July 30, 2019
As my Las Vegas artistic theme progressed, I tempered my excitement by methodically photographing work as it was completed. It was not yet ready to publicize, or even review privately, but I knew the time would come. What I did not anticipate when I narrowed the focus of my efforts on this distinctive subject, was that they would tend to all look alike, even to their creator. Verbal titles were inadequate. There are numerous “gaming tables” and “dice tables” in the collection, all the same size, and alike in other particulars. My thoughts turned to random numbers as unique identifiers. This minor, but important detail, dovetails nicely with casino gaming. The lowly video slot game depends entirely on the electronic generation of random numbers. The importance of this feat cannot be underestimated, as approval of the game’s fairness by the State gaming commission depends on it. How a given game maker does it is a trade secret, but the odds of hitting a natural royal flush must be 1 in 649,740 in a 52-card video poker game. My interest in the cryptic art of video game development would end there, except for the attractiveness of the 6-digit royal figure as an example for my own use. There is a certain website which provides 6-digit random numbers, gratis. For my needs, it takes the guesswork out of giving individual paintings in a series of similar items a unique identifier. Eureka. But the story doesn’t end there. Consideration of the random number generating website’s method reveals a metaphysical premise, one to mesmerize the cryptically-minded aficionado of both gaming and art. Each number in the website generator’s series is issued not by mathematical formula, but by the weather. The technology is not revealed (trade secret), but a model is not hard to imagine. Start with a spinning number reel, marked with the digits from 0-9, and then by picking numerals at random by lightning strike. Lightning strikes somewhere in the world all the time, and it is a specific, unique event of brief, concise, duration–perfect for a unique time stamp–and, above all, in no wise subject to human bias.