Ways of knowing... Ways of seeing…
I can trace the origin of Pre-Process back to a Saturday afternoon in 2003 when I was sketching—first on paper, and then with code. I began by drawing circles, then connecting their center points, and then placing the circles in motion as coded animation. At that time, I was focused on ideas and not images—specifically, on dynamic systems and the ways a set of elements relate to each other within an imagined environment. I was working through questions about how to experience these systems and what might be an ideal (or interesting) way to engage with them.
The ideas and code from this session later became the core of much of my subsequent work: including the foundation for the Process series of software, prints, and installations and the more recent Process Compendium works. Pre-Process pulls these origin points back into focus, develops them with what I’ve learned in the intervening years, and puts them on the blockchain to be archived. I consider the project a Rosetta Stone for my practice. It asks fundamental questions about the relationships between process and end result, including: Where is the aesthetic focus of a generative system? Is it deep within the code or within the picture the system creates?
Ultimately, Pre-Process emphasizes experiencing the origin of the system and then transitioning with it as it seeks, but never finds, equilibrium. The system is built around Element 1, the first that I created for the Process series:
Element 1: Form 1 + Behavior 1 + Behavior 2 + Behavior 3 + Behavior 4 Form 1: Circle Behavior 1: Move in a straight line Behavior 2: Constrain to surface Behavior 3: Change direction while touching another Element Behavior 4: Move away from an overlapping Element
Pre-Process is the origin of a long journey that I’m still on. It continues to ask essential questions and to encourage me to explore possibilities. Through it, I came to realize that I was ultimately more a picture-maker than a conceptual artist, or, the way I like to think about it, I’m a “conceptual artist” with a small ‘c.’ I want the energy to be with the system (the ideas) and the surface (the picture) in equal measure. More directly, the work exists between the instructions, the performance and interpretation of the instructions, and the resulting images.
Learn more at https://reas.com
Curated artist interview
Reas' software, prints, and installations have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work ranges from small works on paper to urban-scale installations, and he balances solo work in the studio with collaborations. Reas' work is in a range of private and public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Reas is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. REAS Studio (reas.com), Processing (processing.org), UCLA DMA (dma.ucla.edu), Feral File (feralfile.com)
Algorithmic edition of 120
25% of proceeds will be donated to the UCLA DMA Root Fund, "to support students who self-identify as part of the Black community or to any group that is indigenous to the American continent, and/or have demonstrated leadership in Black or Indigenous-related community service."