Ilana Zweschi

Region: Pacific Coast

 I start with written text. Documents that have the power to outline ways in which some lives are made more important than others. Pronouncements and propaganda that strip living beings of their inherent value, and turn them into anonymous things.

I then take the numbers, letters, and punctuation that comprise these texts and alphabetically reorder them. The result is total nonsense. All of the same elements are there, but they no longer have the power to do harm. They have been disarmed. Like taking a gun and switching around its parts so the mechanism can no longer fire.

Finally, I use both forms of the text to write an algorithm that drives the decisions of each brushstroke of paint. I input the raw data of the text into the algorithm, run it through a series of “if/then” rules I assign based on the structure and grammar of the written words, and receive an output of painterly actions. The paintings could not exist without either the original or altered text.