MARK NAPIER: "SACRED CODE"
SHOW DATES: 12.12.03 - 1.17.04 OPENING RECEPTION: 12.12.03 6-8 PM
bitforms Gallery presents Mark Napier in his first solo show in New York
City. Opening December 12, the show "Sacred Code" is a rumination on
three holy texts:The Old Testament, The New Testament and the Koran, as
seen through a digital lens.
In this new artwork, Napier has created algorithms that read these three
books bit by bit, literally reading the text as a stream of zeroes and
ones. At this lowest level of information, the text becomes a
topography, a marking of electronic impulses. The artwork translates the
stream of bits into motion: two calligraphic marks, one black and one
white, chase one another in a seemingly endless dance on screen, leaving
behind faint trails as the move. Rather than interpreting the meaning of
the texts, the artwork reads the "shape" of the texts: the shifting
topography of binary code drives the motion of the black and white
trails on screen. In the process, a binary world is represented as a
cloud of shifting shades of gray.
The artwork is presented through physical installation with the "live"
work running on computers, and as large scale prints that show the
cumulative effect of a complete translation of one text.
Mark Napier, painter-turned-digital-artist, is one of the early
pioneering artists of the Internet. Through his web-based artwork such
as The Shredder, Digital Landfill, and Feed, he has explored the
potential of the worldwide network as a public space for art. Drawing on
his experience as a software developer, Napier treats software as an
expressive form. His online studio, potatoland.org, is an open
playground of interactive artwork. Napier has created a wide range of
projects which appropriate the data of the web, transforming content
into abstraction, text into graphics, and information into art. His
works have been included in leading exhibitions of Digital Art
including: the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Exhibition, the
Whitney's Data Dynamics exhibition, the San Francisco Museum of Art's
010101: Art in the Age of Technology, and ZKM's (Center for Art & Media
in Karlsruhe, Germany) net_condition exhibition. A recipient of grants
from Creative Capital (2002), NYFA (2001) the Greenwall Foundation
(2001), Napier has been commissioned to create artwork by SFMOMA, the
Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim.
Digital consciousness is what defines the bitforms artist. This artistic
practice embodies inventive ways of interpreting, manipulating and
visualizing information and ideas.