Four small arcylic houses with environmental sensors inside
Art Tool/Service


An exploration to recognize the importance and value of patternlessness and how humans experience and interpret it by creating a process for generating randomness.


Gracy Whelihan


Sharon De La Cruz


The only existence of true randomness in our world comes from nature - from things such as radioactive decay, atmospheric noise, and other quantum phenomena. Most random number generators we use are Pseudo Random Number Generators (PRNGs), meaning they seem random but are calculated by an algorithm. With the right information one could predict the next element in the sequences, making it not random.   For centuries humans have been coming up with various ways to generate and use randomness. For instance, the Kleroterion was a device used by the Ancient Greeks to randomly elect citizens into government positions during its democracy. African villages employ a process called Bamana Sand Divination, in which a series of lines are rapidly drawn in the sand along with multiple steps involving recursion and addition modulo 2, to generate a symbol which then correlates to a number.   Today, our quick methods of generation include simply rolling a dice or flipping a coin. But can be as creative as using a wall of 100 lava lamps to generate randomness, like company Cloudflare, a global network, does to create encryption keys. Most commonly we rely on computer algorithms to generate randomness for us, by suggesting random passwords, recreating simulations, and adding chance into the games we play. But how do we get a machine that follows the rules to generate ruleless sequences that attempt to mimic those we see in nature. As an attempt to create a PRNG that is even closer to the randomness we observe in nature, I set out to build a generator of my own. Five environmental analog sensor inputs and an algorithm inspired by other existing PRNGs were used to generate random numbers and to further visualize the exploration of the meaning of randomness.

Four small arcylic houses with environmental sensors inside


Technical Details

Hardware: SHT31 Temperature & Humidity module KY-038 Microphone Sound sensor A1A12S202 Log-scale Analog Light Sensor VL53L0X Time of Flight Sensor Arduino Nano IoT33 Software: C++ HTML/CSS/Javascript Node.js MQTT P5.js

same acrylic house with temperature and humidity sensorsmall acrylic house with sound sensorsmall acrylic house with light sensorsmall acrylic house with distance sensor