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Canned chance - the commodification of aleatory art practice.

Colton, David, G (2019) Canned chance - the commodification of aleatory art practice. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

My practice involves re-imagining aleatory art systems and practices to create products that push the user into a direct relationship with chance. Initial research revealed that modernist aleatory practices have largely been recuperated into the canon of contemporary art techniques. It was my intention to re- invigorate these practices by re-imagining them in a new context outside of art practice: to change perspectives, ‘reality tunnels’ and to transcend culture and social conditioning. There are differences between work that has been made using chance in the creative process, and work that pushes the artist or viewer into chance encounters and situations and exploring the differences between them has been an important part of this project. The resulting works situate the user within the chance process, and in effect, make them the subject of their own experimentation and practice. My insights and discoveries develop out of a range of experimental artistic works that critically examine the re-imagining and commodification of chance processes. This thesis documents the development of each work in a series of chapters which also explain the research and developmental processes, in addition to setting the works in a theoretical and contextual framework. The project defines a new category of aleatory practice which I call aleatorickal and is also an interdisciplinary study of aleatory practice across the artistic disciplines of conceptual art, visual art, music and writing. The primary methodology is practice-based; using the commercial techniques of graphic design, creative computer software, photography, copywriting and model making. These works are ephemeral and throw-away, but ontologically, they offer access to chance which enables the discovery of insights and the opportunity to make connections with other realities. I also argue that if something is useful to us then it can be commodified and made available to a wider audience. Therefore, the consumer retail market is the ideal place to present my work - this is my art gallery.

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