A Chaotic Process Bringing Rise To Order

demonstration: March 31 - April 3,1998

Works-In-Progress group exhibition at Slusser Gallery, Ann Arbor MI

Yau Ching rolls the die as Carol Jacobsen looks on
"I'm going to show you how to play the Chaos Game. It's very simple to play, but it has an extraordinary outcome! I begin with a big sheet of paper with three large points marked on it, labeled 1&2, 3&4, 5&6. Now what I do is I choose a point at random on the sheet of paper. I'll shut my eyes to do that and now I'll just wiggle the pen around and dab a point-- there it is. That's my starting point. So now what I do is I roll the die, and it comes up with a 4, and so what I do is I go half-way from my first point to the big point labeled 3&4. I'll mark that new point-- that's my new point. I'll roll the die. This time it comes up with a 5, so I'll go half-way from my new point to the big dot matched 5&6. I mark that point on the piece of paper. Now, of course if you do this you should use a ruler and do things accurately. You need to play for about 24 hours or longer, and you need to play very fast. And now I roll the die and this time it comes up with a 3, so I go half-way from the new point to the big dot marked 3, and that'll be about here. Now, of course if you keep on doing this for a long time, what would you expect? You'd expect that you'd get an enormous mess of dots. But that's not what happens. Something very extraordinary and different happens...." Michael Barnsley Georgia Institute of Technology