Uncreative Design

A5 – Chance

For first you write a sentence,
And then you chop it small;
Then mix the bits and sort them out
Just as they chance to fall:
The order of the phrases
makes no difference at all.

-Lewis Carroll: “Poeta fit, non nascitur.” In: Rhyme? and Reason? London: Macmillan, 1883.¬†Reprinted in: The works of Lewis Carroll (Teltham/Middlesex, 1965), p. 804.

How do you generate a composition that will entirely surprise you? That is yours, but for which you could not predict the outcome? This week, you will invent or find a chance procedure that generates interesting compositions. You should bring a minimum of 10 of these compositions to class. Try to bring a range of compositions based on the same chance operation: boring ones, surprising ones, interesting ones, meaningful ones.

Consider the source of your chance procedure: does it reveal something about the world you live in? About you? Is chance the same as pure randomness, or does chance relate to the odds of something happening in a given context? Is exploring these odds meaningful? Do chance operations allow the context to imprint itself on your compositions?

slides: chance