This project is gathering stories of chance events. Post your story here for review and publication.

Where I’m Supposed To Be

Posted: November 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: chance | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

On the actual eve of my graduation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I sat in the middle of the campus with a few close friends and drank and smoked as we’d done a thousand times before. With no sleep, I dragged myself through graduation and, then, grabbed my bags and went home for good.

Jobless for months, I was lucky to have a sister who allowed me to live in her family’s home until I could get on my feet; unfortunately, with being unemployed, my presence became too much to bear and I was asked to leave. My mother, through a friend, was able to find me an apartment, so I avoided homelessness. However, this only added to the stress I already had become accustomed to, because, now, I would have no choice but to quickly find a job.

I bounced from one meaningless job to another—door-to-door phone-service salesman, temporary post-office work—until I, finally, found a temp-to-hire data-entry position at a reputable company. Not the sort of employment I expected for myself, considering I’d recently graduated, but it was a stable bring-in-money-for-the-rent income that I sorely needed at the time. And because it wasn’t a guaranteed full-time hire, I had to show everything I had in me to prove I belonged…and I did. Eventually, I was asked if I wanted to become full time, and of course, I responded in the affirmative. I was scheduled to take a drug test and was told that, following a negative result, I would be granted an official position.

A few days later, Human Resources called me into the office and informed me a background check had been conducted and that the findings were such that I would not be granted employment. I scanned the report she’d handed me and, in complete shock, I shook my head. I’d never even been in the back of a police car, never even seen a jail’s interior; I tried to convince her that the person on this sheet was not me (found out later it was my cousin’s alias)…but she, simply, instructed me to leave. As the security guard stood over me as I gathered my things, I cried.

At the time, that job appeared to be the greatest thing that could have happened to me. I would have been able to pay my rent; I wouldn’t have had to accept the occasional–yet helpful–eight dollars from my sister to help me eat; I would have, once again, had a sense of self—but, fortunately, even though things had not worked out, I was guided into an opportunity—again, a temp position, with the possibility of permanence—with a company that would encourage me to use all of my talents. This media company gave me the chance to utilize—and build on—various skills I’d picked up over the years–writing, proofing, background office work (something I’d done all through high school and college)–and I was happy.

And I remain so.


Chance in Art

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: chance | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I have seen your cool idea and would like to contribute an artistic take with the wildest collection of chance art you will ever find. First, I would like you to see my new photographic technique- I have been working for almost 5 years to perfect this new approach to fine art composition using only moving water and a D300. My work is quite unique, and I have searched the globe for others who might use this particular aleatoric method, but to no avail. Every image you will see in my website is a digital photograph of moving water, and these amazing images are found on the roiling surface of my small Koi pond at my home in Houston. The magical fish have for years given me chance images that sometimes make the hair on the back of my neck stand up upon discovering them. This is truly an untapped well of creative freedom that I have literally stumbled on by chance in 2006. Please witness my madness at http://jcolemanmiller.com and let me know if you think this might be a good story.
I have also created a movement of chance based artists from around the globe who use aleatoric methods in the commission of their works, and have put together a web gallery featuring 21 of the best examples of chance artists in our time. I hope you will read about all of us at http://aleatoricart.com. We are intent on bringing chance art to the forefront of the collectors minds, and are passionate about educating and inspiring a new generation of artists with our modern takes on rarely discussed chance methods, which have been used for thousands of years in the creation of fine art. I have produced a nice coffee table book about these creative souls and have sold a whole bunch of them at $120! I can send you one if you like, as my gift to the movement.
I ask you spend a few minutes on my websites to catch my drift, which for you should be easy, and hope that you will enjoy what you find in my pages. This was a massive effort that came together in December when we debuted our group during Art Basel Miami at our hugely successful Aqua Wynwood show.
Thank you for your time,
J. Miller
PS: I would like to link to your site, and you can link to mine. I get over 1000 hits a month on my pages.

Please check out our “Godfather” at http://anti-theory.com