Jean (Hans) Arp, Untitled (Collage with Squares Arranged according to the Law of Chance), 1916–17

MoMA Link - MoMA Article


from the MoMA Article:

Jean Arp and other Dada artists embraced chance as a tool for liberating creativity from rational thought. An account by his friend and fellow artist Hans Richter describes how Arp made “chance collages” like this one. Apparently frustrated with a drawing he had been working on for some time, Arp “[. . .] finally tore it up, and let the pieces flutter to the floor of his studio [. . . .] Some time later he happened to notice these same scraps of paper as they lay on the floor, and was struck by the pattern they formed. It had all the expressive power that he had tried in vain to achieve. How meaningful! How telling! Chance movements of his hand and of the fluttering scraps of paper had achieved what all his efforts had failed to achieve, namely expression. He accepted this challenge from chance as a decision of fate and carefully pasted the scraps down in the pattern which chance had determined.1 To remove his own artistic intervention even further, Arp sometimes used a paper cutter to cut the squares rather than tearing them by hand. While chance was undoubtedly the point of departure for this and other works in the series According to the Laws of Chance, the relatively ordered appearance of Arp’s collages suggest he did not fully relinquish control.


To make her patchwork textiles, Joan Truckenbrod implemented algorithms depicting natural phenomena in the programming language BASIC to create a series of abstract sequential images. She then turned the monitor of the computer, an Apple IIe, upside down on a 3M Color-in-Color copier and printed the images on heat-transfer material. After superimposing a curved pattern and reconfiguring the image components, she hand-ironed them onto polyester fiber to create the composition. The textile work is shown suspended so that its display becomes fluid—affected by light and air movement—and part of the “natural” world. Truckenbrod’s digital fabrics connect early computational art with the feminist textile art practice of the 1970s that challenged the relegation of techniques such as quilting, sewing, and weaving to the realm of “women’s crafts.” https://whitney.org/exhibitions/programmed?section=1&subsection=13#exhibition-artworks


Joan Truckenbrod, Curvilinear Perspective, 1979



Random Distribution of 40,000 Squares Using the Odd and Even Numbers of a Telephone Directory, 1960