I write algorithms that translate non-visual information into oil paintings. The non-visual information has two sources: one is ordinary (common or random) and the other is extraordinary (sacred or poignant). I begin with, for example, texts embodying personal experiences of grief or the translation of a sacred Buddhist prayer ceremony. I then disrupt these meaningful origin texts with meaningless systems of chance such as dice rolling, card playing, etc. The result is a marrying of deliberate actions and unbiased chaos.
These images arise from the process of executing the algorithm written for the paintings. They are not the algorithm itself, but merely a necessary middle step in translating the system into the paintings.
For this project, I engaged in a common Buddhist practice called a Counting Retreat, where a practitioner recites 100,000 of the same mantra for the purpose of attaining profound closeness with its meaning. I chose the Compassion mantra and with each recitation I recorded the act with a red mark. While conjuring these compassionate words I produced similar but inevitably unique marks. This ongoing drawing practice is an antidotal response to times in the world when living beings are stripped of their inherent value by being turned into anonymous things.