Code-based Printmaking

Code-based printmaking, specifically embossing, is something that allows me to link the virtual world of digital art with the physical world. I design algorithms that draw patterns in a virtual space. These algorithms are rules for a drawing system that generate the patterns, capturing them as images. Using a Computer-Numerical-Control (CNC) router machine, I then carve these pattern images into wood panels. Afterwards, I press wet art paper onto the panels with a traditional printing press and allow them to dry. In this way we can see a concept, passed through layers of technology, take shape into a beautiful and interesting physical manifestation. As with all technology and processes, there are plenty of chances for errors and mistakes along the way. Part of the beauty of these pieces is embracing those quirks and mishaps as part of the final work.

Since computer code is a basis for the pieces, they often appear exact, and even mathematical, something which contrasts pleasantly with the softness of the paper. Depending on how much intervention I inject, I vary the amount of aesthetic influence the algorithm has over the final pieces as I collaborate with the computer. While one could be convinced that these pieces are sculptural, and three-dimensional, they are more akin to a two-dimensional paintings or relief sculptures.

In the gallery you will find several series or these embossings and some one-off works as well. Through their subtlety, they may suggest ancient language, urban landscape, mathematics, signaling, or even human flesh torn by armor. And often the wood panels are just as beautiful as the prints. For this reason I include them in the gallery.