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Random Thoughts

Digital Imaging, 2023

A closer examination of the three seemingly identical images would reveal the subtle difference in their backgrounds. Each of the (almost) invisible backgrounds together with the word “Truth” composes a static end scene that encapsulates a dynamic random generation process – a scene that is on display for only those who make the effort to lean in and look closely.


The word “Truth” in these three images is generated randomly on a computer by the p5.js creative coding library, with different randomization methods hinted by their three backgrounds – combination of letters, composition of pixels, and sampling of binary choices. While the distinctive methods reveal the potential diverse decompositions of a single object (and the potential loss of contents that comes with), they all share a common process starting with the definition of a probability space for the program to loop through, and ending at a stopping criterion in the form of a target of approximation. It is in this process revealed and recorded the utter powerlessness of reaching genuine Truth by any methods rooted in randomization. The pre-defined spaces containing all possibilities are by design finite — a promise in the asymptotes that compromises to an approximation until reaching infinity. The object of approximation is itself not genuine Truth, but merely a word that refers to it - a bank note to wealth, a shade of blue to the sky, a form to substance.


Three approximations of a simplification of Truth that look strikingly similar, this work brings attention to the power of intention, the information loss in communication, and the (often ignored) vast space between “close enough” and exactness.

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