RANDOMNESS, (DIS)ORDER, AND GENERATIVITY
Marie-Pascale Corcuff, Renaud Munch, Gwenn Rannou: RANDOMNESS, (DIS)ORDER, AND GENERATIVITY. In: Generative Art 2014.
One of the most used, but maybe most controversial, terms, when one refers to generative art, is randomness.
In “Chance and Generativity” (GA 2008), chance (randomness) was examined relatively to generative processes, and mainly considered along the huge possibilities of combinatorics and the necessity of arbitrarily (and then randomly) choosing among results, which are all, though not strictly identical, definitively similar. Here we explore randomness with its links to order and disorder, and its capacity to generate forms or structures.
First, one needs to objectively define those terms (randomness, disorder), along with others like entropy, complexity, and confront their reality, which can be measured as probabilities, to our perception of them. For instance, interacting randomness may lead to something which seems more ordered, though actually it is not (cf Jennifer Galanis and Martin Ehler, “Disorder disguised as Order”, GA 2011). This topics can be illustrated in many ways.
Those illustrations of randomness comprise constrained packings (of rods, circles, ..., which must not overlap) and the more or less ordered structures they generate, according to the rules one gives oneself in the packing.
Some rules may be interpreted as behaviours. Then we can see how more or less random behaviours (erratic walk especially) may paradoxically generate forms that are ordered at some level.
All those experiments illustrate phenomena like emergence, spontaneous patterns, crystallisation, and so on, and let us think about the links between nature, science, and art.
 Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, 1777, “Mémoire sur le jeu du franc carreau”, Essai d’arithmétique morale
 Boris D. Lubachevsky, Ron L. Graham, Frank H. Stillinger, “Spontaneous Patterns in Disk Packings” https://www.princeton.edu/~fhs/paper239/index.htm
 Marie-Pascale Corcuff, Marie-Pascale Corcuff, “Chance and Generativity”, GA 2008, Milano, 2008