Mark Robert Barry
UH 210 – Studioless Art
The University of Alabama
Explore chance operations and generative systems by setting up a situation that encourages chance to play a role in the making of an artwork.
- Understand the concept of chance in art making.
- Think about art making like a conductor, rather than a musician.
- Release control.
The materials used to create the artwork are open to students. Although, the final piece should be presentable (consider size, portability, etc.) to the class for critique.
- As a class, discuss the differences between chance operations, generative systems, and other possible ways to collaborate with chance.
- Spend time considering a number of options before deciding on a single direction.
- Work out logistics.
- Purchase/collect materials.
- Set up the situation in which the actual creation of the artwork is at least partially out of your control.
- Document the situation/system/machine through photography.
- Do not alter the work once the creation process is complete.
Simple situations can often lead to complex outcomes. Think and plan simply. Do not let overly complicated systems or situations that hinder—or completely shackle—the outcome.
Your processes must be repeatable. You must be able to duplicate your chance collaboration situations/structures/machines/etc. This is not to say that all art generated by a particular process must look exactly the same; however, if I ask you to make five more works using the same process, it must be possible for you to do so, and the work should reflect that repetition.
Do not endanger anyone. Do not create situations that strike, trip, lacerate, distract, or potentially injure anyone (including yourself) in any way.
Do not cause damage to private or public property. Feel free to damage your personal property.
Do not damage University property. Your process should not leave any evidence on or around University property once it is complete.
Do not invest your artworks with overt concepts; rather, create aesthetic works that focus on line, color, texture, shape, pattern, etc. For example, don’t arrange litter to read ‘Save the Planet’. Don’t use text, and avoid symbols like hearts, smiley faces, and peace signs. Cliche symbols can and will cause conceptual distractions from your aesthetic purposes.
Students are evaluated with consideration to craftsmanship, effort, following directions, and quality participation during critique.
- Tim Knowles
- Chance Conversations: An Interview with Merce Cunningham and John Cage (discussion on chance begins at 18:53)
- Joshua Davis
- Andreas Nicolas Fischer
- Some of Sol Lewitt’s wall drawings…