"What If?" is a project designed and curated by Gene Gort and Ken Steen of NewMediaNewMusicNewEngland. The project uses 60 video clips and 60 sound compositions that are 60 seconds in duration each, and pairs them randomly using a Cageian model of indeterminacy with 3600 potential variations.
The project has three potential iterations: a video screening event, an installation/kiosk for gallery presentation and a website. For the screening event, to engage in the random activity, audience members select one number each from a video- and audio-designated list as they enter the venue. These numbers will determine the evening's program of 60 works resulting in a 60-minute screening. For the gallery installation, a computer with media projection and stereo sound will be loaded with all the files and the viewer will select random pairings or specific pairings as they choose. The website has a random generator scripted into the site and visitors can randomize the pairings or determine the pairings specifically as well.
"What If?" is an outgrowth of "60x60" from VoxNovus in New York City a project directed by Robert Voisey. "60x60" is a yearly call for 60-second sound compositions selected to create a 60-minute fixed media program of sound works that travels to venues in the US and is published as an annual CD compilation. Our take on this project was to add video to the mix and the random functionality and initially focus on producers residing in New England. To date the "60x60" project has also worked with experimental and underground film makers, choreographers, experimental photographers, and video improvisers. www.voxnovus.com
Originally, participants of "What If?" were from the six New England states and range from young producers to seasoned professionals to graduate and undergraduate students. Since its inception, a newer version involved particiapants from the greater Kansas City region and artists from Connecticut (2014). This project will continue to have various iterations.