Circles and Squares

July 21, 2010

So my own work has gotten a little too close to the vest lately, which I’ve attempted to rectify by heading toward the other extreme: system-generated abstraction, by which I mean LeWitt-esque projects in which you make a set of parameters and then follow them.

First up are the circles, which are the most “pure” iteration of this strategy.  I got a circle template, traced it with a sharpie on pieces of printer paper according to different sets of rules (two traces, one pivot point or four traces, three pivot points, for example) then scanned and hit invert in Photoshop so the circles are white on black.  Here are a few:

And then: squares.  I am working off a debt to a guy who printed some large photos for me by mopping his floors once a week, and last week I overheard a lengthy phone conversation between him and motherfucking piece of shit former curator Tim B. Wride about how video screens are going to be the future “frames” of still photography, which got me to wondering about whether you could produce a still photograph that would be impossible to print.  Which, of course, you can do pretty easily: no matter what kind of printer you use, when colors get close to black they tend to collapse completely into one flat shade of the darkest-possible black.   So I scanned a piece of black felt and used my beloved Mosaic function in Photoshop to bring out many squares of collapsible black–and the image could be even darker, easily, and still “appear” on screen but not in print.   Results are below, plus the inverse, which I’m not sure would be printable or not (probably yes because a print will always skew darker than what you see on your small or large LCD screens).

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