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[DRAFT 15 JUNE 2016]

The History of the Process Works

The Process series of works started in 2004 and it's ongoing. The first phase was concluded in 2010 with the Process Compendium exhibition and publication. The Process Compendium archives Process 4 - 18. Each Process work is a text that defines a choreographic system. The text is interpreted in code and is displayed as software. A Process text might have more than one software interpretation, e.g. Process 18 (Software 1), Process 18 (Software 2), etc. The complete set of Process texts created to date, as well as a general description of the metasystem is the Process Compendium text. In addition to the complete list of texts, the Process work from 2004-2010 is archived as two editions of fifteen c-prints, Set A and Set B.

The Process series starts its numbering at 4 because of a series of texts titled Structure 1 - 3 that came before. This set of texts was completed as a part of the {Software} Structures project, commissioned by the Whitney Museum's Artport in 2004. The {Software} Structures essay, texts, and code opened the way to the Process series. The name was changed from Structure to Process to better describe the choreographic intent of the texts.

The first public exhibition of works from the Process series was the Process / Drawing show at the bitforms gallery from 4 March - 3 April 2005. This show debuted Process 4, Process 5, and Process 6 as well as archival pigment prints related to the texts and other works and collaborations. At this time, the Process works were installed with the instructions and software side by side. As shown in Figure 1, the instructions were printed as archival pigment prints and attached to the wall behind a thin sheets of plexiglass. The software was run on custom-built PCs without cases. The PC pieces were screwed to the wall near the floor. Monitors (17" LCD) were mounted at eye level with cables running between the PCs and the screens.

Figure 1 Figure 1. Process 5 at the bitforms gallery in spring 2005.

When the the same work was presented at the DAM Gallery in Berlin in the fall of 2005, the format had changed slightly. As shown in Figure 2, the software was running on Mac Mini computers with their covers removed in place of the custom-built PCs.

Figure 2 Figure 2. Process 6 at the DAM Gallery in fall 2005.

The Process / Form show at the bitforms gallery from 6 March - 12 April 2008 was the first to present the Process works as single-channel dyptych projections. As shown in Figure 3, the Process surface is presented side by side with the Process diagram. The surface is an interpretation of the Process text and the diagram reveals the Elements that are constructing the surface. Each side is a complementary view into the choreography defined by the texts. The Process text appears on the left, adjacent to the Process image. The Element text appears on the right, adjacent to the Element diagram. The text is either silkscreened onto the wall or applied as vinyl letters. The projected image is thrown onto two prepared wood panels that are hung away from the wall and painted with a projection-screen paint called Screen Goo. Figure 4 shows the fabrication diagram for the panels. Process 14 and Process 18 were debuted in this exhibition, along with a group of related c-prints and objects.

Figure 3 Figure 3. Process 14 and 18 at the bitforms gallery in spring 2008.

Figure 4 Figure 4. Fabrication diagram for the projection panels in use 2008 - 2012.

The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami presented the most refined presentation of the single-channel Process dyptychs in the Abstract Cinema show from 26 March - 10 May 2009. Figure 5 shows Process 16 as presented in a black-box room using one of the same projectors and projection panel sets from the bitforms exhibition the year prior.

Figure 5 Figure 5. Process 16 at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami in spring 2009.

The Field Conditions exhibition at the SFMOMA was the next evolution of the Process works. For this exhibition, Process 7 was re-imagined as a two-channel work for vertical 55" LCD screens. The screens were bright (800 nits) and had 2mm wide frames to help the hardware to disappear. The video cables were snaked through the wall and into a closet so the computer and other hardware were not in view. As shown in Figure 6, the most radical change for this installation was the decision to remove the Process and Element texts from the wall adjacent to the screens. In the context of the museum, where didactics are used for all works, this was the best way to convey the information. As of 2016, this remains the ideal way to display the Process works.

Figure 6 Figure 6. Process 7 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in fall 2012.

Part of the ten-year evolution in displaying the Process works is related to how technologies advanced, which is interelated to the budgets available for equipment to display the work. Another aspect of these changes was exploring improved ways to present the work through iteration and experience. The primary work, the text and the way the software was constructured from the text, was consistent throughout the seven years leading up the the Compendium and it remains the same today. Despite the changes in display format, the core work was constant.

As an aside, the careful reader of the Process Compendium text will notice the dates of the works are not in order. For example, Process 18 was completed in 2007 while Process 10 was completed in 2010. The order number (4, 5, 6, etc.) was given when the works were started. Some works were finished more quickly than others.

In addition to the Process works created as direct interpretations of the texts, other works including prints, objects, performances, and installations were developed from the Process texts. These works are open to more subjective interpretations of the texts through looser choreography and adding color outside of the gray values defined in the text. A few of these works are shown in Figures 7 - 9, but since 2004 there have been nearly eighty unique works created within the Process series.

Figure 7 Figure 7. Process 10 (Installation 1) a. k. a. TI at the BANK gallery in Los Angeles, 2005.

Figure 8 Figure 8. Process 11 (Installation 1) at the bitforms gallery Seoul, 2006.

Figure 9 Figure 9. Detail of Process 18 c-prints at the DAM Gallery, 2010.