Formulations John F.Simon, Jr.
Combinations, 1997
Ink on Kozo paper, 44x30 in. (set of 12)

Each of the twelve programmatic works in this series present all combinations of four line-figures iterated and 'drawn' by a digital printer onto paper, from a computer file. Mondrian's grids come to mind, with the difference being that Combinations is, in essence, a mathematical array, a depiction of an algorithmic system, and not "Broadway Boogie-Woogie." The fact that there is an obvious visual relation between the two is interesting, given the opposite ends of approach taken. Mondrian found his reductivist style through a rigorous analysis of natural form, a love of jazz, and the teeming visual grid that is New York City. In other words, his means were subjective, while his ends came to be a form of geometric representation. In the case of Combinations, the system itself is the means dictating and producing the ends. The artist resides someplace else: programming, choosing colors, paper, output parameters and display. It is this tension between the objective (system) and the subjective (choice) that energizes one's confrontation with the approach and its results.