Petronio Bendito: Digital Color, Algorithm & Expression (2014)

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PREFACE Kendall S. Smith II The Anne Horwedel Executive Director Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

We are honored to have Professor Petronio Bendito’s digital print exhibition, Natural Disaster Color, showcased in the McDonald Gallery at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. This exhibition was made possible in part by The Henriott Group, an Indiana-based professional risk management and insurance team; an Indiana Arts Commission Grant; and ongoing support of the College of Liberal Arts, and the Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University. As the only accredited museum in our region, we value each opportunity to engage in art experiences with Purdue. When we interviewed Professor Bendito about the possibility of exhibiting his current work, he invited our Curator, Michael Crowthers, our Exhibitions Committee Chair, Bruno Moser, and me to see his ongoing color projects. We were welcomed and treated by his exploration of the many color palettes that he created based on his color analysis of photographs depicting natural disasters. His abstractions, through the use of color, pattern and movement, are exciting to behold and seem far removed from the shocking images that inspired them. Each work stands on its own, as a metaphor to the various aspects of hope intrinsic to the exhibition. An invitation to exhibit in our museum was thankfully accepted. For this monograph and exhibition catalog, Dr. Catherine Dossin reflects on the Natural Disaster Color series’ connections with Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster series, and discusses the impact of the Internet on Bendito’s artistic production; Professor Terezinha Fialho, in her statement, connects with the emotional impact of the works; and Dr. Elizabeth K. Mix provides a historical framework for the artist’s production during the past twelve years, focusing on the works Bendito produced after earning an M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University. Thoughts by museum curator Michael Crowthers are included as well. We thank them for their insights. The Natural Disaster Color exhibition has many layers of meaning and provides us with an opportunity to look at color in a new way.



Natural Disaster Color Exhibition Michael Crowthers Curator of Collections, Exhibitions, and Education Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

The world today can be described in many ways by a simple term: instant. Information and the ability to connect with others are more accessible on a global scale now than ever before. Images and thoughts of tragedy as well as joy are fed on a second-by-second basis onto the Internet. That ability comes with many attachments. However, Petrônio Bendito has transformed online images of natural disasters into pools of thoughtful visual reflections. When we view images that have been disseminated on the Internet, like messages set adrift in a bottle, we run the risk of absorbing the visual impact before we learn any context. Bendito has developed digital printmaking in a way that allows the viewer to absorb the subject matter’s enormous weight without first being turned away by the initial shock and awe of the graphic ‘disaster’ photos that we are all exposed to. A gallery is the perfect setting for Bendito’s prints to hold physical presence in the real world. Searching online can be akin to visiting an art gallery; we can generally know where we heading but will often find numerous visuals before our eyes that we never would have dreamed to see that day. Similarly so, these visuals have a way of impacting our thoughts and inner reflections well after they are absent. It is my hope that visitors will experience these digital prints in a progression of steps and emotions. First, visually experiencing the images as they are and analyzing the complex layers in the forms' structure; then taking an even closer examination to learn the genesis of these images; lastly, acknowledging the incredible humanity that lies within the colors.


Petrônio Bendito and The Digital Colors of Remembrance Dr. Catherine Dossin Associate Professor of Art History Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts Purdue University, USA

Haiti Earthquake: 2010, Study for Japan Earthquake/Tsunami: 2011, Hurricane Sandy, NYC: 2012: the titles of Petrônio Bendito’s new Natural Disaster Color series bring to mind horrific images of devastated cities and destroyed lives. Our vivid memories of those tragic events have been shaped by the countless photographs and videos that have been posted on the internet by amateur photographers, witnesses and survivors alike. Reaching a global audience without delay or editing, those images threw us into the thick of those events. No longer voiced only by journalists, the tragedies unfolded on our screens as those who lived through them uploaded images and shared with us in real-time their visions of a world unraveling (Pages 9, 11). This myriad of poignant, personal documents has come to play a major role in our collective consciousness and, as a whole, is transforming our relation to the environment, death, disaster, and to the media through which we re-experience them. Sixty years ago, a similar transformation of our relationship to media occurred when dreadful events began to be reproduced in Technicolor. In response to the multiplication of terrible images in colorful glossy magazines and TV broadcastings, Andy Warhol created the Death and Disaster series (1962-63), in which he commentated on the deadening effect of mass media on society’s perception of violence. Documentary photography soon became the target of intense criticism



