1. A thing coming by chance, an accident.
2. A thing that may or may not happen, a possibility of the future.
3. A thing contingent or dependent on the existence or occurrence of something else.
1. An outcome and related senses.
2. Something that happens or takes place, esp. something significant or noteworthy; an incident, an occurrence.
‘Contingent Events’ presents the work of Xinyi Fan, Li Feng, John Riley and Luke Skrebowski. Brought together by a series of chance factors, we embraced the accident of our encounter and discovered a shared attention to the role of contingency as a method and/or thematic in our work. Between us, we work in and across a diversity of genres including installation, painting and photomontage but we are all invested in addressing contingent events in our practice.
Xinyi Fan's Mystery Cabinet plunges its audience into darkness wherein a sound guide invites them to open a random drawer from an old filing cabinet and to write down their personal feelings about the contents of whatever small artwork they find inside the drawer. In so doing her work brings the aleatory into a relationship with the affective.
no/some thing, by Li Feng, sets up a scene in the gallery space to forge a “form” that allows the “work” to happen. A piece that would be finished by the audience, a piece in the same box where Schrodinger's cat can be found. This work posts a question about existence, trying to explore the relationship between contingency and existing.
Via the poster as agent for propaganda and political dissent, John Riley has been exploring appropriation as a means to draw attention to today's imperative political discourse, or lack of, and the subsequent consequential indeterminate contingencies of tomorrow.
Luke Skrebowski’s photomontages pursue an emancipatory politics while foregrounding their entanglement with an apparatus that is deeply implicated in the history of oppression. Wembley 1924/2021 works with analogue and digital photographic source material setting algorithmic, aleatoric and aesthetic logics in tension to stage and contest legacies of violence.
While the work of contemporary art has long been contingent – made from anything whatsoever – our diverse work shares a point of contact in the way that it employs contingent processes to generate contingent objects. In so doing it engages in a politics that resists the normative as the predictable form of determination. We understand contingency not as pure randomness but as a particular case of causality in which two or more things are brought unexpectedly together, opening the possibility of an unexpected future.