Every Icon

John F. Simon, Jr.
Software: web based and wall hanging  versions

Every Icon (1996) is a piece of conceptual art realized in software that has been presented as an online installation, a Palm Pilot application, and a self-contained wall hanging object and many other ways. It runs continuously and never repeats. The piece is a 32 x 32 square grid where every square can be colored black or white. Every Icon starts with an image where every square is white and progresses through combinations of black and white squares until every square is black. The piece will show every possible image. Although it takes only a few months to display all of the variations along the first line, it takes  millions of years longer to complete the second line. There is no word for the amount of time it would take to fill the entire grid. Even in this limited visual space, there are more images than the human mind can experience in many lifetimes. In this way the piece comments on the promise of technology and the job of the artist.


 
 
Image courtesy of Jaime Austin

Image courtesy of Jaime Austin