[ISEA94] Paper: George Legrady – Equivalents II


The Equivalents II project has evolved out of an intent to mathematically produce believable still-images that convey the realism of the photographic. The project brings together discussions and references from three distinct but not unrelated disciplines: Iconography; studies in Language and Semiotics; and computer programming. This article discusses the historical references, aesthetic questions, cultural interpretation and technical aspects of a computer program that generates abstract, cloud like images whose tonal characteristics are defined by text typed in by the viewer.

The presentation touches on the following: Alfred Stieglitz’ Equivalents, Gerhard Richter paintings and the photographic referent, IannisXenakis’ mathematics as a base for musical composition, Paul Virilio’s infography, Claude Shannon’s Information Theory, Mark Poster’s The Mode of Information, Brownian motion and Gaussian random behavior models, general users vs specialist programmers, representation and truth, language as an interactive agent, text as a signifying process in the viewing of images (language as anchorage), computer programming practice as art activity, cognitive interpretation and cultural knowledge in the interpretation
of images.

  • George Legrady Born in Budapest in 1950, a Canadian citizen and a resident of California since 1981. Associate Professor in Information Arts at San Francisco State University, a program that integrates cultural theory and emerging technologies within the contexts of conceptual art and contemporary art practise. He is currently working on “Slippery Traces”, an interactive multimedia project that investigates the experience of “seeing” within the context of today’s vision tools, and the influence of their origins in medical and military technologies. His artworks have been exhibitied in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Mexico. During the fall 1994, Legrady will be a visiting faculty at the Budapest Art Academy.