About this project
Reverse Abstraction is a series of works created in binary and hexadecimal code. These codes are the basis of a computer’s language. The ones and zeros stand for the processors most basic functions of on and off. The works in this series are taking the idea that this is how a computer would perceive art. This is reversing the abstraction of art to the computer, abstract being a word used both in art and computer science.
I started this series by recreating master's paintings in hexadecimal code. The next evolution is to create sculptures using the code. Using the 3D modeling program Rhinoceros, I will re-create the iconic Joseph Kosuth chair out of hexadecimal code. The sculpture will be manufactured in pieces using a Makerbot -- an open source machine that print in 3d using a self hardening plastic. The piece will then be assembled at a 1:1 scale.
Reverse Abstraction stemmed from my obsession with computers and the Internet. I had such a passion for the democratizing qualities that this technology provided, that, I knew I had to make it work with my art. That's when the work started to blur the lines between art and technology. I started taking works of master painters and breaking them down into their binary equivalent from high resolution JPEGs from Google Art Project. Google Art Project allows you to view the work online and zoom in to see minute brush strokes. I would take the code from these images and print them out on canvas at the same size as the original work. This creates a small text that covers the whole canvas creating a vibrating optical sensation. As the viewer approaches they realize the patterns are tiny lines of raw information. The work is abstracted to the audience.
Art History Precedents
After I made the hexadecimal master
paintings, I came up with the idea to create sculptures with the
code. I was familiar with Kosuth's "One and Three Chairs"
and the question it posed. I wanted to bring the idea behind the work
into the twenty-first century. The piece I am making is called "One
and One Chair" and it poses the question of which is the real
chair using only one object. The chair will be a 3d printed replica
of the chair from Kosuth's piece. The only change I make to the chair
is that it is made up the numbers and letters which make up its
hexadecimal code. A 3d replica of the chair is made broken down to
code and printed back up using that code as the motif. The finished
product will look like a chair to the viewer, but also look like a
chair to the eyes of a computer.
I chose to use Kickstarter to raise the money for the work because I am replicating a system of how things are accomplished on the Internet. Groups, forums, and underground online communities use community and charity based systems in order to accomplish goals they deem worthy. The most reported on use of this system is probably the negative use of it such as hacker groups taking down media or government websites. However, this system is also used everyday to accomplish positive goals but is seldom recognized by the general public. Kickstarter is one of the more popular positive uses of the system so I wanted that to become a part of the work. Any person who donates gets their name on a plaque that accompanies the work.
The hardest part of doing technology based art is putting it into a physical form. All my work exists on external hard drives and the Internet. When I decide to show my art is when this becomes an issue. I have to take these ideas and renderings and turn them into something that a modern day viewer can recognize as art. That is why the breakthrough of laser printing on canvas and 3d printing is so important to my current work.
Bushwick Daily Interview: http://bushwickdaily.com/?p=3746
White Hot Magazine Interview: http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/august-2011-ashley-zelinske-interview/2354
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