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The Poetics of Code: part 1

"HD Traffic" by John F. Simon, Jr. and "Lagoglyphs" by Eduardo Kac

Streaming Museum launched an international tour of The Poetics of Code series on March 15, 2010, with artwork by pioneer contemporary artists – HD Traffic by John F. Simon, Jr. and Lagoglyphs by Eduardo Kac. The exhibition can be viewed throughout a global network of public spaces and at

The 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.

In HD Traffic, Simon built with software code a Mondrian-inspired work designed to integrate real-time traffic data flow. Kac’s series of lagoglyphs artworks, reference and expand upon his controversial genetically altered Alba the GFP Bunny 2000. The real-time animations, continuously flowing and reconfiguring themselves, place emphasis on the generative mutability of writing and the encoded nature of life.


John F. Simon, Jr. at the May 6 opening reception in The Project Room for New Media and Performing Arts at Chelsea Art Museum, New York City

John F. Simon, Jr’s software artwork HD Traffic 3 (2010) combines Piet Mondrian’s rectilinear compositional style and his love of Jazz improvisation with the emergent dynamics of object oriented programming. From simple rules John Simon is able to coax cubes to form realistic traffic patterns, stopping and starting at intersections, passing each other and avoiding collisions, and even ending up in a giant traffic jam. His software endlessly varies the visual elements of the scene such as: the number of vehicles, the street sizes, traffic lights, car speeds, background colors and many more. Like traffic on a city street, the basic patterns are the same but the details never repeat. This new piece, spread across three large screen LCD monitors, follows Simon’s lifelong fascination with using software automation to explore the infinite possibilities of image making.

John F. Simon, Jr., b.1963, United States. Lives and works in New York. Best known for his software and screen based artworks, Simon uses the unique properties of digital media to create time-based paintings whose compositions never repeat. His software art is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Ulrich Museum of Art, the Tweed Museum of Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery among many others. Gehring & Lopez Gallery


The Lagoglyphs are a series of artworks in different media in which Eduardo Kac creates a visual language and form of writing that he describes as “rabbitographic”. The series references Kac’s project GFP Bunny (2000)—also known as Alba, the green bunny—a genetically modified rabbit that glows fluorescent green under certain light conditions. The Lagoglyphs are pictograms, visual symbols composed of two units (one green, one black) that each represent the bunny and resist any assigned meaning. The real-time computer animations of the lagoglyphs, continuously flowing and reconfiguring themselves in new constellations, place emphasis on the generative mutability of writing. Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his telepresence and bio art. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web ’80s, Eduardo Kac (pronounced “Katz”) emerged in the early ’90s with his radical works combining telerobotics and living organisms. His visionary integration of robotics, biology and networking explores the fluidity of subject positions in the post-digital world. His work deals with issues that range from the mythopoetics of online experience (Uirapuru) to the cultural impact of biotechnology (Genesis); from the changing condition of memory in the digital age (Time Capsule) to distributed collective agency (Teleporting an Unknown State); from the problematic notion of the “exotic” (Rara Avis) to the creation of life and evolution (GFP Bunny). At the dawn of the twenty-first century Kac opened a new direction for contemporary art with his “transgenic art”–first with a groundbreaking piece entitled Genesis (1999), which included an “artist’s gene” he invented, and then with “GFP Bunny,” his fluorescent rabbit called Alba (2000).

Kac’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Exit Art and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, and Lieu Unique, Nantes, France; OK Contemporary Art Center, Linz, Austria; Fundación Telefónica, Buenos Aires; InterCommunication Center (ICC), Tokyo; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai. Kac’s work has been showcased in biennials such as Yokohama Triennial, Japan, Gwangju Biennale, Korea, and Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art of Valencia, Spain, the ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, among others. Kac’s work has been featured both in contemporary art publications (Contemporary, Flash Art, Artforum, ARTnews, Kunstforum, Tema Celeste, Artpress, NY Arts Magazine), contemporary art books (Phaidon, Thames and Hudson, Oxford, MIT Press) and in the mass media (ABC, BBC, PBS, Le Monde, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Times). Kac has received many awards, including the Golden Nica Award, the most prestigious award in the field of media arts and the highest prize awarded by Ars Electronica. He lectures and publishes worldwide. His work is documented on the Web: Eduardo Kac is represented by Factoría Gallery, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Black Box Gallery, Copenhagen & Linz; and Laura Marsiaj Gallery, Rio de Janeiro. Website


Poetics of Code, part 1, 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.

L-R: John Chin, composer with John Simon at rehearsal for HD Traffic in live interactive performance at Juilliard at Lincoln Center, NYC

L-R: John Simon lectures at Google NYC headquarters during his exhibition in Digital Art @Google curated by Nina Colosi, Founder of Streaming Museum; HD Trafficin Second Life, Greek Citystate of Colonia Nova

HD Traffic at Cocor MediaChannel, Bucharest, Romania

L-R: Eduardo Kac’sLagoglyphsat SK Telecom Building, Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea. Lagoglyphs at Federation Square, Melbourne Australia

L-R: Kac’s Alba at Second Life, Greek Citystate of Colonia Nova; Lagoglyphs and HD Traffic had an audience in Antarctica, Marambio Scientific Base of Argentina


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