John F. Simon Jr.

Color Panel v1.0
1999

On view
Floor 6

Artist
John F. Simon Jr.

Title
Color Panel v1.0

Date
1999

Medium
Software, altered Apple Macintosh Powerbook 280c, and acrylic (plastic)

Dimensions
Overall: 13 1/2 × 10 1/2 × 3 in. (34.3 × 26.7 × 7.6 cm)

Classification
New Media

Edition information
3/12

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee

Accession number
99.88a-c

Rights and reproductions information
© artist or artist’s estate

Object label
Displayed on a flat-panel computer screen, Color Panel v1.0 is an artwork in the form of a computer program. The software, which John Simon wrote himself, “controls the screen, draws the composition, picks the colors, moves the colors,” producing constantly evolving compositions of squares and rectangles that deliberately evoke early modernist geometric abstraction. Simon cites the influence of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers, teachers at the Bauhaus in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, who explored the apparent changes in hue caused by placing different colors next to each other. To this phenomenon, Color Panel v1.0 adds the element of time and, crucially, of endless variation: its beginning is variable, and its sequences never repeat, progressing over a time frame that approaches eternity. v1.0 in the title stands for the first version of the software that Simon used to create the work.