Tornado, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA, 2011. Creative Commons photo by AlabamaAandM Image numbered and color coded for From Pain to Color (2014), an installation by Petrônio Bendito.



for its aestheticization and exploitation of suffering1. But those discussions did not prepare us to deal with all the snapshots of natural disasters now haunting the Internet. This new type of documentation poses new questions, and critical discourses about the ideological and exploitative dimensions of photography seem irrelevant when it is the victims of those natural disasters who are taking the horrific images and posting them online. Here the pictures are no longer the work of professional photographers, displayed along with captions and texts that inform its meaning. Instead they are hurried snapshots of nature’s devastation in a time and age when people experience and document their surroundings through the lenses of their cell phones and cameras. While some of those Internet images have entered mainstream media and become iconic, the rest simply roam the web, showing to all those who click on them visions of helpless witnesses of life’s fragility. Petrônio Bendito recovers them 2, and engages in a dialogue with this new imagery of death, doing for online social media what Warhol had done in the 1960s for mass media.


(top) 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Thailand. Source image: Creative Commons photo by David Rydevik. Indian Ocean Tsunami, Thailand: 2004. (2013) A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series. Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 68.5 x 99 cm / 27 x 39 in.



The project started as Bendito helplessly watched from his computer as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Indian Ocean burst into a tsunami, and Port-auPrince collapsed in the shocks of an earthquake. His way of making sense of those photographs of a reality so terribly absurd and ungraspable was to bring them into his own world, and think them in colors. Bendito is indeed first and foremost a color theorist; others would say he is a digital wizard, who uses the dry language of computer sciences to invent colors algorithmically and create new (digital) realities, as seen in his Color Code series3. Digital color was thus his entry point in those pictures of disasters. For months, Bendito looked at them in his computer, studying their color variations, searching for a connection and a meaning in all this destruction. In a photograph of the 2007 flood in China, he recognized, within the maroon of the muddy water, the orange of the survivors’ lifejackets. The orange hue was the thin thread that still connected the victims to the natural elements that engulfed them. For Chile Earthquake, Concepcion: 2010 (Page 13), in a photograph of the 2010 earthquake in Chile (Page 13.1), he connected the grey colors of the collapsed bridge to the grey reflection on the sea and sky. In the process of establishing digital color palettes for his images, Bendito reconnected in color the different pieces of a fragmented world. In the computer he transformed photographs and videos from the Internet into grids with assigned colors to each of the squares (Page 13.2). As such, it calls to mind Piet Mondrian’s grid of universal order and unity. But Bendito’s grid, at the end, is not orthogonal. In his works the lines move and fold gracefully through vectorial paths that he

(1) CC photo by Claudio Núñez via Color scheme by Petronio Bendito. (2) Color grid study for Chile Earthquake, Concepcion: 2010. CC: Creative Commons




Chile Earthquake, Concepcion: 2010. (2013) Detail A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 68.5 x 99 cm / 27 x 39 in Source image: CC photo by Claudio Núùez



manipulates digitally, building new relations between humans and nature through shapes and colors. Bendito’s color palettes provide the viewer with an alternative entry point for the events that they depict. While such an abstraction of the original photograph may suggest an attempt to disguise the events they depict by masking them with an abstract grid, Bendito’s abstractions reveal in fact a desire to reconstruct what had been destroyed and find some inexpugnable order beneath the chaos. This process of abstraction and reconstruction is documented on a website Bendito created as a part of this project ( It was indeed essential for him to bring the Natural Disaster Color series back to the Internet since it is so deeply rooted in the digital reality of the Web. Yet, the final images had to be printed because they ultimately had to exist outside online social media, where the natural disasters actually happened. Bendito’s prints transcend the horror of the events depicted in the original photographs. Presented in the gallery, they provide a monument to mourn, remember, honor and reflect on what happened in New Orleans, Haiti, Tohoku, and wherever natural disasters strike. Like Michelangelo’s Pieta (1499) or Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982), they offer a poignant memorial of man’s fragile yet inexorable place in the world.

