A wonderful coincidence

PKMA-567, 2019
↳ PKMA-567, 2019

I still don't know much about art. Thousands of works of art, events and people float in my head and heart like beacons or obstacles, between which I paddle with new technology in the shower of daily distractions that overwhelm my own experiences, thoughts and insights.

Even with the help of new technology, the computer, the images continue to appear as gifts to me. The spontaneous becomes even faster than before a kind of insight or recipe, now waiting on the screen right in front of my nose. It's confronting: your thoughts as an editable element with a history and a precisely identifiable location.

The machine gives you the possibility at any time to return to a previous moment and create a new variant. Endless repetition of almost the same thing in which chance always seems to appear suddenly. My brain, enlightened by feelings, is an excellent partner for the electric-powered calculators. The interaction of these two creates the desired coincidence.

Coincidence thrives perfectly in that repetitive tinkering with instructions for the machines. As with ordinary language, when working with code I have to tell myself that the instructions are clear and articulate exactly what has to be shown.

It can take a very long time before, in a cloud of self-delusion, instructions lead to something interesting. After a while, the endless adaptation and execution of the tinkered codes always becomes unbearable. The list of variants becomes as big as the urge to delete. Sometimes all that remains is the hope of a happy coincidence, which then suddenly emerges from that endless repetition. Chance and conception are inextricably linked in the illusion of what is supposed to happen.

So I write very intentionally almost always the same instructions to produce repetitive variations with still that blatantly minimal figuration in as artificially constructed compositions as possible. With coincidence sometimes literally added into the code as a variable parameter. Once or several times. Only then can the addictive rain dance begin of adjusting and playing over and over again. Sometimes it drips right away, sometimes a miraculous gust of rain, but often there are those long periods of cork-dried repetition.

This interaction with the machine, this verbal exchange with the used program results in a multitude of possible works. They are saved, named and shown: the moment at which the works can be launched. Some remain floating in the sight of everyone who wants to see them, sometimes they drift towards a vague horizon or sink slowly until they only exist as a forgotten file in a folder.

But every conceived and accidentally generated image permeates every next image that appears afterwards. Also in that temporary blinding by the successive mixing of images, chance seems to show itself again and again as a seemingly thoughtless gift.

Author: Hans Verhaegen, 2020