»The Magic Hand of Chance« by Roman Verostko | i |
creators: Roman Verostko
title: The Magic Hand of Chance
year: 1982 -1985

One frame from an animated sequence shown on an RGB monitor driven by a PC. A coded procedure generates an endless sequence of forms with titles.

artwork type: other

“My first effort with coded procedures attempted to use the operating system of the computer as the form generator. This would be a form of “computer automatism”, miming the work of certain late Dada and early surrealist works. I had in mind especially how artists like Hans Arp had experimented with dropping torn shapes of paper on the floor to achieve a composition with “chance” arrangements.

Also I recalled the Dada poets play with a procedure they referred to as the “exquisite corpse” (cadavre exquis). Participants wrote words or phrases on slips of paper that were randomly arranged as a poetic expression. My “Magic Hand of Chance” attempted to mime that procedure via algorithms coupled to computing power. I built random-access dictionaries, along with a primitive syntactical procedure for generating titles and bits of automatic writing.

The “Magic Hand of Chance” was capable of generating an endless sequence of original visual themes along with original titles and occasional sequences of a kind of computer “wisdom” literature that I labeled as the “Sayings of Omphalos”.

These sequences were indeed a form of computer automatism, an elementary step towards artificial life and and artificial intelligence."


enter new comment
Please, be adviced that you are entering your text into a database, not into a social network! By entering a comment, you add to the database. We much appreciate comments making us aware of errors or deficiencies.