News / The Dice Is Thrown

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ARTISTIC CONCEPT

Randomness is a significant parameter in people’s lives. The random is whatever happens without anticipation (the unexpected) or without preparation (the unintentional). Of course, scientifically speaking, luck is disregarded determinism. Facts which cannot be objectively explained with the law of causality because their causes are elusive or imponderable, are attributed to luck. The ignorance of the cause has created the doctrine of the random which in turn transformed luck to a cause.

In nature, nothing seems to be random. This pertains to the imperfection of our knowledge (Spinoza, Ethics). The more man advances into the cognitive field of reality, the fewer things are attributed to luck. If there were an all-knowing individual, he could foresee anything. Objectively, therefore, there is no luck. Its only existence is due to the subjective version of things.

However, the knowledge of the causes does not resolve the mystery. And thus, completely inconsistently, the perception of destiny was formed and the subsequent destiny philology which resulted in fatality and fatalism and was opposed to the notion of free will.

Therefore, the random has a direct relation to the mystery and wonder, concepts which refer to events the explanation of which is totally subjective, defy scientific interpretation and have no other explanation whatsoever.

This is why people have worshipped Luck. Because of his irresistible attraction to the unknown and the mysterious, this proneness to a divine, I dare say, curiosity which on the other hand spurs him to knowledge, a recent result of which are astounding high resolution photographs of Mars taken by the robot Curiosity after safely landing on the planet!

It is the other side of the same coin. And for this reason, wise wariness is needed when we are forced to deride it and attribute it to the less educated or the more ignorant.

Surely, the ancient peoples, the Indians, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, worshipped her as a goddess, and her best temple, the Tychaeon, was in Alexandreia. Many sculptors and painters alike created exquisite sculptures and painting.

We know that the Greeks and the Romans after astragalus bone game, a more technical and feminine or children’s game, avidly played the dice, a purely lucky and mainly male game. The emperors, the wealthy, the poor played the dice constantly, fortunes were lost were lost thanks to it and no ban was able to limit it except for the invention of the playing cards and much later the roulette.

The dice were also used as heraldic, mainly, symbols of luck, victory and danger.

In my construction-arrangement, they symbolize birth, coming of age, the struggle of life, senescence, shrinking and death as it is born, unfolds under or within the dictations of power-Luck, but also of the political power which is random, this or another, during birth, coming of age, life in general and the death of the individual as well as the absolute equality of the sexes, since everyone’s luck, be it man or woman, is never affected by gender. Indeed, one is born by a random, usually erotic moment of their progenitors and even more random conception, without having chosen the place, time and of course the political power which they are subject to. But even the scheduled contemporary conceptions cannot take into account the as yet undetectable wills of the original cells. Furthermore, during life, even in the more advanced democracies, any influence of the individual to co shape power consists in an infinitesimal, absolutely trivial degree.

On the other hand, the power of any “leader”, democratic or not, is an entirely random staking, as the national and international history catalytically teaches us. A multitude of events, utterly unconnected to any ruling necessity, have led to the rise and fall of worthy or entirely unworthy leaders, even in exceptionally functioning democracies.

Finally, the two sexes and their equality: luck is utterly equating. From the time hunting for the male and the nest for the female founded any differences, until today nothing has proven to be more equating for the two sexes than Luck. I do not mean the mighty female presences in Power, Art, Science, Culture in general, but the determinative human changes in them, in the river of humankind to this day, born by completely unconnected-random events.

The dice, therefore, accessible everyday objects, distinguish themselves as a symbol of unknowing, international randomness, in a heraldic so to speak portrayal of the universal, like the sea in Nature, equality, pain, passion, danger and victory.

POLITICS, POWER, RANDOMNESS

The proposed work aims to promote the equality of the sexes as a fundamental human right and goal of every modern country as, even today, a large proportion  of women face multiple discriminations (at work, politics, family etc).

In order to curb these discriminations the modern woman on the one hand has to comprehend and demand her equality to man and on the other, man has to overcome the notion that he is the dominant sex and whatever this entails.

The work “The Dice Is Thrown” with the construction of the ceramic dice 9with the symbolisms analyzed above) has mainly men as its target audience.

The dice are more closely associated with male hobbies like backgammon, the so-called “craps” or the contemporary game of “craps” which is considered to be one of the most popular ones in casinos. For many men dice constitute a part of their everyday life and the symbol of good luck.

Consequently, the aim of the proposed work is to serve as a catalyst to the symbolism which men attribute to the image of a dice. That is, to place the concept of equality beside that of luck. That is because in games of dice it does not matter whether you are a man or a woman as the factor of luck renders them equals.

Based on the above-mentioned rationale, the proposed work will distinguish the dice not only as the symbol of luck but also of equality and will most effectively contribute to the promotion of equality between the two sexes.

WORK CONSTRUCTION/DIMENSIONS

The work consists of two arrangements, each of which measures 1800 cm (length), 180 cm (width), 180 cm (height). Each separate arrangement consists of 500 pieces of dice with each dice measuring 30 cm (length), 30 cm (width), 30 cm (height).

The dice are constructed with clay of fireproof argil with a little sand. For the construction of each dice the clay is spread in 2.5 cm thick sheets which are placed in appropriate molds. The drying process follows and then they are subjected to bisquing. The bisquing of the glaze will take place on the ceramic surface and metallic oxides will be used for its coloring. They are dice of ceramic material with a fine-grain and porous tissue of porcelain, white-off white in color and black glazing in the engravings on smooth matte and textured surface.

Kostas Mastrakas

writer