Skip to main content

Readable Art Hidden in Information and Codes opens 03-04 season

September 02, 2003

Location:Computing Commons Gallery, Palm Walk and Orange Street.
Date & Time:W. Bradford Paley’s CodeProfiles runs September 4 – October 30. The gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. While the installation will be open for viewing as of September 4th, a discussion with the artist will be held on Thursday, September 18th, from 3-4p.m. in the Intelligent Stage on the second floor of Matthews Center and will be followed immediately by a reception in the gallery.
More info:480-965-9438 or

TEMPE, Ariz.—The Computing Commons Gallery at Arizona State University announces the September 4th opening ofCodeProfiles, an exhibit by installation artist and interaction designer, W. Bradford Paley. The exhibits are curated by ASU’s Arts, Media and Engineering graduate research and education program (AME) and the Institute for Studies in the Arts (ISA). AME/ISA is one of the nation’s top institutes for arts research and education activities that focus on computational models and digital media.

The gallery is located at the corner of Palm Walk and Orange Street and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.CodeProfiles runs through October 30.

The exhibit will be open to the public starting Thursday, September 4th. On Thursday, September 18th, there will be a discussion with Mr. Paley from 3-4 p.m. in the Intelligent Stage in Matthews Center and will be followed immediately by a reception in the gallery at the Computing Commons.

W. Bradford Paley is a recognized innovator in the fields of interface design, computer input device design, information visualization and fine art. He describes his work as having three primary goals: to create visual filters which let different subjects express their differences; to make the work readable enough that the viewer can gain specific insights; and to reveal complexity in a way that's matched to human perceptual abilities. His series TextArc reveals patterns and concepts in literary texts that range from Beowulf to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Bruce Ferguson, dean of the school of arts at Columbia University, commented on TextArc to the New York Times that Mr. Paley’s program “frees you to see the text in a nonlinear way and to make connections that you would not have otherwise made. It makes a text richer and more interpretable.”

With CodeProfiles, Paley transitions from literary texts to the visual interpretation of patterns hidden in information.CodeProfiles, commissioned by the Whitney Museum for its on-line CODeDOC exhibition, exposes human and machine traces through the code that creates artworks. Unlike oil paints or clay, the “raw material” needed to create this art is computer code and Paley was one of a dozen internationally known artists commissioned to code a specific assignment in a language to refute the notion that digital artists simply buy a program, flip a switch and let a computer do its thing. There is far more individuality and artistry behind it and Paley’s CodeProfiles is designed to allow viewers to truly appreciate the journey.

Mr. Paley created his first computer graphics on a Teletype terminal connected to an IBM 360 in 1973, and began creating computer animation for advertising in 1982. Finding production tools almost non-existent he began writing his own, soon realizing that building a comfortable tool was more challenging and interesting than developing the animation itself. Building computer interfaces became his career. He founded Digital Image Design Incorporated in 1982, and devoted it to the task of creating comfortable, clear user interfaces and visual interpretations of data.

Throughout his career, Paley has successfully traversed the wall that exists between corporate America and the world of art. In 1994 he was the lead designer and founder of the successful Financial Data Visualization group on Wall Street at J.P. Morgan. While at the same time, his work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Banff Centre of the Arts, and the New York Public Library. Mr. Paley continues as the principal interaction designer at Digital Image Design while he also teaches a graduate seminar in his sensory/perceptual/cognitive approach to interaction design at Columbia University in New York.

AME is the Arts, Media and Engineering graduate research and education program at ASU. The program is co-sponsored by the Herberger College of Fine Arts (HCFA) and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and is housed at the Institute for Studies in the Arts (ISA). AME/ISA supports creation, research, development, presentation and education at the intersection of arts, media and engineering. For more information on AME/ISA, visit

The Computing Commons Gallery is open weekdays 10am - 4pm from September 4 through May 14 except holidays and vacations observed by the university.

Media Contact:
Sheilah Britton