REAS' ongoing Process series explores the relationship between naturally evolved systems and those that are synthetic. The imagery evokes transformation, and visualizes systems in motion and at rest. Equally embracing the qualitative human perception and the quantitative rules that define digital culture, organic form emerges from precise mechanical structures.
REAS is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Media Arts and Sciences as well as a bachelors degree from the School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. With Ben Fry, REAS initiated Processing in 2001. Processing is an open source programming language and environment for creating images, animation, and interaction.
REAS and Fry published Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, a comprehensive introduction to programming within the context of visual media (MIT Press, 2007). In 2010, they publishing Getting Started with Processing, a casual introduction to programming (O'Reilly, 2010). With Chandler McWilliams and Lust, REAS is published Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture (PAPress, 2010), a non-technical introduction to the history, theory, and practice of software in the arts.
Reas is the recipient of a 2008 Tribeca Film Institute Media Arts Fellowship (supported by the Rockefeller Foundation), a 2005 Golden Nica award from the Prix Ars Electronica, and he was included in the 2008 ArtReview Power 100. His images have been featured in various publications including The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Print, Eye, Technology Review, and Wired.
This new book from MIT Press was co-written by Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter. It was designed by Casey Reas.
This book takes a single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title—and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.
10 PRINT‘s content is also available as a PDF (50 MB), provided under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.
This exhibition runs from 29 Sep to 27 Nov 2012. The release from the gallery says:
[DAM]Berlin is pleased to present the third solo exhibition of the American artist Casey Reas, one of the leading figures in software art. As indicated in his last exhibition, Reas has completed his last work cycle and has entered into a new phase. The title of the exhibition, CENTURY, refers to his new body of work, which is inspired by art works of the 20th century that have influenced Reas. The gallery will show prints as well as software art. The software piece, entitled CENTURY(2012 -), which forms the basis for the show, is still under development. It abstracts one hundred years of art history into concise, iterative software. When the software is complete, it will contain the interpreted systems for one hundred artworks created within the twentieth century.
For the past two years, my work has shifted away from utilizing emergent form, to more precisely defined choreography and compositions. Still, I’ll remain focused on working with systems and iterating through these systems to discover ideas and forms. The show CENTURY explores my obsessions with the art of the prior one hundred years. I’ve been highly influenced by concrete, non-objective, and constructivist works and the custom software written for this exhibition builds directly on the qualities of that prior work.
Chandler McWilliams and I were commissioned by the French Centre National des Arts Plastiques to create an essay for their annual publication Graphisme en France. This publication is distributed free to graphic designers, design companies, communication departments, students, teachers, etc. in France. Instead of writing exclusively from our point of view, we thought it would be more interesting to ask the best designers we know to answer two questions.We asked LUST, Nicholas Felton, Amanda Cox (The New York Times), Erik van Blokland (Letterror), onformative, Catalogtree, Boris Müller, Jonathan Puckey, Marcus Wendt (FIELD), Sosolimited, and Trafik.
We were generously given permission to publish the English text online. The full text is at CreativeApplications.net and the beginning is here:
Technical mastery and innovation are part of the rich history of visual design. The printing press is the quintessential example of how a shift in design technology can ripple through society. In the Twenty-First Century, innovation in design often means pushing the role of computers within the visual arts in new directions. Writing software is something that’s not typically associated with the work of a visual designer, but there’s a growing number of designers who write custom software as a component of their work. Over the last decade, through personal experience, we’ve learned many of the benefits and pitfalls of writing code as a component of a visual arts practice, but our experience doesn’t cover the full spectrum. Custom software is changing typography, photography, and composition and is the foundation for new categories of design practice that includes design for networked media (web browsers, mobile phones, tablets) and interactive installations. Most importantly, designers writing software are pushing design thinking into new areas. To cut to the core of the matter, we asked a group of exceptional designers two deceptively simple questions:
1. Why do you write your own software rather than only use existing software tools?
2. How does writing your own software affect your design process and also the visual qualities of the final work?
The answers reflect the individuality of the designers and their process, but some ideas are persistent. The most consistent answer is that custom software is written because it gives more control. This control is often expressed as individual freedom. Another thread is writing custom software to create a precise realization for a precise idea. To put it another way, writing custom code is one way to move away from generic solutions; new tools can create new opportunities. Experienced designers know that off-the-shelf, general software tools obscure the potential of software as a medium for expression and communication. Writing custom, unique tools with software opens new potentials for creative authorship.
The Pace Digital Gallery presents Codings, an exhibition curated by Nick Montfort, from 28 February – 20 March 2012:
Codings shows the computer as an aesthetic, programmed device that computes on characters. The works in the show continue and divert the traditions of concrete poetry and short-form recreational programming; they eschew elaborate multimedia combinations and the use of network resources and instead operate on encoded letters, numbers, punctuation, and other symbols that are on the computer itself.
The exhibition includes work from Giselle Biguelman, Adam Parrish, Jörg Piringer, Casey Reas, and Páll Thayer.
There are some great workshops this summer at Shakerag, Anderson Ranch, and Eyeo. Please consider signing up and share the information with your friends.
