics, Probability, Electronics, Computer Science, Design, Philosophy, and Performance.

Slow numbers also pretend to raise more questions than to give true facts. The idea is that after all, we can ask ourselves many questions. Such as:

How “random” Dice Are?
How “random” can they get to be?
How “random” are different computer algorithms?
How successfully can humans simulate random outcomes?
What do we mean when we say something is “random”?
Is there such a thing as “randomness”?
Do we call random what we can’t fully explain?
Is probability right?
How can we make “randomness” useful in our lives?

“The world is governed by chance. Randomness stalks us every day of our lives. ” Paul Auster



Thesis Presentation Video

Slow numbers video documentation