John Provencher on the Aesthetics of Pixilation

February 24, 2023
Process Image, Courtesy of the artist

Can you elaborate on the pixelated aesthetic that is often present in your work?

I've been working with a particular dithering algorithm over the past year. Dithering was a necessity back when computer screens could only display a finite number of colors and it created a seemingly random pattern of noise to create lightness. I'm attracted to the pixelated artifacts it leaves behind.. How it resembles the pixel but also has a quality of being printed.

In what ways do you connect with the Imperfections exhibition theme, and could you describe the artwork you are showcasing?

The piece is programatically trying to draw a circle but gets interrupted by time and light. This interruption is an imperfection that creates something new.. some sort of artifact that always surprises me even though I've seen thousands of these. I guess this is what attracts me to generative work. It feels like the imperfect parts of the script are my favorite and keep me interested in a script for a long time.

Dither example, Courtesy of the artist

Your art has a distinct retro vibe reminiscent of 1990s computer games. Does this resonate with your artistic intentions, and if so, how?

I work with pixels because I work with the screen. If any medium has mastered the art of pixels on the screen, it's video games. There's a lot to learn!

What message or experience do you hope viewers will derive from your artwork?

I have no overt message but my favorite part of generative work is that viewers and myself are exploring the script together. Even though I've seen many of these outputs, I always find something new. That experience of discovery really excites me and I hope to share that with the viewers.

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