Black and White

Sacred texts drawn as calligraphy
2003 – Generative artwork and prints

Some of the most powerful books in history are trying to connect people to something that is beyond the range of ordinary thinking. These same books, when read through ordinary thinking, can be reduced to rules and restrictions and may become distorted to be used as “proof” for various dogmas. Black and White is about dissolving the text and pointing to an untouchable experience.

Black & White reads these sacred texts using the binary encoding system of the computer, then interprets the texts as the interplay of two forces in motion on the screen. Rather than interpreting the meaning of the texts, Black & White reads the “shape” of the texts: the shifting topography of binary code drives the motion of the the black and white trails on screen. In the process, a binary world is represented as a cloud of shifting shades of gray.

I break the digital text down into it’s smallest components, 0 and 1, then use that stream to create another form of writing, something like calligraphy, but driven by the text, not by the hand. This reverses the process of writing: the text (+software) generates the calligraphy, rather than a calligraphic mark generating the text. The resulting calligraphy is actually unique for each sentence. It’s hard to see the variations when you see a whole book play out, but if you watch one sentence at a time the marks are very varied. In the end the original meaning of the book is completely lost. All that is left is this one seemingly endless mark on the screen.

Black and White was shown at a solo show at bitforms gallery in New York city in 2003.
Black and White (Genesis) was shown at the Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, Austria, in 2006.