Friday, 15 July 2011

Schrodinger's Cat

Scrodinger's Cat
Perhaps conjuring Walter Benjamin's seminal essay 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' Jonathan Zawada's work utilises code to produce his Twisty series of works, of which Scrodinger's Cat (left) is one. Jonathan comes from a design background, mostly working with detailed drawings and paintings. The Twisty series is a departure from that method of working exploring instead the processing and manipulation of digital images through algorithms. The following text written by Jonathan is an insight into his practice.

The majority of the artwork I produce tends to be fairly involved, densely conceptually layered and heavily worked. As I've come from a design background, most of my art is a reaction to that sense of  superficial image and focuses on detailed handwork in it's production. The Twisty series of works is really an inversion of that. Although I use programming and multiple software packages in the preparation of my paintings and drawings, the Twisty series is pure digital artwork. Really they are an attempt for me to do something that is purely gestural and expressionistic but as that doesn't come naturally to me I focused on writing code in the processing environment that could accomplish this for me.

What I have realized as a result of this (and the other "Furry Paintings" I have made with Processing) is that this opens up a whole new avenue for me to explore the creation of visual art which is aesthetically completely cut-off from my concurrent visual art practice in painting and drawing. As the rest of my art practice is more conceptually than aesthetically based, the programming environment gives me a sort of sneaky back door way of accessing and exploring simple compositional and aesthetic play without being influenced or informed by my design background - the resultant visual images are not the result of human decision making or intervention but of cold mathematical play that seems to me to reveal very warm humanistic results.