Catherine Dossin is an art historian. Originally from France she received a Master’s degree from the Sorbonne and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is an associate professor at Purdue University, where she teaches courses on modern and contemporary art in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Her research is rooted in historiography and geopolitics with an emphasis on transnational dialogues. Her first book, Geopolitics of the Western Art World, 1940s-1980s, to be published by Ashgate in 2014, challenges the New


Study for Joplin EF5 Tornado Rescue Crew: 2011 (2013)

York-centered official story of postwar Western art by highlighting the role played by the German, Italian, Dutch, and Belgian peripheries. She is currently working on a history of the reception of American art in postwar Europe. She is the Vice President of Artl@s, an international project that provides scholars with the spatial (digital) tools necessary to write a transnational history of the arts. She is also the co-editor of the Artl@s Bulletin.



China Flood: 2007 (2013) A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 68.5 x 99 cm / 27 x 39 in Source image: Photo (left) Š China Daily. Used with permission. 019


Joplin EF5 Tornado Rescue Crew: 2011 (2013) A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 68.5 x 99 cm / 27 x 39 in Source image: Creative Commons photo (left) by BabyBare11 021


Haiti Earthquake: 2010 (2013) A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 99 x 68.5 cm / 39 x 27 in Source image: U.S. Navy / Michael C. Barton (left) 023

Japan Earthquake/Tsunami: 2011 (2013) A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 99 x 68.5 cm / 39 x 27 in Source image: unknown (temporarily released on YouTube) 025

Colorado Springs Fire: 2012 (2013) Diptych A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 99 x 68.5 cm / 39 x 27 in (each) Source image: Photo by Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post 026


Hurricane Sandy, NYC: 2012 (2013) Diptych A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, edition of 6, 68.5 x 99 cm / 27 x 39 in (each) Source image: Photo by Suzanne DeChillo, The New York Times


Haiti Earthquake: 2010. (2013) Digital Print 100x70 cm | 27.5x39.3 in Source: Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael C. Barton via


Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans: 2005 (2013) Triptych A Pictorial Space for Reflection/Natural Disaster Color series Digital print on canvas, ed. of 6, 99 x 68.5 cm / 39 x 27 in (each) Source image: AP Photo / U.S. Coast Guard / Kyle Niemi 031

From Pain to Color Terezinha Fialho Professor of Art Federal University of Paraiba Brazil

Each century peculiar manifestations of expressiveness are presented to mankind. As sources of inspiration for their practice, artists have captured them in the moment, the environment, and in their experiences. For instance, the Impressionists captured day-to-day life, and Andy Warhol took possession of mass media... An innovative approach. This is an affirmation that, obviously, will never convey the richness of feelings that made Petrônio Bendito, a New Media artist, look beyond pain…and offer us beauty. Nowadays, natural disasters, disseminated by a wide range of media, become global tragedies that weaken and shatter us. These disasters always take us to a state of pain, of fear—feelings that touch the most profound core of our humanity. It is not an easy task to translate the concept of suffering, whether through gestures or words. The theme of death—chaos—has a subtle and challenging presence in the visual arts. Bendito, in his aesthetic reflection, has transposed pain and offers us hope. His digital art provides us a new reading of the facts associated with natural disasters: It references the power of resilience, something new, translated through the medium of colors. Bendito’s art warms the soul and makes us believe that, ultimately, something much better is to come. Overcoming the feeling of impotency that is generated by the chaos of disasters, transcending pain, Petrônio Bendito refers us to a “rainbow” that leads us forward.

(Right and related consecutive pages) From Pain To Color (2014) Table (size variable), glass cover, photographs: 10 x 15 cm / 4 x 6 in (each) Installation view at Rueff Galleries, QUARTET exhibition (2013)




From Pain To Color (2014) numbered photographs and color palettes, 10 x 15 cm / 4 x 6 in (each) Installation (details)

CC: Creative Commons


0101 0102 0103 0104 0109 0110 0111

Tornado, Ohatchee, Alabama, USA, 2011. NOAA Earthquake, Jundao, Japan, 2008. CC / Tornado, Alabama, USA, 1998. FEMA Wildfire, Sula, Montana, USA, 2000. BLM Alaska Fire Service Earthquake, Port au Prince, Haiti, 2010. CC / Agência Brasil Earthquake, Port au Prince, Haiti, 2010. CC / Agência Brasil Tornado, Hackleburg, Alabama, USA, 2011. FEMA








