Old New Media


Continuing through January 16, bitforms gallery in Chelsea presents a small survey of early computer-based work entitled, 'Scratch Code.' Ranging from Ben Laposky's seminal oscilloscope imagery to Peter Vogel's interactive sound sculptures, the show explores this genre of art in its mirror stage. The sounds and forms also reflect the space between this former period of computer graphics and the present. Like in Tony Pritchett's Flexipede, a looped animated piece in which an endearing centipede-like character is continuously disbanded and reconstructed, the awkward movement of the animation evokes a whole series connections to early video game systems and graphic programs like Basic and Logo. Increasingly, a contemporary generation of artists, web-designers and animators draws from this aesthetic of early computer animation, games and sound. For those that grew up playing with the electronic games and learning the programming languages of the 1970s and 80s, the significance of this history is intrinsically related to this particularly strange literacy and the set of references created by these types of designs and formats. - David Senior