Response to Casey Reas

I didn’t realize how fascinating the concept of randomness is until I watched Reas’ talk, especially when it comes to its real-life implications. He mentions that chaos inherently exists in nature, which contrasts to the way the society always tried to build order out of it. But ironically enough, as much as we try to break free from this chaos, we often need to artificially introduce randomness to incorporate meaning into the things we create (to the extent that we published an entire book of just random numbers!). In fact, accounting for randomness is essential to reflect the reality at all – in modeling behaviors of everything from particles to human minds. A great example of this in the talk was the simulation of the conceptual vehicles that had sensors wired differently across their receptors, and I found it really interesting that Reas had to manually introduce noise and imperfections to, ironically, better represent their dynamics.

I was also inspired by the way different artists reflect the theme of natural chaos vs ordered society, and especially how they make balance to create beauty in their artworks. I liked the arbitrary ruler, which was almost like the artist’s objection to living within the construct created by the ordered society. Furthermore, the artist actually used the ruler to make other artworks out of it, and I thought it was fascinating that something that was built from complete chance could be used to create a construct of its own – a perfect example where chaos and order coexist.

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