Randomness and Contingency

Predictability arises out of unpredictability. This strikes at the core of the apparent contradictions between the infinitesimal at the quantum level and the macro-scale that we experience. What we see around us, experience, perceived reality, is actually made of countless random events that when massed together even out to a mean across a distribution curve. This counterintuitive thinking is allied to that of the accumulated contingent events giving the impression of inevitability, of purpose. What I see as hindsight is the result of such things falling into place and shaping my expectation of future events. Probability and randomness are close cousins. We have not evolved to think in such terms but with certainty. I have mentioned this before. Certainty ensures that the tiger hidden in the undergrowth does not eat you.

This video on Aeon a couple of weeks ago explores this counterintuitive world, the construction of meaning from something ultimately meaningless. A Borgesian library of possibilities extending infinitely in all directions and all we can do is stay in one room with one book and pore over it, re-arranging its letters like some Aristotle playing with syllogisms of what we might call truth. Every so often, a page offers up an image, a sound, a feel, a touch that fills this existence with more than a desperate fear of dissolution or the delirious joy of survival. It can sing a song of love of existence and the world.

This thinking has given me an idea for ‘composing’ the sound element for Enshrinement. It is a way of amalgamating sacred and secular text in a holistic expression in different voices. Meaning is deconstructed and reconstructed stochastically, a new sense is made from the combination of chaos and randomness. Perhaps this says something about our humanity having arisen out of the chaos of creation.

I am here touching on some of the elements I hinted at in Grappling with the Angel earlier this year. It deals with words, focusing on a single work and letting others orbit under its influence. This has given rise to the video I composed today for the pop-up show Entanglement going up next week. I have not used the video as a medium but rather as a sensitive tool. For this reason, I choose to work with the software Vinci Resolve which is simple to use but allows me to employ just the right amount of technical devices to get the message across.