Drawn to Code

Gene Gort
TDP Gallery: June 24 – July 30, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, June 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Virtual Artist Talk: Friday, July 8, 6:30 pm, Moderated by Matthew Best

“Drawn to Code” – Gene Gort

Artist Statement

In 2015, I began working with computer programming as a means to produce “drawings”; images generated from computer code which create animations, data visualizations, and digital prints resulting from these programs. I am drawn to the concepts of interactivity, repetition, variability, and unpredictability the process allows. This work continues to evolve using strict geometries, gestural images, and photographic/videographic sources. When presenting the work in a gallery setting, I show both the animations and the digital prints to demonstrate the process.

Using computing as a mode of working has also been realized in multi-media performance projects with a number of composers, dancers, and musicians, and has become central to my practice. Computing doesn’t replace the artistic gesture but extends it, creating options not achievable previously in my work. Documentation of this work is accessible at https://genegort.com/NEWwebSTUFF/CodeProjects.html or by scanning this QR code with your smartphone camera.

I want to credit my friend and former colleague Tim Lawless for making this work possible. Tim is responsible for working with me to realize my designs and projects for a number of years. We worked together to introduce code-based art into the college curriculum which drew me into this particular practice. The computer language we use is Processing, freeware available at processing.org

About the work in the exhibition…

In Truchet Grid, Sumi brush strokes are scanned. These simple line gestures are input into the program, combined, and arranged to produce compositions in a grid pattern generating a unique composition each time the program runs. The reference to Truchet is from Sebastien Truchet’s (1704) strategy for assembling complex tile geometries from simple shapes by repetition and rotation of each tile in a grid. Here my strategy is to use that concept but to subvert the geometry to create what are seemingly intuitive gestural compositions, the regularity obscured by the program’s intentional unpredictability.

Red with Rectangle, White with Rectangle, Spire with Rectangle are from a collaborative series with my husband Patrick Kennedy, entitled Sticks and Sticks. We worked together generating a body of work as a dialogue between his encaustic paintings and my code drawings; the actual and the virtual. It was inspired by our house renovation and resulting detritus. Quarter Wreath, Lavender Lines, and Red Square with Curves are extensions of this series. Patrick’s work can be seen at https://patrickafkennedy.com (see Galleries, Encaustics, Sticks and Sticks)

"Weather or Not: Current Conditions (work-in-progress) is a commissioned work by Five Points Art Center for permanent installation on the new campus and as an online web project.” It collects weather data (wind speed, direction, temperature, radiation, humidity, time of day,…) from a tower on the grounds and combines it with live RSS news feeds from CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera, and Fox News into a live data visualization. Special thanks go to Amanda Bunce whose Ph.D. research is based on the data generated by this weather tower to assess climatic conditions and their effect on tree growth and sustainability. Weather or Not: Current Conditions was funded by the Torrington Savings Bank to whom we are grateful.