Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chaos, Turing's Oracle, and Art.

Venture Compound performance, July 2014.
 In art, we hear a lot about intent and control. This is true in computers, too. I was reading New Scientist magazine (7/19/14), about Alan Turing's "Oracle" computer, as described in his 1938 thesis. He understood that computers based on logic had their limitations. There would always be problems they could not solve and what they did solve was enslaved to that logic as well.

In his Oracle machine, he wanted to go beyond human logic. To do this, he thought to inject randomness, via a detector sensing the emission of particles from radioactive matter. Chaos as a way to break out of the logical box.

Artists can, and a very few actually use, chaos in this manner. Breaking out of one's own logic is not easy. Several artists have done it, which is often described as "re-inventing".  Sometimes less order and control is more.

--- Luis


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