|Equivalents II, 1993
Shapes as such do not interest me unless they happen to be an outer equivalent of something already taking form within me
Alfred Stieglitz, 1922
Nothing essential happens in the absence of noise
Jacques Attali, 1985
An interactive installation that explores the potential of user contribution
text input as source for creating organic abstract images through
a fractal synthesis algorithm. The title positions algorithmic design
in relation to Alfred Stieglitz's 1922 Equivalents photographic
project on clouds.
The "Equivalents II" project has evolved out of an intent
to mathematically simulate believable still-images that convey the
realism of the photographic. It is based on an interactive computer
program that produces abstract, cloud-like images when text is entered
into the computer. In an installation exhibition situation, viewers
are invited to generate images by typing in their own phrases, comparing
them with the wall displayed images produced by the artist.
The program uses the "2D mid-point displacement fractal algorithm
to generate tonal complexity and the initial tone control parameters
are set by the viewer's phrase, each text resulting in a particular
image. In addition, the program triggers further disruptions in
the visualization process when it encounters certain words in the
viewer's phrase that match those stored in the program's database.
The database contains words from the following sources: J.G Ballard's
"Crash", Michel Foucault's "The Order of Things", computer slang
words, gender labeling and identification, TV Talk shows vocabulary,
and those that describe positive and negative attitudes. At the
completion of the drawing phase, the program brings up other phrases
entered by previous viewers that have words in common with the current
viewer's text. Optional large scale images include the "News
Series" consisting of generated images produced from photo
captions selected from the New York Times and Die Zeit newspapers.
"Equivalents II" is an installation with variable dimensions,
walls painted charcoal gray, Pantone #446, with light yellow text,
(font Univers condensed) for wall quote. Large scale images produced
by the artist may be displayed on opposite walls surrounding the
computer station. Optional additions include 1) The computer screen
image can be projected to allow larger audience access 2) The use
of multiple computers to allow greater access for interactive viewing.
Macintosh G3 computer, no sound.
Project Room Solo Installation, Open Space Gallery, Ansel Adams
Center, Museum of Photography, San Francisco (1996)
"Fotografie nach der Fotografie", Siemens Kulturprogramm,
München/ Munich (travelling to Kunsthalle, Krems; Städtische
Galerie Erlangen, Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen, Cottbus; Museet
for Fotokunst, Odense; Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Helsinki, ICA, Philadelphia,
"Iterations: The Digital Image", International Center
for Photography, New York, Montage '93, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester,
New York (1993/94)