CAC Looks Outward Part 3

John Whitney “Catalog” 1961

This is a video made by a “pioneer of digital art”, John Whitney. While looking outwards this evening I found John Whitney and remembered being introduced to him by Suzie Silver. She excitedly explained his harmonic genius nicely. John Whitney founded a production studio that  used a mechanical analogue computer of his own invention to create motion picture. Not very exciting, but for work done in the 60s I find the etherial quality of his work to be captivating. His use of digital media in art was one that was so new and unique he’s remembered still. 


Using gravity to effect its physical form and hanging like a droopy skin in the space between the staircase of the Frankfurter Kunstverein the “(n)arcissus)” exists. This installation piece was designed by Gabriel Esquivel & David Hernandez. They designed the form as a parametric model SOFTlab are able to manipulate the formal qualities of the final output while simultaneously optimizing it for physical construction. I chose to share this project because I think it really opened my mind to the possibilities of generative systems as an architectural aid. The crazy things that will be built!

Memo Akten’s “Reducible”,to me, is a prime example of Aktens taste in minimal shapes and colors combined with extreme detail! The system of this video is comprised of simple channels of data that together amount to this level of complexity. I really like this artists videos, I think they tie together well with Whitney’s work and wanted to post this one too. Harmony in a chaos of simple shapes.

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