Hard Cover, English, Staple Binding, 2016
354,007 Combinations of a 2x2 Grid with 18 Sets of Color
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John Houck’s “Digital Guides to Photography” is a series of books that form the basis for the artist’s Aggregates series. In these books, Houck explores photography’s movement from chemical to coded.
The photographic image has become linguistic, as it is now backed by a language rather than a chemical substrate. Houck writes software to generate every combination of a set of variables. In this case, the software iterates every possible two by two grid for a given set of colors. The project could be seen as working toward generating every combination of pixels possible for a digital display, thus producing ostensibly every digital photo that could ever exist. For this special Digital Guide for Rose Editions, Houck rewrote his Aggregates software to generate each set of color on the cover of the book, in succession. These combinatorial sets are interwoven as the last color combination for one set becomes the background color for the subsequent set. The pages of the book also subdivide, and the Aggregate material can be experienced at various scales of resolution.