Carl Lostritto
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The Value of Randomness in Art and Design
Ask a designer or artist if any aspect of their process is random. The answer will likely reveal a complex relationship between human cognition, digital media, authorship, and even conceptions of reality and the divine. For those of us who work in computational media to make art, the question can be even more focused: When and why do you use a "random()" function when you write code? Randomness is not a new concept. For example, a method for random selection—essentially drawing one lot from many out of a helmet—is explained in Homer's Iliad. Even in pre-Newtonian 17th-century discourse relating chance, cause, and necessity, a distinction was made between events which appeared to be random—but merely being unpredictable—and events which were truly random.
At Fast Company: Design, Evid3nce: What the science has to say about design, creativity, innovation, and visual culture.