A ball freely wanders in a rectangular space, bouncing on the walls. Each bounce generates a percussive sound, to each wall corresponds one note. The successive bounces always play the same melody, but not always with the same tempo.
The movement of the ball between each percussion seems to obey many forces at the same time: freedom of movement, mandatory melody, physical bounces. The ball is actually programmed to be free, and, at the same time, to play the melody, all this inside a physical universe. The tension between the forces appears through its mysterious movements.
The title is drawn from a Satie piece for piano called Vexations, where as single melody has to be played 840 times in a row (about 20 hours).
Randomness is an interesting software art issue. There is, at the core, the many problems of the generation of random/pseudo random number sequences. Further, how are those sequences incorporated into the code? To what aspects of the software are they applied? Too much randomness deteriorates into noise - boring. Too little randomness is regular and predictable - also boring. Dancing along the chaotic edge takes practice and greatly influences the pacing, attitude and apparent depth of the software.
One particularly appetizing flavor of randomness among the entries is exhibited by "Vexation1" by Antoine Schmitt. - While the visual image suffers from predictability, a unchanging pong-like puck, the movement of this puck within the frame is anything but predictable. The quirky randomness within the program's restrictions is engaging and is able to keep you guessing far longer than seems likely.
archive.transmediale.de/01/en/s_juryStatement.htm (transmediale.01 jury statement, excerpt)
project site: gratin.org/as
project video: gratin.org/as/txts/images/vexation1_mp4_640.mov
 Antoine Schmitt: Vexation 1