Digital Art Museum


Artists statement

My images are the site of paradox. Beauty on the surface is pitted by the turmoil underneath that bubbles up serendipitously through the thin surface of the image. This work originates on the other side of the mask, like looking out through the car windshield on a dark rainy night. The world outside is transformed through the streaks of rain.

As a shadowy reflection on that distorted image, I see my own face, and I feel as though I am looking at the inside of the mask. The facial image is torn by shreds of the outside world flowing down the windshield with the pouring rain. This is not a crisp, bright image in a mirror, but hints of a image that pulsates with the sheets of rain. It appears to be the animating force peering out from behind the shadows of the streetlights, even more clear with the strikes of lightening. The image as spirit has been summoned up by the ritual pounding of the rain and the cover of the darkness. The body is a conduit to other worlds, a vehicle of connection with the natural environment, embodying the reverberations of memory and the resonance of the spiritual future. As with Aboriginal ceremonial dancers, the light of fire protects the secrecy of symbolic forms painted on the body.

Joan Truckenbrod


This is an archive of the Digital Art Museum for historical reference.
See for the current site.


Early Computer / Digital Artwork


These images evoked the contrast of the digital life and the analogue life. Tensions emerge as the digital representation is juxtaposed with the analog or photographic view. I created the digital images using a video digitizer and then superimposed them on top of a live video image. The final images were photographed directly from the computer monitor.


This series of images continued my investigation of imaging natural phenomena using a Tektronix color computer. I was not interested in a direct simulation rather an interpretive or expressive programmatic image. I began with descriptive mathematical formulas from physics that described natural phenomena, transforming them into my imagery.


Generative Computer Graphic Images

Continuing my interest in creating an image that embodies invisible phenomena that bring a visceral character to our body, to our physicality of being in the world. The resulting abstract patterning is a portal to these phenomena of the natural world like light waves moving around an object and reflecting in an irregular surface, or air currents moving invisibly in a space. Leaving organic trails of it movement and interaction with objects and people in the space. I approached these ideas from two directions. First I wrote programs to generate series of images that describe these phenomena, allowing me to see the undulation and transformation as it occurred. Secondly I did not want to tie this imagery down on a static piece of paper. Rather I wanted to propel it into the motion that it so elegantly described. I devised a technique for sequentially transferring these images from the monitor onto heat transfer xerography paper. I literally turned the monitor upside down on a 3M Color-in-Color copier with backlighting capability so the image being projected from the monitor was printed. I developed each computer program to create a series of images, printed sequentially using the color copier. After trimming each print, I heat transferred the images onto fabric using a hand iron, to create large electronic tapestries.


Color was not available using the plotter alone. I could not convenience the Geography Department that using colored inks would enhance their drawings, and provide a vehicle for communicating more information in one drawing. As I wanted to use color to create spatial drawings, I injected color into these drawings by using color Xerography on transparencies.


I began making digital drawings by programming the computer in FORTRAN programming language. I began using the computer because I wanted to embody in my imagery phenomena in the physical world that was invisible to the eye yet elicited a visceral experience to the body. I wanted these drawings, and later textiles, to have a gestural and emotive sensibility. These early drawings were created using an IBM Mainframe computer and a CalComp Plotter. The computer processing was done in Batch mode. My computer programs were processed and the resulting data for the drawings was recorded on a 16 BPI tape. I picked the tape up at the computer center and hand delivered it to the Geography Department at Northern Illinois University, who operated the large Calcomp drum. plotter.