Brian Evans

Associate Professor of Art
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
We are order-seeking creatures. Through our senses we receive signals from the world around us. Our senses convert these signals into neural data we then interpret, thus creating all of our experience. We try to make sense of these signals. What endures? What repeats? What changes? We look for structure.

We recognize and compare patterns, trying to understand the sensory data. We build a basis from which we make choices. Living is the making of choices, based upon the received signals and perceived pattern within those signals. Finding pattern is the making of metaphors—mapmaking across conceptual domains.

As a digital artist I make maps that bridge the domains of number, sound, image and computation. I map experience to number and back into experience again. New patterns emerge. New knowledge is possible. From new knowledge a finer sense of order can be discovered.
pensée perdu
17x24 inches (framed)
digital print
2011
Here we are lost in thought, with one thought linking to the next. We see a stream of consciousness traced as a walk (in orange). Ironically there is a simple path from source to target, a creative leap, a short cut. But inside the network it's impossible to see. We are lost in the world without a map. Trying to fulfill a desire, or simply find our way home, we search not quite randomly for a destination, never really knowing how close it always is.

This work is computational, visualizing topographies of networks that model the structure of our brains and the structure of our culture. Parsing a network from source to target is all about finding our way—from problem to solution, person to person, here to home. We find our way through a small world, a network of incestuous links and a little randomness. It's pathfinding through myriad maps. And as behavior follows structure, it's not surprising that the intricacies of our lives mirror the filagreed arbors of our neural forests.
melancholia
17x24 inches (framed)
digital print
2011
Thoughts move through our neural networks as little spikes of chemistry-induced electricity. Like pinballs bouncing from bumper to bumper; these spikes connect the most subtle of patterns, memories that traverse the small world linkages of our brain, axon to dendrite, axon to dendrite. We hear the buzz of a bee on a dry summer day and feel sad. Why is that?

This work is computational, visualizing topographies of networks that model the structure of our brains and the structure of our culture. Parsing a network from source to target is all about finding our way—from problem to solution, person to person, here to home. We find our way through a small world, a network of incestuous links and a little randomness. It's pathfinding through myriad maps. And as behavior follows structure, it's not surprising that the intricacies of our lives mirror the filagreed arbors of our neural forests.
salia #2
13x31 inches (framed)
digital print
2011
Here we see a slice, through the time dimension, of an abstract animation (a mathematical visualization). LIke a slit-scan photograph we see how a single scanline changes as a time-based visual object (a video animation) unfolds. This 2D slice of a 4D object is then mapped into sound, so the image is actually a graphical music score. I sonify the score to create music that correlates sonically with what we see unfold visually in the animation. We hear the colors. We listen with our eyes.