I found Tim Barker's "Error, the Unforeseen, and the Emergent The Error and Interactive Media Art" on work/space. In Barker, I hear what Lanham would refer to as a strong defense for rhetoric: one that recognizes probability not as a lack of certainty but as the possibility of potential. Given my dissertation focuses on public appreciation of the integral role risk must play in our emerging communication networks (a sentiment echoed in Levinas' description of the subject frightfully aware of its contingent dependence on others), I particularly liked this passage:
Any system that seeks the actualisation of unforeseen potential is also a system that has the capacity to become errant. Rather than thinking of the error as something to fear or avoid, we can think of an error as something that brings with it the capacity for the new and the unforeseen (perhaps it is this link to the unforeseen that is precisely the reason that we fear the errant).
Barker connects these ideas to Deleuze, but I think we can also productively connect them to Levinas-Derrida in their opposition to the metaphysics of presence and certainty. Here's a follow-up:
If a system runs through its process without the potential for error it is essentially closed. It does not allow the potentiality of the emergent or the unforeseen. It is only through allowing the capacity for potential errors that we may provide the opportunity to think the unthought, to become-other, and to hence initiate further unforeseen becomings in the virtual (Rodowick 201).
I'm learning to embrace the productive mess.