Homage to the Square: Portfolio One

Thirteen digital prints

Homage to the Square: Portfolio One is the first selection from my series “Homage to the Square.” The images start as black-and-white patterns created by mapping an audio signal to a space-filling curve. The patterns vary greatly with the frequency of the signal. The "flood fill" algorithm and the proportions of nested squares from Josef Albers’ famous series Homage to the Square determine the areas to fill with color. The colors reveal (or conceal) shapes embedded in the patterns. I select the eight colors in each composition: everything else is determined by the software I wrote.

In this series, I am working within various aesthetic and scientific traditions. Much of my work concerns intermedia, poet Dick Higgins’ term for art that fuses or crosses the boundaries of different media. Here I am turning sound into image. I also have long explored color cognition and the interactions of color with light. In this series, colors are chameleons, changing their appearance depending on their surroundings—a technique borrowed directly from Josef Albers. Albers’ color theory influenced my formation as an artist, so much so that this series is indeed an homage to him.

I am also fascinated by scientific techniques for revealing hidden patterns. The black and white patterns generated by the software are visualizations of the interaction between space-filling curves and cyclic signals. Colors applied to the patterns act like dyes used to stain tissue or mineral samples to reveal structures. I have further explored the symmetries of audio signals mapped to space-filling curves in various animations.

Homage to the Square: Portfolio One consists of thirteen archival pigment prints, 16” x 16” images on 22” x 22” Moab Entrada Bright 290gsm paper, printed at Ignotus Editions. Thirteen artist proofs were exhibited in my studio in Los Navalmorales, Spain, in summer 2019 and are stored there. Another 13 prints were printed in Chicago in Fall 2019.