Digital Art Museum
Manfred MOHR    


Artists statement


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Manfred Mohr USA

In my artistic development I did not have the typical constructivist background. I was an action painter and jazz musician. Through a development of consciousness, I detached myself from spontaneous expressions and turned myself to a more constructivist and, a therefore, geometric expression (1964).

Beyond this, my art developed into an algorithmic art in which inventing rules (algorithms) is the starting point and basis of my research. These "compositional rules" are not necessarily based on already imaginable forms, but on abstract and systematic processes. My rules are parametric rules, which means that at certain points in the process, conditions have to be set for which, in some cases, random choices can be employed.

In my work, similar to a journey, only the starting point and a theoretical destination is known. What happens during the journey is often unexpected and surprising. Even though my work process is rational and systematic, as well as controlled by visual criteria at all times, it is always open to surprises. With such parametric rules, the actual image is created as the result of a process.

Since 1973, in my research, I have been concentrating on fracturing the symmetry of a cube, without questioning the structure of the cube as a 'system'. This disturbance or disintegration of symmetry is the basic generator of new constructions and relationships. What I am interested in are the two-dimensional signs (� resulting from the projection of the lines of a cube. I describe them as unstable signs because they evoke visual unrest.

My art is not a mathematical art, but an expression of my artistic experiences. I invent rules which reflect my thinking and feelings. These algorithms can become very complex, that is to say, complicated and difficult to survey. In order to master this problem, the use of a computer is necessary in my work. Only in this way is it possible to overlay as many rules as necessary without losing control. It is inevitable that the results - that is, my images - are not readable at first glance. The information is deeply buried and a certain participation is demanded from the spectator, a readiness to interrogate this material.

In principal, all my work can be verified and rationally understood. This does not mean that there is no room for associations and imagination. On the contrary, the rational part of my work is limited basically to its' production. What one experiences, understands, learns, dreams... or interprets because of the presence of the art work rests solely in the mind of the spectator. An art work is only a starting point, a principle of order, an artist's statement, intended to provoke the spectator to continue his investigations.


Manfred Mohr

Manfred's artwork is made by considering higher-dimensional generalisations of the notion of a cube. By extending the cube from three-dimensions to a six-dimensional hypercube, and then projecting back down onto a two-dimensional canvas, he produces pictures made up from the collections of lines that form the edges of the hypercube. By incorporating slicing and rotations, and by combining projections of higher-dimensional shapes together (a process which he describes as being like composing music with several voices) a final picture is produced.

The inspiration in the work is to look for two-dimensional "signs", rather like the characters of an alphabet, and to combine them together into interesting forms.

Sculptures presented included many that were made from white tubular materials on a white background. When uniformly lit, the resulting structure is just barely visible and the overall impression is that the form blends into the surrounding space, capturing something of the notion of a projection from the higher dimensions.

By taking the structure of a hypercube and deliberately omitting certain edges, forms are created that give the suggestion of the remainder and that increase the feeling of mystery and involvement in the piece.