Casey Reas, Process/Form
Process / Form
March 6 – April 12, 2008
C.E.B. Reas debuts Process 14 and Process 18 at bitforms gallery in New York.
bitforms gallery is pleased to announce a third solo exhibition with artist C.E.B. Reas, opening March 6. Featuring work from his Process series, the show includes software installations, unique prints, and relief sculpture. Shown in the United States for the first time, these pieces are based in new visual systems, Process 14 and Process 18. Also opening March 6 and marking the New York debut of Reas’ TI installation, a concurrent exhibition titled Ephemeral Markings runs at Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Friday March 7, at 6:00 PM, there will be free public lecture with the artist in the campus auditorium at 144 West 14th Street.
Work by C.E.B. Reas can be understood in terms of traditional image-making techniques, however the focus lies within finely crafted programs that define processes. Each process, or discreet set of qualitative situations, holds the capacity for expression in user-defined media and scales. After defining each artwork first as a rigorous, logical statement, Reas tests the flexibility of that rational system by playing with the viewpoint and display of visual information. The dynamic physical aesthetics of these creations can be described in geometric, concrete, and/or abstract terms.
Reas’ relationship to writing computer code is akin to Sol LeWitt’s authorship of instructions for wall drawings, but generative software procedures in Reas’ art replace the human hand. Specifically from the perspective of programming, artists Vera Molnar and Manfred Mohr have inspired Reas’ approach toward building visual compositions. Also influenced by earlier artists and thinkers working within systemic conceptual frameworks such as Euclid, Lissitzky, and Haacke, Reas focuses on relationships between dynamic elements.
Perpetually elusive moments characterize Reas’ software installations. Process 14 uses the circle as a primary form and Process 18 uses line. Both kinetic systems are displayed in the gallery as projections on rectangular surfaces, and the picture plane of each is spilt in half vertically. At left, a two-dimensional black and white linear structure reveals the behaviors applied to geometric elements. On the right half, the same geometry creates warm three-dimensional textures.
P18 (Object 1) and P18 (Object 2) are topographical reliefs in resin created using a subtractive milling technique.
Articulating a spatial representation of Process 18, these works are algorithmically calculated and translate
value into a three-dimensional coordinate. Likewise, prints in the exhibition frame a discreet two-dimensional moment from a system.
The images from Process 18 are depicted in grey scale, however the pictures from Process 14 integrate color. Because hue is a complex value to define and holds subjective emotional content, Reas has chosen to hand-select the mixing palette used for these images. Lush pinks and magentas of Reas’ prints based on Process 14 prints feel so highly charged that a visual kinship appears to exist with Modern abstract painting. Reas’ drawing structures allow time-based execution of each instructed iteration to be performed on open systems, instead of physically manipulated traditional plastic forms. Comparatively using software as a vehicle, philosophic territory that has been historically dominated by oil and water-based media can now be described inside an even wider aesthetic context.
Projected from floor to ceiling, Reas Network software depicts the passage of information through organic and technical environments. Suggesting the fundamental properties of any constellation- be they activities in a star formation or that in peer to peer file sharing- nodes and the channels of connection are represented with the minimalist visual language of lines and circles.
Other Exhibitions Featuring C.E.B. Reas
In New York March 6 – April 17, Reas’ work is featured in Ephemeral Markings curated by Linda Lauro-Lazin at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, where there will an artist talk March 7. In Evanston, Illinois through April 6, Reas’ work is part of two exhibits at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. In conjunction with Imaging by Numbers and Color Space Motion, Reas will lecture February 16 in the symposium “Patterns, Pixels, and Process: Discussing the History of the Computer Print”. In Belgium, recent work will be featured April 18-30 at the IMAL Center in Brussels, concurrent with the bitforms gallery display of Reas at ArtBrussels. In Texas through April 20, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is exhibiting a selection of Process series prints in the touring National Design Triennale, organized by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In Korea this September, Reas will be featured in the 5th Seoul International Media Art Biennale.
About C.E.B. Reas
Based in Los Angeles, C.E.B. Reas (b. 1972, Troy, OH) has exhibited and screened his work internationally in galleries and museums including P.S.1, New York; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York; Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston; Laboral, Gijon, Spain; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; The Dallas Contemporary; Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; Eyebeam, New York; CCCB, Barcelona; STUK, Leuven; Daelim Museum, Seoul; NTT ICC, Tokyo; ZKM, Karlsruhe; bitforms gallery, New York and Seoul; Telic, Los Angeles; TAG<>, The Hague; BANK, Los Angeles; the Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen; and Kuenstlerhaus, Vienna; among other venues. Commissioned to create work for the Whitney Museum’s ArtPort collection online in 2004, Reas is also the recipient of a Golden Nica from Ars Electronica.
Reas is an Associate Professor at UCLA, and holds a masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Media Arts and Sciences, where he studied in John Maeda’s Aesthetics and Computation group. With Ben Fry, Reas initiated Processing.org in 2001. Processing is an open source programming language and environment for creating images, animation, and interaction. In September 2007, they published Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, a 736 page comprehensive introduction to programming within the context of visual media (MIT Press).