30 September – 10 October
Using the I Ching as an oracle, devise a series of questions that will allow you to make a series (at least 5) of chance compositions.
You will achieve this by assigning values, in different categories to the 64 hexagrams. For example, in respect of drawn lines, you might think of types of line or objects (straight, wiggly, scribble, heavy, light, long short, pencil, ink, paint, geometric, free hand, vertical, horizontal, angled, colour, doodle, drawing done with eyes closed or open etc.).
In another set of questions you might assign categories such as line, shape, found object or image, scale, number of times whatever it is occurs, ordered or random and so on.
Another example might be type of backdrop (size, shape, blank, coloured, found image, newspaper page, book, smooth paper, crumpled or folded paper, or three dimensional surface) or position and length or size of mark/object/image/shape on the backdrop.
In some instances you might assign 64 values in correspondence with the 64 hexagrams. In others, you might assign only 8 values in correspondence with the 8 trigrams, or your moves might be developed into compound moves determined by the combinations of each set of 2 trigrams found in each hexagram.
Simpler binary outcomes might be determined based on whether the resultant trigrams constitute an odd number or an even number, or whether there are more or less broken and unbroken lines.
When in obtaining your outcomes through the tossing of coins, you get changing lines, this might become a determining element in the way you make the drawings, images or objects. For example the transformation from one hexagram to another might constitute an instruction, or the positions of the changing lines might be assigned determining factors.
The values you assign may, or may not, be related to the titles, associated values (see the Structure of the Hexagrams in Book II of the I Ching), or associated texts of the hexagrams. In the other hand, they might be completely random or related to something else entirely (e.g. the titles of the first eight books on the third shelf on your bookshelf, what you eaten in your last 64 meals, the current league table for the Estonian football league). Perhaps you should ask the I Ching how you should approach each of your categories.
All of the above are just suggestions. How you do it is entirely up to you.
We are of course interested in what the drawings/images/objects will be like, but perhaps more important at this stage is how you develop an methodology of chance operations through interpretation of the I Ching. We will be asking you about this so perhaps it would be wise to list your categories, make a table, or have some form of recording of your process as it develops.
As far as possible we would like to you to avoid making preconceived personal judgements on the work. We don’t want you to be doing something because you think it is better or nicer or more beautiful than something else. All of your work will be beautiful and ugly, good and bad, interesting and boring, succeeding and failing all at the same time.
We want you to enjoy it, be bored by it, understand it, not understand it, love it and hate it all the same time.
For assistance we attach, a small piece of writing by John Cage. Please make an effort to understand it bearing in mind that if you can’t understand it, that’s just as valuable as if you can.