Casey Reas

Professor at the European Graduate School / EGS

Biography

Casey Reas (b. 1972 in Troy, Ohio) is a Los Angeles-based artist, educator, and programmer.

Reas holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati (1996), as well as a Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001). An Associate Professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea between 2001 and 2003, Casey was appointed Professor at the Department of Design Media Arts at University of California, Los Angeles, in 2003.

During his studies at the University of Cincinnati Reas played in a band with Scott Devendorf and Matt Berninger who would then become members of “The National”. In 2017, Reas was commissioned to create four music videos for the band’s album “Sleep Well Beast” (which won them a Grammy Award for the Best Alternative Music Album):”The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”, “Guilty Party”, “Carin at the Liquor Store” and “Day I Die”. Billboard advertisements appeared at Times Square in New York, as well as in London and Copenhagen. Reas on the creation of these videos: “I was making the videos for myself and for the band, in direct response to the music. I think of each video as creating a visual world that complements the music. I think each song is a world of its own, and it’s the position of the director to respond to that, first and foremost.”[1]

In 2001, together with data visualization expert and artist Ben Fry, Reas invented and launched Processing, an “open source programming language and environment for the visual arts,”[2] and subsequently co-authored Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (MIT Press, 2007/2014). With the second edition having been significantly updated and revised, both editions provide “a comprehensive reference and text for Processing (www.processing.org), an open-source programming language that can be used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and anyone who wants to program images, animation, and interactivity.”[3]

Next to private and public collections (among them the Centre Georges Pompidou), Reas’ work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Europe, the United States, and Asia. Recent solo exhibitions include “Compressed Cinema” (DAM Gallery/ Berlin 2019), “Software Structures” (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2018), “Stochastic Confabulation” (California Polytechnic State University Art Gallery, 2017) and “There’s No Distance” (bitforms gallery / New York, 2016).

Among his numerous group exhibitions are, more recently, “What a Wonderful World” (La Fondazione Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia / Italy, 2019–2020), “Illusionary Nature” (Museum Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe/Germany, 2019 –2020) and “Automat und Mensch” (Kate Vass Galerie, Zürich/Switzerland, 2019).

Among his recent commissions are “Sketch Machine” (drawing and animation software commission from GIPHY Arts, online at https://sketchmachine.net; 2018), “Impure Functions” (installation at the Day for Night 2017 festival in Houston, Texas; in collaboration with Chandler McWilliams, Lauren McCarthy and the UCLA Arts Conditional Studio) and “Warm Up” (an installation created for UCLA Arts The Opening 2017/2018, in collaboration with Chandler McWilliams, Aaron Koblin, Matthew Miller; code online at https://github.com/uclaconditional/warm-up)

In addition to several articles and book chapters, as well as the artist book “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” (RRose Editions, 2018), Reas also published 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (MIT Press, 2013), co-authored with Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter, a book that “takes a single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title—and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.”[4]

Other publications include Process Compendium 2004–2010 (REAS Studio, 2010), which “catalogs seven years of work created by Reas,” and which “was published in an edition of five hundred to accompany the fall 2010 exhibition Process Compendium 2004–2010 at DAM Gallery in Berlin,”[5] as well as Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010). Co-authored with Chandler McWilliams and LUST, this publication offers “a non-technical introduction to the history, theory, and practice of software in the arts. Organized into themes linked to aspects of code–repetition, transformation, parameters, visualization, and simulation–each of the book’s sections contains an essay, code samples, and numerous illustrations.”[6]

[1] Sean Brenner, “A National production: Casey Reas offers inside view of videos for top alt-rock band”; http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/national-sleep-well-beast-casey-reas-inside-view-videos-for-alt-rock-band

[2] http://reas.com/information

[3] https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/processing-second-edition

[4] https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/10-print-chr2055rnd1-goto-10

[5] http://reas.com/compendium_catalog/

[6] http://reas.com/text

Works

Books

Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists Second Edition, Reas, Casey, and Ben Fry. Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists Second Edition. The MIT Press, 2014. ISBN: 026202828X

Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture, Reas, Casey, and Chandler McWilliams. Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture. Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. ISBN: 1568989377

Make: Getting Started with Processing, Reas, Casey, and Ben Fry. Make: Getting Started with Processing. Maker Media, 2010. ISBN: 144937980X

 

Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, Reas, Casey, and Ben Fry. Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists. Foreword by John Maeda. The MIT Press, 2007. ISBN: 0262182629

 

Lectures

Casey Reas

Studio Work

26.12.2016