0100 0112t 0112b 0113 0114 0115 0116 0117 0118 0119

Tornado Pleasant Grove, Alabama, USA, 2011. FEMA / Adam Dubrowa (Top) Earthquake, Sichuan, China, 2008. CC / (Bottom) Earthquake, Haiti, 2010. UN Photo / Logan Abasel Earthquake, Wenchuan, China, 2008. CC / Tsunami, Ofunato, Japan, 2011. U.S. Navy Tsunami, Matara, Sri Lanka, 2004. CC / Sarvodaya Sri Lanka Hurricane Sandy, New York, New York, USA, 2012. CC / WarmSleepy Hurricane Sandy, New York, New York, USA, 2012. CC / David Shank bone Earthquake, Ofunato, Japan, 2011. Naval Air Facility Misawa/MBD Tsunami, Sri Lanka, 2004. CC / James_gordon_losangeles

CC: Creative Commons








0120 0121 0124 0125 0126 0128 0129 0130 0133 0137

Hurricane Katrina, Empire, Louisiana, USA, 2005. FEMA / Robert Kaufmann Hurricane Katrina, Houston, Texas, USA, 2005. FEMA / Andrea Booher Hurricane Sandy, Bay Head, New Jersey, USA, 2012. FEMA / Patsy Lynch Hurricane Sandy, Long Beach, New York, USA, 2012. FEMA / Andrea Booher Hurricane Sandy, Breeze Point, New York, USA, 2012. FEMA / Ryan Courtade Tornado, Moore, Oklahoma, USA, 2013. FEMA / Andrea Booher Tornado, Moore, Oklahoma, USA, 2013. FEMA / Jocelyn Augustino Earthquake, Barn, Iran, 2004. Unicef Tornado, Moore, Oklahoma, USA, 2013. Oklahoma National Guard Landslide, Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2011. CC / AgĂŞncia Brasil


Petrônio Bendito’s Intermedia Expressions: Installation, Software Art, Performance, Digital Printmaking and Video Dr. Elizabeth K. Mix Associate Professor of Art History Director of Art Program Butler University, USA

Introduction In 1966 Dick Higgins identified Intermedia as artistic expressions in which discrete media (music, poetry, sculpture, etc.) became “merely puristic points of reference”1 in the wake of mass literacy fostered by, in Higgins’ time, television and radio. Today Intermedia is one of several terms, like digital art, multimedia, computer art, variable media, cybernetic art and software art, used to describe art with some connection to specifically digital technology. The most often used umbrella term, New Media, expresses one of the defining characteristics—the predictable and regular obsolescence that places an emphasis on what is the latest, meaning new, technology. Digital video, anything made with or referencing computers or the Internet (or made for, or with, or referencing related items from gadgets such as cell phones, PDAs, tablets, etc.), to applications (websites, animations created with computer programs, artwork made using databases or code or referencing computer games) are considered New Media, as are works that take the form of or utilize social media like Facebook or Twitter. The ragged edges of the pixel and the grainy video of YouTube are two formal qualities that are sometimes emphasized in New Media, which continues to question and break barriers between artwork and audience, sometimes through interactivity or virtual reality. Bendito’s choice of Intermedia to describe his work is significant not just because of the connection of the term to technology, or the fact that it suggests a crossing or blending of media, but also the importance of collaboration and as Higgins put it, a desire “to emphasize the dialectic between the media.”2


Triggered Memories (2002) DVD, VHS, 00:12:00

The “puristic points of reference” for Bendito’s work in this essay are installations, software art, performance, digital prints and video, but throughout these categories the reader will recognize a persistent exploration of one particular formal element— color—imagined and articulated in its aesthetic, symbolic and scientific aspects. A consideration of two of Bendito’s works from 2002 provides an important introduction to basic principles that informed the development of his oeuvre. The video Triggered Memories (2002) (Above), combined an exploration of symbolic gestures created by the artist’s body and expressed via shadows. The work was displayed on a television screen in front of the same chair featured in the video. Viewers were invited to sit in the chair while they watched the artist’s performance. Triggered Memories contains several nascent ideas that Bendito would develop more fully over a decade: the use of projected light to create an environment, the blurring of the lines between artist, artwork and viewer, a shadow taxonomy3, and the integration of physical performance with a digitized computer component.

