Each of you has become my obsession. This project is a collaboration of 878 different people. But who are you? Why did you decide to register to join our merry band? Some of you were never active once the project started in October. Many of you never declared how you wanted to participate but showed up still from time to time. Those that chose the observe ¬†exist in a special bubbles of my imagination. The makers I know a bit better yet you too are what's and whys more mysterious to me today than when this began in October. I hate to you the pronoun you because each you is really an i/eye that gaze back opaquely from avatars that set me dreaming of i/eyes in 874 places and 874
The result of this struggle is a difference between the intention and its realization, a difference which the artist is not aware of.
Consequently, in the chain of reactions accompanying the creative act, a link is missing. This gap, representing the inability of the artist to express fully his intention, this difference between what he intended to realize and did realize, is the personal 'art coefficient' contained in the work.
In other words, the personal 'art coefficient' is like an arithmetical relation between the unexpressed but intended and the unintentionally expressed.
Marcel Duchamp "The Creative Act"
Duchamp talked of the "art coefficent" in artist actions but what happens in Performance Art, when the art is the action and the artist not the work in now multiple? In the course of researching ¬† chance and randomness, I came across the idea of Black Swans. I knew about the Black Swan Fallacy.
The term¬†black swan¬†derives from a Latin expression‚ÄĒits oldest known reference comes from the poet¬†Juvenal's¬†characterization of something being "rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno" (6.165).¬†In English, this Latin phrase means "a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan." When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist. The importance of the¬†simile¬†lies in its analogy to the fragility of any system of thought. A set of conclusions is potentially undone once any of its fundamental postulates is disproved. In this case, the observation of a single black swan would be the undoing of the phrase's underlying logic, as well as any reasoning that followed from that underlying logic.
Juvenal's phrase was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement of impossibility. The London expression derives from the¬†Old World¬†presumption that all¬†swans¬†must be white because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers.¬†In that context, a¬†black swan¬†was impossible or at least nonexistent. After a Dutch expedition led by explorer¬†Willem de Vlamingh¬†on the¬†Swan River¬†in 1697,¬†discovered black swans¬†in¬†Western Australia,¬†the term metamorphosed to connote that a perceived impossibility might later be disproven. Taleb notes that in the 19th century¬†John Stuart Mill¬†used the¬†black swan¬†logical fallacy as a new term to identify¬†falsification.
¬†One could say for ¬†thousand years that ALL SWANS ARE WHITE and believe it to be true but it only took seeing one black swan to prove the statement false. ¬†Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book, The Black Swan characterized black swans as statistical outliers are Black Swans that periodically dramatically alter human society. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as "black swans"‚ÄĒundirected and unpredicted. He gives the rise of the¬†Internet, the personalcomputer,¬†World War I, and the¬†September 11 attacks¬†as examples of Black Swan Events.
Identifying a black swan event
Based on the author's criteria:
- The event is a surprise (to the observer).
- The event has a major impact.
- After its first recording, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it¬†could¬†have been expected (e.g., the relevant data were available but not accounted for)