Anderson Ranch (Snowmass, Colorado)
July 16 – 20, 2012
From Digital to Physical: HYPE Framework and a Techno-Isel CNC Router
July 16 – 20, 2012
Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Katherine Moriwaki
30 July – 3 August, 2012
Processing: Visualizing Data and Creating Code
August 6 – 10, 2012
Studio Mashup: Photography, Video and Processing
Shakerag (Sewanee, Tennessee)
June 10 – 16, 2012
Moving and Shaking the World: Physical Computing for Artists
June 17 – 23, 2012
Curious Systems: Explorations in Art and Algorithmic Behavior
Eyeo Festival (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
These are three-hour workshops that run on June 5, 2012
Archive, Text, and Character(s) – Jer Thorp, Mark Hansen
The Random Access exhibition runs from from 3 Feb to 31 March 2012 at Montserrat Collage. It features Joelle Dietrick, Reese Inman, George Legrady, Nathalie Miebach, and Casey Reas:
Each of the artists in this exhibition uses data as a source to define the visual outcome of the pieces. Random Access explores the stories that are revealed as data becomes visualized as works of art. Joelle Dietrick mixes data regarding foreclosed homes and Sherwin-Williams 2007 Color Forecast paints. Reese Inman uses mapping source imagery of an existing space and remixes it with the visual surface of another to create a visualization of the space between them. George Legrady focuses on aesthetic research through integrating data mapping, data visualization and self-organizing algorithms into interactive art installations. Nathalie Miebach translates scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology into woven sculptures. Casey Reas illustrates the forms, behaviors, and elements that are the foundation of software that combines drawing with generative processes to explore a network.
For the second time, I’m teaching a one-week workshop at Anderson Ranch. The Photography, Video And Processing (P1022) workshop runs this summer from 6-10 August 2012. The audience is creative coders and photographers with an interest in merging coding and photography/video. So, programmers who want to work with photo/video in their work or photo/video folks who are interested in coding. The description follows:
Interested in combining the creative potential of new photographic and software technologies? This workshop considers how modern software is used by artists to reproduce traditional tools, manipulate photographs and splice together video. Come see what happens when we combine photography with emerging ideas within creative coding to explore the potential of a hybrid image/software space. Use the Processing programming language to explore techniques such as altering images pixel by pixel and slitscanning, working with live camera feeds and scripting languages for altering images.
William Rowe visited my studio early this fall. He shot this interview for Protein.
An exhibition featuring work from myself, Hans Dehlinger, Jean-Pierre Hébert, Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, Frieder Nake, Roman Verostko, and Mark Wilson. The exhibition runs from 19 November 2011 to 14 January 2012, with an opening on 18 November from 7 – 9 pm.
Tensioned threads, a large scale mural, filigree drawings – gallery [DAM] Berlin is happy to invite you to the exhibition Think Line 2 where you can get involved with an expanded form of drawing using algorithms. The exhibited artworks range from large to small pieces from a spectrum of 40 years of media art. Along with the some pieces the exhibition attaches as well the written concept of them. This allows the viewer to follow (or understand) references and different ways of realization.
In her installation Rectangle Path Vera Molnar takes up an idea, an algorithm, from 1997 and executes this work for the first time as a thread installation of 3 x 3 m size. Rectangle Path follows the rules of concrete art, but opens up the strict concept by using an organic material. “A line is a dot that went for a walk” (Paul Klee) – after the thread has walked its long geometric path, his tail lies soft and formless on the ground.
Casey Reas presents a 4 x 3 m sized mural based on his Tissue Series. This series goes back to 2002 and visualizes the movements of thousands of synthetic neural systems creating delicate formations and a rich visual output by drawing fine lines. In an earlier interactive version of the software people were able to influence the movement of the lines by positioning a group of points on the screen.
Manfred Mohr exhibits 3 small plotter drawings from the early 1970s that he developed even before focusing on the cube. These works are shown for the first time ever.
New large plotter drawings from his series of “blurred” images will be presented by Hans Dehlinger. These pieces evoke an irritating impression of blur for the human eye by overlapping structures created by very fine lines.
The paper works from Mark Wilson are based of fine geometric multilayered structures. They are dense landscapes that Wilson creates in bright high-contrast colors. The exhibition features new works as well as a piece of 2 m length which was shown in the exhibition Ornamental Structures at the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken this summer.
Seven Sisters – The Pleiades is a series of 7 colored plotter drawings inspired by the Taurus zodiac sign. Roman Verostko created them in his typical style emphasizing the nature of a shining star by using leaf gold in the upper part of the plotter drawing. From this family of 7 similar “sister-forms”, 2 pieces are featured in the exhibition.
The delicate plotter drawings by Jean-Pierre Hébert are likewise influenced by the Asian masters. His characteristically abstract dense structures have their seeds in natural systems, but are as well the result of a precisely defined concept.
Frieder Nake, who was beneath the first representatives of this art form by exhibiting plotter drawings together with Georg Nees already in 1965, shows some of his earliest pieces.