The website is programmed (by Max Fenton) to have the pictures chosen from a pool of hundreds of images, at random. The intervals of time between exchanges also varies at random, within a certain range. I made the pictures over the course of the last three years or so, in a series of series, and the ones in the pool are distilled from a much larger group, specifically for their relationship to this project. Randomness makes what is important in the experience more clear by using surprise to emphasize the fact that there are obvious relationships among the pictures- but even more surprising, by emphasizing the power of the relationships that are not obvious, and could not have been intended, and are infinitely multiple and “just there”, taking our projected memories and desires with ease.

The key to getting the most out of the pictures is the pause button. The website is not meant to be watched passively, even though for the most part, it looks like that would be the case.

I asked Chandalin Winifred Lancaster to use the randomizer to choose a hundred pictures to be placed in displays for the show. Press pause, I said, and proceed to record the numbers of images as they come up, press play when you need another image. “So I should choose the first hundred I like as they come up at random?” she asked, introducing the very non-random element of personal appeal. That sounded perfect to me.

And that changed her relationship to the website. I think I can represent her accurately in saying this. She soon had arrangements she liked so much that she used the control button to open individual images in another window so she could take their numbers & record the arrangements.

So that’s the key- action. It’s not meant to be watched passively, in that interceding with what appeals to you, and using the pause button to arrest and control the rate of exchange of images can extend the experience.

PB 5/21/10