25th Art Division New Face Award

The Transparency of Randomness

Media installation

Mathias GARTNER / Vera TOLAZZI[Austria]


The installation encourages the visitors to ponder on real randomness. In the space, 27 transparent boxes are placed, and each one of them automatically rolls the dice and generates random numbers. The ensemble of all generated numbers forms the basis for real-time calculation and generative art. The slopes on which the dice are rolled are covered with natural materials such as cotton and moss, allowing the complexity of nature to be integrated. The viewers can control one of the boxes on their smartphone and become an active part of the creation of numbers. In a space echoing with the sound of dice rolling, they are invited to reflect on chance and randomness, as well as the utilization of randomness in today’s research fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum mechanics.

Reason for Award

Initiated by Marcel DUCHAMP, randomness has been widely used as a basis for the creation of artwork throughout the 20th century. Inspired by I CHING, John CAGE used randomness as an essential tool in the production of music, art, and writing. He paved the way for the next generation of artists. The creators of this work explored the mathematical and philosophical aspects of randomness and produced this humorous installation that generates random numbers through physical encounters with real dice and organic materials such as orange slices. It is a random number generator in which natural elements play a central role. It clarifies the fundamental usefulness and the significance of random numbers in the universe. (Christophe CHARLES)