Wall Drawing #85

85. Same as 63, but with four colors.

63. A Wall is divided into four horizontal parts. In the top row are four equal divisions, each with with lines in a different direction. In the second row, six double combinations; in the third row, four triple combinations; in the bottom row, all four combinations superimposed.

Implementing this description in software was an exercise in translation: simply converting the instructions into a format the computer will understand. Through this act, the decisions intended for the draftsperson were made by myself, the programmer. A few obvious differences appear as a result of this re-coding. Computer screens have a much coarser resolution than a wall and as a result, the finished work lacks the warmth of a drawn surface in a physical space. In addition, machines can draw lines with absolute precision, so all the imperfections in a physical drawing are removed, giving the rendering different characteristics than those intended by LeWitt. Do these differences distort the result? If this is a work of conceptual art, the concept should remain regardless of the medium.

I'm interested in the additive pattern technique used here, although immediately, I'm a little turned off by the resulting image. The reason, I believe, is because it exposes weaknesses of the medium. When generating artistic works in a computer display, I'm always bothered by the lack of irregularity and limited set of color. I see both of these qualities in this rendering. Interestingly, if you are using a CRT monitor and look very closely at the final pattern, a vertical banding of slightly blurred areas can be seen. Is this a visual illusion, the result of the cathode refreshing, or something else?

I feel like I am viewing a tutorial illustration for how to wrangle several more colors out of a very limited base set for the earliest of color monitors. “There are over 4 different possible shades of green.” I would have expected the bottom combination to seem a little more grey and less beige.

Assuming the “concept” aspect is more important in this series, it's interesting to see how a concept is affected by its context here. I believe the line drawing on a large wall will convey a sense of defamiliarization, but the same drawing on a computer screen looks vaguely familiar and almost “retro.”