The two-dimensional computer animation Color Digits 101010 #01 (2002) 4 (Page 41) demonstrates multidimensional primacy of color as well as the importance of process to the artist. In this work, Bendito addresses “color aesthetic issues that are idiomatic to computers” while providing a visualization of a digital color model—the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) cube, a mathematical structure used to produce and control the display of color in digital environments, such


as computer screens, cell phones, etc. Bendito uses animation techniques to show how he reverse-engineered the RGB cube directly from the Mac System Palette and reveals to the viewers his digital color wheel (which he published in a paper in 2005) and finally a minimalist composition of the color spectrum, the poetic component of this work. While his original intention was concerned with revealing the structure of the cube, Bendito realized that the RGB cube is not only a placeholder for mathematical structure, it is also a cognitive tool from which both logical and poetic color relationships can be extracted. The type of color contained in the RGB cube is both additive (meaning that color mixing is occurring in light) and perceptual (meaning that the appearance of the color is dependent on its interpretation by the brains of individual viewers). Color Digits 101010 #01 (Page 41) not only makes visible the processes that occur behind the computer screen when a user chooses a color from, for instance, an Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop color palette (functioning as a didactic tool), it also expresses decisions made by the artist (choice of color, arrangement, copy and paste). In both cases, this work is a digital manifestation of what can be called Process Art (art that reveals the way in which it is made, and also art that changes over time). In his statement for the work Bendito asks: Are we as artists/designers ‘programming’ new visual experiences, or are we ‘being programmed’ by our experiences with computers as a whole? What kind of art is produced when mental processes are unconscious simulations of computer-based processes? What happens when humans think like machines? Have we consciously allowed ourselves to be shaped by computer related experiences? This early exploration of the RGB color model that Bendito termed a “cognitive tool” provided a foundation for a wide range of artworks that considered the role of technology as transformative for both artist and viewer. In this early work Bendito also first articulated a methodology that enabled him to study the perceptual structure of the RGB color model and envision RGB numeric values as sound and subsequently “musical harmonic relationships”—something that was realized fully only much later in his collaborative works with Didier Guigue (2003~).


Installations Installation art is work created for a specific space, location, or interior, and in this sense is related to what is called site-specific work. Installation art evolved from both traditional sculpture “in-the-round” (necessitating viewing from all sides) and Minimalist sculpture, which unlike earlier sculptural forms were designed to shape, sometimes in an oppressive way, the viewer’s perception of the space in which they were placed, or, if positioned outdoors, were designed to block the viewer’s vision. Unlike sculpture, however, Installation art usually creates a space in which the viewer is fully immersed, effectively manipulating the traditional relationship between audience and artwork. An installation in the art-historical sense is usually a temporary environment created for viewers to allow their immersion. Viewers of installations participate in the work of art by entering it literally and/or engaging with it intellectually. Bendito’s first immersive installation, Technology Side Effects (2002) (Pages 43-50), was also a solo exhibition featuring digital projections, digital prints, assemblage, interactive animation, video, motion graphics, and an invited improvisational performance by TranSonic, a multidisciplinary art collective. The show was inspired by the phrase “so… are we engaged in a cognitive-behavioral pattern of pathological technology use?” Bendito said of the installation: Even though I am not against technology per se, I find disturbing the fact that society has come to accept technology without reflecting on its implications. […] In this exhibit, I explored how technology has changed the individual’s perception of self, the relationship with the physical body, and the impact of technology on society and culture as a whole. [The show emphasized] many pathological behaviors associated with the Internet, such as compulsive online pornography usage, technology dependency, neglect of friends and family, sleep deprivation, decreased physical activity, online abuse and online-related identity crises. Bendito’s Technology Side Effects was influenced by three important visionaries. Latin American educational activist Paulo Freire called for the experiencing of the world critically and the awareness of self in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed (published in Portuguese in 1968, translated into English in 1970). From media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s writings, such as his 1964 book Understanding


Media: The Extensions of Man, Bendito “came to understand the impact that media has upon individuals, society and culture.” Cognitive scientist Donald Norman in Things that Make us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of Machine (1993) and The Design of Everyday Things (1990) taught Bendito that advances in technology can also dramatically change our relationship with the world around us and that technological progress, if not implemented properly, may compromise the quality of life of the users. Norman’s design concerns related to human-factors caused Bendito to reflect beyond neglected utilitarian issues in a technologically driven world, and to research the effects that technology has on human behavior and cognition.


