Chance Meetings

The Emily Harvey Foundation, named after the important gallerist and champion of avant garde and fluxus artists, is opening a new space in lower Manhattan tonight. With Programming Chance, a group-show curated by James Fuentes, the space looks to be off to an impressive start. A refreshingly historical mixture, the show's "unifying principal in the work exhibited is having been created by means of a computer or machine." Had all the work been made in the last year, this would be a rather mundane and forgone conclusion, but with works by John Cage, Jean Dupuy, and Ken Knowlton dating from the 1960s coupled with contemporary works, this directive is uniquely significant. First published in 1968, Fluxus artist Alison Knowles's 'House of Dust' is a computerized poem, consisting of "quatrains resulting from randomly generated permutations: 'a house of' (list material), (list location) (list light source) (list inhabitants)." Of course, no exhibit exploring chance would be complete without the work of John Cage, and I'-Ching Hexagram' (1967), his computer generated work inspired by philosophy of the I-Ching text is included. Meanwhile, NY based artist Aaron Young's new "burnout" paintings will be on display, wherein he has ridden a motorcycle over aluminum in an act of machismo that would make Richard Serra blush. Young, like all the artists involved, has a wider interest though--namely the beguiling paradox of improvisation in the otherwise highly-calibrated machine age.