Digital Art: Composing across Modalities

Published by Tom Porter

“My work engages the problem of designing systems,” says senior music lecturer Frank Mauceri, who writes computer code that creates both electronic music and digital art. “I am fascinated by the heuristic potentials of generative systems, and I depend on being surprised by the traces they leave,” he adds.

mauceri photo

A selection of Mauceri’s visual artworks is currently on display at Cove Street Arts, a gallery in downtown Portland dedicated to highlighting contemporary art in Maine. The finely crafted, computer-generated black-and-white line drawings are part of an exhibition called Paperwork, featuring works on paper by four Maine artists.

 An Artist Statement, by Frank Mauceri:

  • A drawing begins with a line, pulled across space, leaving a trace of motion in time.
  • A drawing is a system of selections, with an outcome unknown.
  • A drawing is a plan, an assignment offered as an instruction to make.

I invent experimental systems, processes that leave traces; lines in motion.

I do not know the outcome in advance.

Rather than make the patterns I want, patterns emerge from the systems I want. 

Beyond their mere existence, these traces invite me – and, I hope, others – to discover and invent the sense or meaning they might have, in the context of the processes that left them.

These traces are concrete insofar as they are only marks on paper: they do not construct metaphor; they do not desire alternate systems; they do not design a new society.

We are invited to take on those tasks as viewers.

Paperwork is on display at Cove Street Arts until January 11, 2020.