(Left)Technology Side Effects (2002) Segments of texts that appear in e-Fetish/eSymptoms (2002) 045

Visitors to the exhibition were immersed in an environment that asked them to question their relationship to, and even dependence upon, technology. Sculptures embedded in the environment included Unplug Yourself (2002) (Page 47), a cellphone enshrined in a museum case, which asked viewers to consider the degree to which this technology was mediating and controlling their lives and replacing human interaction. Bendito called the piece “an unofficial collaboration with Sprint”—the phone no longer functioned in the traditional sense (its number had been disconnected but it allowed a message to remain displayed on its screen). The use of the phone as found object and the integration of language both harken back to Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, but the broader contextual placement within the installation enhances this work’s significance. Unplug Yourself also alluded to the planned obsolescence that began in 1940s America but accelerated rapidly with the development of digital technology. This concept was also expressed in Digital Junk (2002) (Page 47), a.k.a. TechnoPhile(Junk) (2002/2010)7, a pile of “dead” computers, circuit boards and wires designed to confront viewers. For this work, Bendito created a custommade “screensaver” that, playing on one working monitor, alluded to the also ubiquitous planned obsolescence of software. Pixelized versions of familiar icons including the trash can and file folders reminded viewers of the history of the GUI (graphical user interface), specifically the obsolesce of those icons or brands that were originally designed to make computers seem more “friendly.” Simultaneously, the work referenced physical objects that would appear in an office setting and become obsolete rapidly. Bendito’s intent with Technology Side Effects was to use “sound, images, motion graphics and objects as emotional simulation devices and recollection [and awareness] tools.” He wanted the audience to be embedded in what he termed a “meta-experience.” Central to the installation were two large immersive pieces, titled Computer Virus (In My Heart) (2002) (Pages 48-49) and e-Fetish/e-Symptoms (2002). As Roy Ascott explained in the 1960s, the basic principle underlying what he terms “participational” art is feedback—“it is this loop which makes the triad artist/artwork/observer an integral art”8. The production of a public, cybernetic art depends on the creation of flexible structures to house images capable of producing multiple meanings. This type of artwork exists in a constant state of transition— any possible “final” resolution must be determined by the viewer/user. The artist is responsible for the “general context of the art-experience” while its evolution is “unpredictable and dependent on the total involvement of the spectator.”9 046

as a metaphor to any set of online data (website, online forum, etc.) that influence human behavior (sleep-deprivation, identity-theft, online pornography). The second major element in Technology Side Effects, Bendito’s e-Fetish/eSymptoms (2002), questioned how technology has changed the individual’s relationship to the human body and society as a whole. It presents the computer as an agent of voyeurism. The viewer becomes the voyeur in this Macromedia Flash animated sequence that simulates an abstracted model of surveillance across a woman’s silhouette. In the animation, Bendito incorporates the question “So… are we engaged in a cognitive-behavioral pattern of pathological technology use?” Bendito created the work from an assemblage bra embellished with embroidered text. It was published by Wired (2002)12 magazine under the title Cross-Platform. The name of computer-related pathologies ran across the bottom of the wall, which Bendito described as “mimicking banner advertisements encountered on the Internet”. Two aspects of Technology Side Effects that were at the time incidental or ancillary were critical for Bendito’s continued development. The first was the unplanned presence of viewers’ shadows as they moved in front of the projectors placed in the gallery. While originally a function of limitations of the gallery space (there was not the ability to suspend the projectors), Bendito found that the incorporation of the viewers’ shadows implicated them physically in the work. The second important event was the performance of TranSonic within the space, which also resulted in the creation of shadows of their bodies integrating into the environment. This aspect was deliberately incorporated into his next installation Digital Habitat (2003) (Pages 52-53) a “site-specific installation in which computer-rendered animated and scripted compositions, numbers, and text were projected from a single source system in the environment to create an immersive experience.” Key modifications to this installation included the addition of digital music by Didier Guigue, leading to collaborative efforts between artist and musician in subsequent works (see below). Equally important was creation of digital artworks featuring RGB color as the primary formal element and source of inspiration. He emphasized the additive primaries Red, Green and Blue in his color palette, creating a somewhat disturbing environment of striking contrasting colors. Bendito purposefully created a “habitat” that was unsettling and inhospitable, metaphorically and ironically referring to the side-effects of technology previously articulated in Technology Side Effects. 051

