Exhibition Space


Equivalents New York Times

Equivalents New York Times

Equivalents Die Zeit

Equivalents Die Zeit

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, Adelaide) (1995/97)

"Iterations: The Digital Image", International Center for Photography, New York, Montage '93, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York (1993/94)