Fehler | Imbecil
PHP + GD Library | F.0030.0001 / Alku 31
"Given all the elements of the known universe, and enough time, our existence is inevitable. It's no more mysterious than trees or sharks. We're a mathematical probability, that's all."
Dr Chris Kelvin, Solaris
In 'Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote' the Latin American author Jorge Luis Borges writes a short story about a writer, Pierre Menard, who by sheer weight of coincidence (re)writes 'Don Quixote', word for word.
Borges states that his "admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide - word for word and line for line - with those of Miguel de Cervantes." By sheer weight of coincidence, however, and against the odds, he succeeds not only in writing a few pages, but the entire novel.
In another short story, Borges imagines 'The Book of Sand', a magical tome whose pages can only ever be viewed once. Try as its owner might to find a previously witnessed page, he soon realises that the pages that cascade through his eager hands will never be seen again:
"I turned the leaf; it was numbered with eight digits. It also bore a small illustration, like the kind used in dictionaries - an anchor drawn with pen and ink, as if by a schoolboy's clumsy hand. It was at this point that the stranger said, 'Look at the illustration closely. You'll never see it again.' I noted my place and closed the book. At once, I reopened it. Page by page, in vain..."
'Imbecil' is at once the former and the latter; the odds favouring neither one nor the other.
Fällt designers Fehler state:
"Systems - and the flaws, mistakes and accidents that often arise from them - form the cornerstone of our working practice, so designing something systemic, but seemingly broken seemed a natural choice. Needless to say, when Ana and Roc at Alku invited us to create a useless piece of software for 'Imbecil' we were happy to contribute."
The result is a simple concept - a random icon generator that creates one bit icons in Apple's early Macintosh era 32 x 32 pixel size.
The number of possible icons the generator can create is no fewer than, 2 to the power of 1,024:
While 2^1024 might at first glance appear a staggering number, there exists the possibility - slim but inevitable - that the random icon generator might stumble over, overlap and/or collide with the beautiful designed reality of Susan Kare's original Macintosh icons (above). Hit 'refresh' repeatedly and often enough and it certainly will.
'Imbecil 2.0' - an icon generator for full colour, OS X style icons - is currently being developed by Fällt designers Fehler in conjunction with Fällt developer Nicholas Kove. We hope to release it in early 2007.