Anticipation / Expectation

Anticipation / Expectation is an experimental aesthetic program I designed to highlight the anticipatory nature of the mind. The program generates the unpredictable playback of a series of unrelated video clips; repeated viewings of Anticipation / Expectation result in different experiences. On one viewing, a clip might resolve logically in the context of its linear narrative. On another viewing, the same clip might abruptly cut mid-action. We are trained from an early age through culture and by experience that effects follow causes, but how do our minds react when that is no longer the case? What happens in the viewer’s mind when anticipation can’t be trusted? What happens when the viewer can’t count on actions to complete, punch-lines to be delivered, or melodies to resolve? How do our minds respond to the inability to anticipate?

Technical Details

Anticipation / Expectation is a small program written with Processing. When it is run, an assortment of video files are loaded from a local directory. The resulting list of videos is randomized, and the first 5 clips are played. The program picks a random start time and a semi-random playback length between three and ten seconds. (With extra safeguards to avoid conflicts between playback length, start time, and playback length.)