three broad categories: “(1) the mind/body state [of the participant]; (2) suggestive reality (as opposed to factual reality); and (3) conscious/unconscious knowledge acquisition.” The idea that the work moved beyond five senses (and therefore to the unconscious realm) led Bendito to define the meta-experience of an art installation as “a body/ mind state of the participant in which the ‘reality’ of the experience (…) triggers conscious and unconscious knowledge acquisition modes” dependent on the audience as participant rather than observer. Critical to the meta-experience is the triggering of sensations in the immersed participant and consequently the activation of “conscious and unconscious knowledge acquisition modes.” Bendito observed “immersive experience happens in a continuum that may range from low to high self-awareness” and in a range of emotional states from “calm to excitement.” This notion of meta-experience, the role of the viewer as active immersed participant, and the collaboration with Guigue continued in Color Digits (2004) (Page 55) which was presented in three formats: an installation, display on a monitor and online via YouTube; in the latter viewers can choose among different sound mixes. Here Bendito returns his attention to the RGB color model: a grid of RGB colors “sliced” from the cube (essentially a plane of the cube) provides a palette of slowly-moving geometric forms. As Bendito explains, “This results in another ‘displacement,’ as what is invisible inside the computer monitor [mathematical structure that enable colors to be seen in the screen or projection] is rendered not only visible, but also poetic.” Also, “In order to see this work, the viewer must ‘slow down’.” Here the artist references the shortened attention spans caused by our interactions with contemporary technology. Viewing the work, especially online, is an exercise in patience not normally associated with “surfing” activity on the web. The shifts in size and placement of the color areas are intentionally slowed and sometimes barely perceptible. In this work Bendito advances his collaboration with Guigue. Rather than the soundtrack existing separately from the projections, the artists worked on a model to translate the RGB numeric values into “musical harmonic relationships” and “visual music.” Within this installation Bendito continued to add improvisational performance elements that he formalized as a visual vocabulary in collaboration with dancers, movers and choreographers. Bendito reflects “…what is original about the visual music approach of Color Digits is that the sound created for 054

the work is not a translation of emotions, or synesthesia… here we translated sequences of RGB numbers and created a method to play them. Guigue found harmonic relationships in the RGB color palette that I provided to him, by analyzing numeric patterns.” The colors, motion pattern, and sound were incorporated into Breathe (2013), a 3D animation experiment that explored the relationship between perceived 3D space with sound and motion. Another collaboration with Guigue, Ludus Chroma (2010) (Page 57), an installation and software art, appears visually different than other immersive installations of this period; rather than full blocks of color, the animation of multicolored shreds or strands of color play within the space (These forms are visually similar to Bendito’s computational prints discussed in the Digital Printmaking section). In a series of works Bendito began to collaborate with dancers and choreographers as an extension of the meta-experience first articulated with Digital Habitat. Many of these collaborations were presented in a retrospective called Immersions XYZ (2013) (Page 59) that featured four video dance projects. This event gave Bendito the opportunity to explore new aesthetic decisions: human-sized projections of dancers on the walls. But the viewer was not excluded from this exhibition, primarily about dance and movement. Algae Vectoris (2011) (Page 65) brought the viewer back into the equation, as this “computer vision” responded gracefully with the movement of the viewers. Unbearable Lightness (2012) (Page 58) was inspired by Slavoj Zizek’s notion of “the unbearable lightness of being no one” promoted in The Parallax View (2006). In this work Bendito explored drawing as performance, as he combined improvisational “scribbles” on the dancer and environment. Bendito declared that Unbearable Lightness “investigates a wide range of conscious and unconscious associations, including the fear of not being grounded or falling, gravitational forces, a return to the womb, struggles, of being out of space… the state in which the body is devoid of mass and is in constant restlessness and displacement.” Alpha State #1 (2012) (Page 58) featured a woman moving in response to her own feelings. Again Bendito performed drawings over her body and the environment. Bendito says of this work, “The video invites the viewer back to his/her very own alpha state [a mental state between being awake and asleep]. Coupled with the sound that was generated algorithmically, the video reminds us that randomness is nothing more than a set of controlled parameters.” Immersions XYZ also included digital prints from Ludus Chroma and Color Code series (see next sections). 056

