Computer Punch Card Selected Artworks

Antony Cairns


Edition : First / London / Morel / 2021 / Softcover. / Near Fine
Oblong 4to, 76pp. Printed wraps. Numerous Colour plates. Text in English. Signed and numbered to rear page, though I do not know how many copies were produced. Inkjet printed on computer listing paper.

“Computer Punch Card Selected Artworks brings together 72 versions of the latest and most complex iterations of this practice. While retaining the same original photographic source material, which remains black and white images of cities like London and Tokyo at night. This time, the support brings colour and also an element of chance into the final image. Each individual image in this series is printed out across a grid of used IBM computer punch cards. Varying in size, colour combinations and complexity, which are then pinned to a backboard. The small punch cards that make up each finished object were an early system. Computer programs were initially fed into generations of computing machines in the 1970s. For example, through a combination of printed binary codes and punched holes. Both of which are still visible on the present cards. So, like my previous projects with EI Tablets and electronic ink, these works continue my investigation into outmoded or defunct technologies, from both their aesthetic and practical points of view. Here, Cairns is interested in the specific colours. As well as combinations of colours of the cards. Which produce their own abstractions. Adding to those of the original images, but in the ways in which the sequences of printed numbers and the process of pinning them together replicates the essence of digital technology in a totally man-made and man-altered way. Computer Punch Card Selected Artworks produces documentation of each complete image. After working through this idea across many examples of different sizes and scales. From simple 24-card composites then to large-scale versions of up to 330 cards.”

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