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Animated TV Shows Turn Into Static, Coded Canvases

Casey Reas manipulates TV transmissions into visual works reminiscent of Pollock.

All images courtesy Casey Reas

This article was originally published on June 16, 2014 but we think it still rocks!

Artist Casey Reas’ fascination with the particle nature of TV transmissions and broadcast imagery started blooming in Signal To Noise (2013), which took TV signals and reified them into a stream of vivid, geometric collages, and continued its hold across several subsequent releases, including the installation Pfft!


Crafted with original software, the artworks in Pfft! are the result of TV animations being rapidly edited and mixed by a programmed series of coded instruction. In many ways, they look like still-forms from two of his other recent works, Ultraconcentrated and Tox Screen, which animated a custom software’s interpretation of TV signals.

As non-visual as this medium sounds, Reas succeeds in reconstituting these signals into post-modern pastiches of disparate colors that ring the bells of our most prized painters, like Mondrian and Pollock. They’re no foreigner to beauty, in as much as they’re no foreigner to the limitlessness of abstraction—a facet, most likely, connected with Reas’ ongoing exploration of coding and programming mediums.

Learn more about the artist here.


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