Pixel Sorters

Series, 2005 – 2018

These are some of my oldest works. The originals date to 2005 when I was still in art school. I found the source images for these works by browsing websites - not really something one does today. Around that time, people would publish sites with Apache web server and essentially forget they were there, despite having uploaded their entire hard drive to them. I would go through sites like these and find clip art images of animals. There was a kind of amateurism about these sites and images that I liked. You wouldn’t find it today, as everyone uses social media and cloud-based technologies to display things online.

The simplicity of those approaches is also written into the work. The pixel sorter is based on a very minimal set of local rules: from a given pixel, the sorter analyses to determine if the points immediately adjacent have pixels. If there is one, the image stays still, if not, then the current pixel moves down. It’s a simple process, but it gives the appearance of some kind of physical law being applied to the image, a kind of digital manifestation of entropy. Or maybe a bit like cellular automata even.