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The Poetics of Code: part 2

"The Johnny Cash Project" by Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk; and "Dreams in High Fidelity" by Scott Draves

The Poetics of Code, Part 2, opened on July 6, 2010 at Google headquarters NYC prior to an international tour. The 3-part series focuses on artists who are using computer programming as a type of creative writing, and the infinite expressive potential of computer languages. Code is at the core of these works as both method of creation and meaning. Poetics of Code has been viewed at these locations: Antarctica, Jubany and Marambia scientific bases of Argentina; Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea; Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia; 17 BBC Big Screens throughout the UK; Emaar public screens during the Dubai art fair 2011; Cocor MediaChannel, Bucharest, Romania; Seoul, Korea Festival of Lights; Utsikten Kunstenter, Kvinesdal, Norway;  Chelsea Art Museum, NYC; Second Life, Greek Citystate of Colonia Nova; Digital Art@Google at Google headquarters, NYC, the Big Screen Plaza in NYC; live on stage in a exhibition / performance at Juilliard at Lincoln Center.


The Johnny Cash Project 2010 by Aaron Koblin, Director of Technology, and Chris Milk, Director, is a global collective art project where participants are invited to create a drawing that is woven into a collective tribute to Johnny Cash, set to his song Ain’t No Grave. The project was inspired by the song’s central lyric, “ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down,” and represents Cash’s continued existence, even after his death, through his music and his fans. The work continues to grow and evolve as more people participate.

Aaron Koblin. b. 1982 United States. Lives and works in San Francisco. Koblin is an artist specializing in data visualization. His work takes social and infrastructural data and uses it to depict cultural trends and emergent patterns. Aaron’s work has been shown at international festivals including Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, OFFF, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and TED. He received the National Science Foundation’s first place award for science visualization and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Currently, Aaron is Technology Lead of Google’s Creative Lab where he helped to launch Chrome Experiments, a website showcasing JavaScript work by designers from around the world. Koblin holds an MFA in Design|Media Arts from UCLA. WEBSITE


Excerpts from Dreams in High Fidelity and other long, high resolution pieces by Scott Draves were formatted for this exhibition. The work is made possible through a distributed processing network made up of tens of thousands of computers that he has harnessed over the past decade.  Draves’ collectible works explore concepts like genetic variation and the origins of life, displaying organic-looking abstract animations that are mathematically generated, algorithmically relatedand visually resemblant.  The way the images are created defies conventional digital drawing and photography.  Layers of colored pixels find and re-find their positions as the solution to an equation that keeps incrementally changing.

Scott Draves, b. 1968, Alexandria, VA. Lives and works in New York. Draves is an emerging and highly sophisticated artist with a PhD from the #1 rated computer science school in the country (Carnegie Mellon) and an undergraduate background from Brown’s storied computer graphics group, the first such research group in the Ivy League. After winning several prizes internationally (Prix Ars Electronica, Japan ACA Media Arts Festival, VIDA 2.0, Lumen_Ex Digital Art Award, FILE Prix Lux finalist) and headlining two European shows this spring ( in Moscow and TEDx in Hungary) he is quickly building museum and curator recognition in New York City and around the world. In 2008, Draves’ work became part of the permanent website presence of the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work is currently on view along with other pioneer digital artists in a group show curated by The Project Room for New Media (CAM) at Google, Inc. headquarters. Draves’ work explores the dissolving boundaries between man and machine.  He writes algorithms and manages an online community of over 350,000 computers and people that together form an open-source, crowd-sourced artificial life system called the Electric Sheep. The Electric Sheep breed new art through a complex process of voting, mating and Darwinian evolution.  Draves uses this process to produce his museum-quality work, distilling the collective intelligence of the Internet and the power of a massively distributed supercomputer into infinite animations. WEBSITE 


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