Updated: Dec 23, 2020
(Masters Thesis at University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury, Kent, UK 2018)
The word ‘serendipity’ has origins in classical literature as well as more modern versions where it is found in the explanations of knowledge acquisition. Finding and stumbling upon new information might require the coming together of many different aspects. Serendipity may be triggered. These features not only impact the mind’s ability of creative cross- referencing but seem to essentially redefine it. Seemingly random encounters often trigger amazing ideas and discoveries (Gilbar, 2016). Is technology altering the individual’s and the society’s experience of serendipity? Does modern society value the role of chance? Is serendipity really a ‘happy accident’?
The project ‘Serendipity on Demand’ is a multimodal experiment to explore the above questions through various interventions based on the ancient Persian tale of Three Princes of Serendip. The outcome of the project is in the form of a documentary animation film, a projection installation, an interview archive and a risograph printed book.
This research led practice project is an enquiry into the tensions between control, freedom, chance, choice, information discovery, syntax and the notion of serendipity itself. The word ‘serendipity’ has origins in classical literature as well as more modern versions where it is found in the explanations of knowledge acquisition. It is a dynamic social process that is impossible to condense into immovable computer code and critically requires lateral connections in order to convert a moment of mere surprise into something meaningful. As processes of combining ideas are becoming increasingly automated, questions around the relationship between such processes, and subjective, personal expression are more timely than ever.
'Serendipity on Demand' is a multi-modal exploration of experiences and perceptions of serendipity that reimagines the visual poetics of human-technology interaction.
Graduation project MA Visual Communication University for the Creative Arts, UK 2018