Dead Air

From chaos we find order.

With Dead Air I hope to find just enough order in a form of chaos that I've worked with from my earliest code-based artworks: analog video and television noise, or static. Static is chaos at its simplest and finest; random, confused pixels with no organization fighting across the screen. But amongst this chaos, a beauty can be found. Even in the act of giving it a name, we start to turn the chaos into order, the random pixels into static. The individual pixels, looked at closely, still show the characteristic trait of disorder, but as a whole, its an idea we understand.

Dead air is the concept of silence during a broadcast, and here I imagine it to represent the loss of a signal, the static taking over to kill the order that was present before. All individual blocks in these outputs are made up of static: random pixels with just a hint of order to turn them into art. In the end, we have a grid of squares, with each square made up of its own square grid. The entire work is created from these small individual squares or pixels, over a half a million tiny pixels building up to the full work. Zoom in and you can see the chaos, zoom out and you see the order.

Each square of the larger grid can be seen as its own separate generative work, with a random mix of pixels drawn for each. There are three types of patterns used: random, shaded, and gradient. Random patterns are absolute static: random pixels of two colors, four colors, or any random rgb value. Shaded patterns are random individual shades of a single base color. Gradient patterns can be straight or centered. Straight patterns increase or decrase randomly from the top or left, while centered patterns randomly select more or less pixels near the center.

As these patterns are selected for each output, a layer of order is needed to give some meaning to the work. Bitwise operations, Perlin noise, and trigonometric functions are used to create a flow between patterns, building on my knowledge from past grid based works like Over the Air, Ode to Untitled, and Mellifera. Once the final work is drawn, we are left with static static: a still image, made up of individual chaotic pixels, with just enough order to make art.

Each work can be oriented in four different configurations using the S (Spin) and M (Mirror) keys. High-resolution, print-ready outputs are available with the 1 (3000 x 4500), 2 (6000 x 9000), and 3 (9000 x 13500) keys. See Display Notes for more information.






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