With Enough Time, This Installation Will Produce Every Photograph Possible
Of course, that precise amount of time happens to be 46,138,562,195, 008,110,600,774,753,760, 087,749,172,181,189,607,929, 628,058,548,517, 099,604,563,033,706,075 years, but work with me here.
It’s an ambitious exploration of the “million monkeys” problem, which says that if you gave a million monkeys unlimited coffee and allowed them to bang randomly on typewriters, they would eventually produce all the works of Shakespeare, or Harry Potter, or anyone else for that matter. It’s a lesson in infinity.
This photo installation by Jeff Thompson is only 15 x 10 grayscale pixels, but as it shuffles through images it will most certainly create something that resembles meaning. I like how he relates it to a “time machine”, with its ability to create things that haven’t even been seen yet.
While only an art project, it relates to larger questions of the universe. Like why, out of all the infinite arrangements of matter that could be envisioned over infinite time scales, does this one exist, here and now? It’s mind-bending stuff, and worth considering.