USING CHAOS THEORY IN FILMMAKING
The artist used chaos theory* as a filmmaking tool and explored how a film can be made by using randomness as its principal structural language. While inventing a process where film’s length, type, genre and content are determined by observing and measuring random events, the artist aspired to allow a film to create itself from spontaneous occurrences in everyday material world.
In order to perform the process, the artist and his team have devised a concept of the Magic box, designed to serve as a model system of randomness. Twelve boxes were given to randomly chosen art directors, and each one had to put a random number of objects inside, seal the box and not disclose the contents to anyone. A group of random people set the boxes into a completely unorganized stash, and the artist had to choose one and pick it up on a random day.
Since the artist didn’t know what kind of a film is going to be created, its structural language and technique were decided by observing and measuring randomness that emanated from the objects concealed in the Magic box (1-7). The artist established two principal measuring methods upon opening the box: utilitarian physical measurements (using an object for its purpose and measuring the physical impact of its use) and spontaneous visual analogy (an object without immediate purpose was attributed one based on the visual similarity with another object).
The artist used the objects contained in the box as follows: confetti gun (1) was fired and the shot was measured with a meter. The length of the shot in cm decided the length of the film in seconds. In this case randomness was measured by utilitarian physical measurements.
The colours of a piñata (2) were used to determine principal colours in the film. Two dolls (3) were used to determine that dialogues would be incorporated in the film, while a roll of decorative tape (4) was used to determine that a roll of film stock is going to be used as a building block of the film. In this case, the randomness was measured by using spontaneous visual analogy.
Blank film stock was painted with fake blood (5) and melted candies (6) while peanuts (7) were ground on the film to create random texture and film noise.
The observed and measured randomness was translated into the film’s fundamental structural language – length (6:38), it’s type (animation) and technique (stop motion computer animation). Once the randomness of all objects from the Magic box was consumed, the artist decided to continue observing randomness of the material world in order to develop the content of the film.
By pure chance, only a day after opening the Magic box, a member of the film’s crew had a dangerous traffic accident where her bike was seriously smashed by a random car. She was taken to a hospital in an ambulance, and on her way she listened to random conversations of medical personnel and people surrounding her, and they were all transcribed as dialogues in the film. The accident was not only used as the antagonist in the film but the sound of the streets where it took place were recorded and incorporated in the film as well. Since the injured person was also the artist’s love, the film incorporates his emotions that were produced by that random accident and describes his personal struggle and journey to reunite with her.
While the randomness of the accident was translated into the content of the film (antagonist, protagonist, partial dialogues), its mood determined the genre (drama).
*The artist speculates that a piece of art already exists prior to its creation as a part of disordered system, and that all of its elements are persisting in a state of chaos scattered in the material world as random occurrences waiting to happen. The most common practice of creating art is through a deliberate process of creation induced by human actions that transform chaos into order. The artist wanted to challenge that practice by focusing on establishing methods of observing a film in a state of chaos and translating it into a meaningful piece of art by measuring randomness through a random model system of chaos.
THE INVENTION OF RANDOM GENERATIVE ART
When I was making my award winning experimental film Only Lovers Leave to Die I tried to break all the possible rules until breaking the rules became a rule itself, and then I just embraced chaos and randomness as the essence of my filmmaking expression. And from that point on, chaos emerged as a completely new way of making art and while providing me with unexpected structure, I realized that I’ve discovered a whole new way of making art which I named ‘random generative art’.