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Digital Transformations

  Vision-a, digital print with studio seal, 22” by 30”.  2016 (transform).  

These digital transformations may draw on  work from all previous periods.  Some employ scripting and drawing routines generated by my master program, Hodos, and tranformed into raster files for pigmented digital printing.  Calligraphic scripts, drawn by Hodos, are presented in the  form of “visual poetry” that I employed with my "Algorithmic Poetry: Joy of Digital" exhibition at DAM in 2010.   In these examples the scripts speak "visually" with form qualities that permeate my work. These characters evolved, in part,  from my experience teaching in China in the 1980's. Later I learned that Wang Dong-Ling, who followed my course in  China,  had undertaken to create works with the visual qualities of traditional calligraphy that were not actually characters. Such work with “no-character” (feizi), a form of asemic writing, has entered main stream work by Chinese contemporaries as in the work of Gu Wen Da who followed my course at Hangzhou in 1985. (See Note 2 below)

These transformations are original, limited edition,  digital prints. They embody 65 years of my experience as an artist wrestling with visual form. As an artist, my work strives to achieve form that invites us to savor a transcending moment in everyday, commonplace life.

  Apocalypse of San Marco: Lifting the Veil.
  Algorithmic Transformation, pigmented print,
  22" by 17", 2017.  

Upper left glyph translation:  

Lower center  glyph tyranslation:

 Glyphic text is based on an English translation of the
Te Ching by Lao Tsu Tans. by J. Legge.

The 3 upper left glyphs represent the text: WAY

Celebrating Apollo 11,  NASA Series, 2017, created in memory of my brother Charles (1931-2017). His work with life support systems,  at Nasa's Houston Space Center, contributed to the success of the  first flight to land on  moon (July, 1969).  This work is a transformation of an early 1970's pen & ink drawing in  my "Imaging the Unseen" series.  Many of the drawings that appear in my  Upsidedown Book and Mural were inspired by a growing interest, at that time, in what we might expect to encounter in  outer space.

Pigmented print on Epson Velvet, 22" by 17". 2018.





Presence, digital print with studio seal.

 22” by 17”.  2016 (transform).



Note 1.  I am working to improve the software for merging of past & present. My 2017 Apocalypse for Venice,  August 2017,  represents that effort.

Note 2.  THE CHINA FACTOR: The influence of China  on my work and the influence of my work in China is discussed  by Shao-Lan Hertel in her essay, "Lines in Translation: Cross-Cultural Encounters in Modernist Calligraphy, Early 1980s–Early 1990" (YISHU: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art) 2016, pp 6-28. It was clear to me in  the early 1960's that oriental influences were brought to New York in  the Post WWII period. The influence of oriental calligraphy was present especially in  the work of Robert  Motherwell and Franz Kline. Also both Buddhist and Taoist teachings were a strong undercurrent.of ideas permeating discussions in the art scene in New York during the 1960's. I had lived in mid-town Manhattan during the height of that period  and shared first hand accounts of the period with my class in China in 1985.

Coded characters without  meaning: My use of non-meaning characters emerged through my work with code. As I developed my code I realized that I could generate characters that mimed the visual qualities of a language.  Around 1989 I created one page documents  labeled as "HODOS" correspondence. (Hodos is the name of my master program).  The first character in this correspondence was "illuminated" with embroidered pen & ink work. Eventually the key pen and ink stroke in my large drawings was presented as an illuminated "glyph" ("non meaning" character"). In 1995, invited to exhibit for Artec in Nagasaki, I submitted four large brush stroke works that included vertical scripting as a visual language (no meaning). Those works present a unique blend  of code merging  eastern  and western thought. My software title,  "Hodos",  is the Greek term for "way" , "road", or "path". As  Western Classicist I chose this Greek term as  my "western" pathway, my Western "tao".  At its roots my software code is somewhat "taoist", the "way".  (I  use the Pinyin transliteration "tao" rather than the older Wade-Giles "Dao" that is more commonly known.

Coded Characters with Meaning: I hasten to add that, later in the 1990's, I also built a code routine for generating characters  assigned to an alphabet.  Texts were then presented, in some of my works with characters that could be translated.  The coded texts in my "Flowers of Learning", the "Rocktown Scrolls" and most of my "Pearl Park Scriptures"  have characters aligned with texts.  

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