John F. Simon, Jr. – Mobility Agents, A computational sketchbook v 1.0

John F. Simon

cd-rom – Printed Matter, Inc./Whitney – ISBN 0894390147

Drawing, as an artistic production process, has evolved its techniques constantly, changing according to the possibilities opened by new tools and the theoretical deviations that those tools have generated. Computers, since their introduction, have made available code librariesto draw and combine graphics on the screen through the use of a fairly simple code. John F. Simon, Jr., probably the electronic artist with the strongest background in traditional art, directly connects the theories of the masters of abstract painting such as Klee, Kandinsky and Miró to the possibilities of automated drawing tools (like in Living Mobile II, Unfolding Object and Arrow Variations – Book 1), proving, as Manovich says, how his simple gestures are amplified by the machine through suitable processes that complete them. The code, in this case, does not simulate or emulate, but implements with suitable algorithms the artist’s intuitions, handing the user virtual drawing tools, flexible enough to give the possibility to understand their origins and uses. Thus, code itself can formalize an idea and turn it into a tool, moulding it within the evolutionary path of the author and offering it for a free collective use.