Response to “Eyeo2012 by Casey Reas”

The discussion on what is art and what is not is a very slippery slope- and I was very happy that the presentation did not take the course of trying to prove that computer art is legitimate, but already spoke of it as such without an inch of doubt. Instead, he introduced a couple of mesmerizing and inspiring ideas that made me question the way I look at creating art, ideas behind it but also the way I design things.

One of such things was the idea of imprecision within symmetry. It made me think that I use these kind tricks without even realizing it- just adding one slight element off-grid, using a color outside the palette or a different shape. Because making something stand out is difficult to achieve by 100% symmetry. What you achieve with perfect symmetry is an expected satisfaction, but you miss out on an element of surprise that  catches attention. And in the case that Reas discusses with the receptors that are wired in three different ways but each of them is a little imprecise (which causes them to move similarly but slightly different)- it not only makes it more interesting but unveils a completely new way of behavior and patterns.

It reminded me of what we were talking about in class- and that is the difference between random and noise and how noise adds the “off-grid” element by still maintaining a sense of symmetry and order.

But who makes the decision about the amount of randomness that we include/should we include?  And, as discussed on the example of dots within a perfect grid that move by an increasing number of pixels- where is the line between what is clearly in order/symmetrical with a slight deviation and what is completely chaotic with no sense of order, symmetry or patter whatsoever? Can it be generalized or is it based on how individual brains are wired?

Thanks, Reas, now I have even more questions.

Leave a Reply