Studio

138

Imagtek

John Powers, Studio 138

Imagtek is an artist and software developer working in Richmond, VA. See and purchase his vibrant digital art in his studio at Art Works!

About the Artist:

TRUE VISION IS SEEING THE INVISIBLE : COMPUTER SOFTWARE AS ART

Imagtek, is a renegade Artist / Software Engineer working in Richmond, VA. After briefly
studying Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, Imagtek abandoned Academic Art for
Science to study the PsychoPhysics of visual perception. Early Science / Art ‘retina
experiments’ were created in the hard-edge airbrush style on canvas and cardboard. Critical
Acclaim consisted of unknown nocturnal connoisseurs rescuing discarded experiments before
public sanitation crews arrived.

After completing a scholarship funded STEM graduate degree in Computer Science, Imagtek
branched into Digital imaging. Dissatisfied with the conceptual ‘stovepipe’ of commercial
imaging software, Imagtek began creating computer Software as an artistic medium. Over 25
years under development, Imagtek’s ‘Discovery Engine’ uses experimental computation
based upon Information Theory as a window into invisible statistical structures [Occult
Information] in scientific imagery.

In one genre, Imagtek’s palette consists of raw astronomical data in High Dynamic Range
(HDR) scientific formats. These are acquired from giant ground based telescopes as well as
from orbiting observatories. Art is found in occult Information structures of galaxies and ‘Ultra-
Deep-Field’ galactic surveys. The conceptual mind stumbles into its own inner mysteries
when confronted by images that reveal the inconceivably vast and indifferent elemental Abyss
that we inhabit. Here Art fearlessly, and perhaps foolishly, ventures into the realm of a
brooding Einstein, the cosmic archetypes of Carl Jung, and gibbering, trans-galactic intrigues
of H P Lovecraft’s Elder Gods.

In another genre, pure Information serves as a first principle in works created by unleashing
the Engine upon random number fields. These are generated using high level encryption[AES/256] since only deep Encryption yields results free of periodic artifacts under the
Engine’s relentless gaze. Yet other works are plays upon logic, symmetry and tiling.
Occult Information structures are often displayed as ‘Discoveries’ without embellishment,
since they may be of mathematical and scientific interest. But where artistic license calls, it is
used without guile.

The use of Computers in Art is not without controversy. So-called ‘AI Art’ wraps mathematical
manifolds with imagery merged from countless ‘training sets’ pirated from human artists
without attribution. It is also argued that absence of human conventions in visual media is not
Art. But Einstein once muttered “The Physical universe is not only stranger than we imagine,
it is stranger than we CAN imagine.” Imagtek’s art is a quest for Einstein’s unimaginable in
the visible, and invisible world.

Imagtek still paints to escape the mindless, gigahertz jackhammer of computers. Something
about the smell of paint, the texture of canvass, and the elemental resistance of dead matter
transcends technology. Sentience is an NP-Hard problem no machine will ever solve, and
Humans will always create what no machine can Compute.

Imagtek is also a writer in the ‘hard science fiction’ genre. His novels ‘I Quetzalcoatl’, and
‘Bury My Heart On Kepler-452B’, are available on Amazon.com under author J S Powers.
Aloha!

Click here to see the artist’s website.