7.Day for Night Artist Series:“KNBC”, Casey Reas

This week I searched for an interesting project form, Casey Reas. Casey Reas is an American artist and is best known for having created, with Ben Fry, the Processing programming language. The book “Make: Getting Started with p5.js he wrote with Ben Fry, is now used by thousands of artists and designers. He is currently a professor in the Department of Design Media Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. He explores the art by using the contemporary lens of software and transform the conceptual, procedural and minimal ideas into artworks.

To Casey Reas, writing computer code and programming are not only the technical skills, but they are also important “thinking” skills for him to express the artistic ideas, and this contemporary artistic expression provides a great effect in both art and processing domain.


“KNBC” is an audio and visual distortion of television signals broadcast during December 2015. The signals were captured and archived at Casey’s studio in Los Angeles. The project combined the coding, art, and sound. This video captures a few minutes of a continuous, generative collage, and the intermittent sound can also bring the special feeling for audiences.

“It’s a very interesting and powerful way of thinking that doesn’t have a specific domain,” Reas explained for the project in the interview.


I really love the artistic expression he used in the KNBC Project, and it perfectly eliminates the gap between coding and art. Actually, his work reminds me another artist Ryoji Ikeda.

Ryoji Ikeda is a digital music producer in Japan, and he is also a leader of modern audio art. In his artworks, he studies frequency, noise, and space, which make Music as a feeling rather than pure melody and scores. He also did a lot of famous digital artworks, such as Time square – Test Pattern. In the working process, he also combines the math, the code, and the music.

Compared with Ryoji’s work, Casey more focus on the visual expression, and transforming some invisible signal into visual art. Many artists play around with the signal and some tiny details in our daily life, and coding just provides a medium which sometimes may become a better expression approach of these ideas than traditional painting or photography. Sometimes, just copying a classic painting or photo, coding processing can provide a totally different art form to understand the art and extend the art, which transform a lot of classic artworks.


Casey Reas also did a lot of other interesting projects such as Infinite Command Team, and MicroImage.

Infinite Command Team







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