Aleatory means "pertaining to luck", and derives from the Latin word "alea", the rolling of
dice. Aleatoric, indeterminate, or chance artis that which exploits the principle of randomness.
An example of aleatory writing is the
automatic writingof the French Surrealists involving dreams, et cetera. The French literary group Oulipofor example saw no merit in aleatory work and its members altogether eliminated chance and randomness from their writing, substituting potentialityas in Raymond Queneau's "Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes ( Hundred Thousand Billion Poems)".Fact|date=August 2008clarifyme|date=August 2008 Luke Rhinehart's novel " The Dice Man" tells the story of a psychiatrist named Luke Rhinehart who, feeling bored and unfulfilled in life, starts making decisions about what to do based on a roll of a die.Fact|date=August 2008
Charles Hartman discusses several methods of automatic generation of poetry in his book "The Virtual Muse".Citation
last = Hartman
first = Charles
title = The Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry
place= Hanover, NH
publisher = Wesleyan University Press
year = 1996
isbn = 0819522392 (see especially pp. 54–64.)]
Pierre Boulezapplied the term aleatoric musicto his own pieces to distinguish them from the indeterminate musicof John Cage, though both are often described as aleatory. While Boulez purposefully composed his pieces to allow the performer certain liberties with regard to the sequencing and repetition of parts, Cage often composed through the application of chance operations without allowing the performer liberties. Another prolific aleatory music composer is Karlheinz Stockhausen. [Sabine Feisst, "Losing Control: Indeterminacy and Improvisation in Music Since 1950", "New Music Box" ( 1 March 2002): § [http://www.newmusicbox.org/page.nmbx?id=35tp02 "Aleatory—Pierre Boulez"] .] Qubais Reed Ghazala, founder of the circuit-bending chance-music movement, is an important contemporary chance artist also pioneering aleatoric work in visual media (original techniques in suminagashi, dye migration, aperture shift photography).
In film-making, there are several avant-garde examples; Andy Voda's "Chance Chants" (1979) was created completely using various chance operations (coin flip, choosing words out of a hat, a recorded "telephone game", the vagaries of tracing over drawings) in the decision-making for each creative choice. It was a three part film, the first part being a hand-made computer film, the second a visualization of Allison Knowles' [http://www.aknowles.com] computer poem "House of Dust", and the third a visualization of evolution through a children's telephone game.
Fred Camper's "SN" (1984, first screening 2002) [Fred Camper, [http://www.fredcamper.com/F/SN.html "SN", a film by Fred Camper"] , 2002.] uses coin-flipping to determine which three of 18 possible reels to screen and what order they should go in (4896 permutations). Barry Salt, now better known as a film scholar, is known to have made a film, "Permutations", six reels long which takes the word aleatory quite literally by including a customized die for the projectionist to roll to determine the reel order (720 permutations). [Anon., [http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/50946 "Six Reels of Film to Be Shown in Any Order (1971)"] , BFI Film & TV Database.]
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