All art can be considered, to some degree, aleatoric in that it would be impossible to control every aspect of it. the impressionists allowed a greater degree of chance to pervade their work than did the classical masters, and the abstract expressionists even more so. Dadaist intentionally used aleatoric techniques as a reactionary counterpoint to or rebellion against artistic traditions of the past. From this point of view the term aleatoric would seem refer to, not a type of art, but a degree to which the art is controlled by the artist. But the Movement of Aleatoric Modern Artists considers those periods to be precursors to true aleatoric art, a form which we recognize as a mature evolution of those past periods. The elements of chance are seen, not as by-products of the creative process, but an integral, if not central, part.
Among the methods of creating aleatoric are are:
• Initiating a state of chaos with conventional art supplies—pouring, splashing, spilling and otherwise freely applying paints and mediums to substrates and optionally moving them in other uncontrolled or haphazard ways and letting them settle as they will.
• Waiting for chaos to become art—Setting out various materials, optionally subjecting them to various natural forces such as erosion, temperature extremes, destructive organisms or other hostile environments and allowing sufficient time for transformation such as cracking, natural decay, evaporation etc. to occur.
• Setting up circumstances for chaos to become art—Creating an environment in which otherwise chaotic elements are constrained by various means such as filters, chemical reactions, or enclosing structures, barriers, baffles or channels.
• Freezing chaos at the moment it becomes art—Using high speed photography to capture specific instances in the duration of an chaotic sequence such as smoke rising, water or other liquids flowing, or splashing, fish swimming, or fire burning.
• Searching through chaos for art that has occurred—Studying, excavating, or hunting for serendipitous accidents in nature or manmade ruins collecting or photographing the object and presenting it out of context as art.
• Allowing animals to play with art supplies—giving cats, dogs, or any non-human creature carte blanche to do as they will with art materials (note: This should only be done with non-toxic materials under safe conditions so no animals are harmed in the making of art)
• Combining things that are not art until combined—Sometimes called “found object art,” this method involves collecting objects and materials and arranging them in an artistic collage, montage, or pile, then photographing or presenting them as art.
• Extracting art from chaos—This process could be as simple as pouring molten liquid plastic onto a swarm of insects, letting it harden and presenting the lamination of crumpled twisted exoskeletons caught in the throes of death as art, Or reaching ones hand into a bowl of alphabet soup, and reading your palm.
• Remove everything that isn’t art—Starting with a natural or manmade substance with an inner chaotic structure of varying densities such as grain, fibers, or knots as in wood, then using tools or solvents of variable strengths to chip, grind, erode, stress, eat, dissolve, etch or otherwise remove all material within a predetermined a range of density to reveal anything outside of that range in its structural formations.
• Synthetically reproducing organic or chaotic forms—extrapolating algorithms from the processes of nature and using them as formulas to build digital images that mimic natural structures which are often chaotic in appearance.
These are just a few of the ways in which aleatoric art can be produced. Finding other methods is as much the creative work of the aleatoric artist as is the art itself. In a sense the aleatoric artist is as much a scientist and an inventor as he is an artist and therein lies the appeal of this form of expression. By it’s very nature it holds the potential for discovery and innovation few other disciplines can offer. Aleatoric art is a yet uncharted terrain so vast that its complete coverage seems unlikely within any foreseeable future. How we approach this exciting challenge and our commitment to its continuation will determine our movements influence the shape of art to come.
There are myriad ways to create aleatoric art, each offering the artist a different degree of control over the outcome. Control is what an artist normally strives for and must master his skills through practice and study to achieve. It’s often said that too much control can be detrimental to the graceful beauty of the work, especially when the artist has prioritized technique over creativity. Though one has only to view the work of Salvadore Dali or Robert Venosa, to name two, to see that control and creativity are not mutually exclusive. Still, creativity is often associated with freedom; be it freedom from rigid control; freedom from the constraints of tradition, freedom from representational form or even freedom from the limits of imagination. The human imagination, even that of the most developed and expanded mind, still has limits even if they exist only in audiences perception. But if there can be a state of unlimited freedom or infinite possibilities it would have to be defined by what is possible in the infinite universe which encompasses everything that exists, both within and beyond our perception. The objective of the aleatoric artist is to access that which goes beyond human imagination and to avail himself, and his art, of possibilities that have yet to be imagined.