Always Becoming

WEEK 6: READING LOOKING DOING I

WORKSHOP WITH JIM ANDREWS

Upon opening Aleph Null, I immediately connected with Andrew’s Futurist-like style. Famous works like  Dynamism of a Cyclist by Boccinoni and Battle of Lights by Joseph Stella are some of my favourite works of art. The Futurist deconstruction of representation and form is both chaotic and intriguing. Like Boccinoni, Andrew’s works are unique. Since there are very little recognizable or grounding forms the tone and emotion are left open for the spectator’s interpretation.

Having the opportunity to play with the program that he produced to make his work also added another dimension to my appreciation for his work. The hands-on approach to Aleph Null allowed a richer experience, by operating the different tools that he developed and adding my own work to the program. Although there is a whole language required (Javascript) to look at the inner-workings of the program, by adding my own photos and text the digital space became more familiar. I could understand the decisions he had made to generate the final works he produced.

The randomness and almost-unpredictability of his “poetry” is the most alarming aspect and as I see it, connects him to the futurist movement. The digital mediation of randomness (of the movements, and text presentation) is very different from the painted or sculpted forms from the 20th century. The artistic flare that makes digital works recognizable can be must more difficult to find. Even Andrews admitted that he worries about not knowing whether a piece is made by his program. The final forms are not deliberate actions made by the artist anymore, rather the conditions are set out by the script (or the tool) they produce to make the art. The digital work is unique in that it is “always becoming”.

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