Software Art There has always been significant interaction between Bendito’s installations/ performances and a parallel development he identifies as software art. While the works in this series are initiated with a programmed piece (software), they are embedded into environments or subject to interaction with audiences and performers. But they can also be autonomous, self-running algorithms. Florian Cramer and Ulrike Gabriel17 declared “Software art means a shift of the artist’s view from displays to the creation of systems and processes themselves.” Software art can be produced using script, programming languages or other software programs or platforms. Programming languages provide the greatest amount of control and flexibility (and are the most difficult to master). Script consists of language-based commands (versus the mostly numerical basis of code) and thus tends to be more intuitive and easier to use. Software programs are object-oriented, automatically producing the scripts that will control actions and appearance on the interface. While in this series, Bendito used Processing, a Java-based programing language, he has also experimented with Macromedia Director, Flash, and the scripting languages Lingo and Action-Script. In Computers as Theater (1993) Brenda Laurel describes the conceptualization of human-computer interaction through comparison to elements of the dramatic arts using six qualitative elements of drama described in Aristotle’s Poetics: action, character, thought, language, melody (pattern) and spectacle (enactment). These elements exist in a hierarchy in which each successive element is shaped by that which precedes it. Laurel determines that in the computer realm Aristotle’s elements of character (inferred predispositions) and thought (inferred internal processes) are identical to those manifest in drama, but are the results of agents and processes, respectively, “of both human and computer origin.” Language is shaped by semiotics in humancomputer activity, defined by Laurel as “the selection and arrangement of signs, including verbal, visual, auditory, and other nonverbal phenomenon when used semiotically.” What is heard (melody) in the realm of drama is replaced with pattern, defined as “the pleasurable perception of pattern in sensory phenomena” while what is seen (spectacle) is replaced with enactment, “the sensory dimensions of the actions being represented: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile.” The connection of these dramatic elements to the realm of human-computer interaction


In Pulse Trace Restore (2005) (Page 63), Bendito collaborated with computer programmer and musician Peter Burke to produce a software art of a system of interaction based on a kinetic surface representing three states: pulse, trace, and restore. These three parameters were transformed into 2D animations of ActionScript algorithms. Gestures (the hand movements of the user rolling over a kinetic pattern) were captured with an input device (a computer mouse or touch screen) and then translated into animation loops. In Pulse Trace Restore the user alters the “kinetic perceptual structure.” The result is non-repetitive loops resembling serialized randomization processes. The user input produces a kinetic surface of meandering transformative trails. Over time the system becomes a collection of the users’ gestures, before reaching the restore state. Bendito explains: Pulse is the system’s original kinetic state. Trace is a captured gesture of the participant’s input in the system; it triggers new kinetic patterns created by the participant. Restore is the system’s tendency to return to its original state after a period of inactivity. In contrast to the way that traditional drawing and painting freezes the gestures of artists, Bendito’s work keeps redrawing itself for a period of time, reflecting the collective memory of recent participants. The theoretical framework adopted by Bendito is analogous to the brain’s working memory and is summarized below: Memory can be defined as the retention of information over time. This work is a metaphor for the brain’s “working memory.” As new gestural information is captured and overlaid, new kinetic patterns are formed, redefining the system’s perceptual field. The range of kinetic patterns that can be created by the participant is endless. A new version of the software, Pulse Trace Restore 2.0 was an automated generative art system that continued to articulate the parameters explained above, except that the computer autonomously performed actions that were previously performed by users, which highlighted the frightening perception that computers can replace humans. Action//Musique (2010) (Page 64), was another example of software art that could be presented stand-alone or embedded into installation environments. For this project Bendito built a system of interaction using a camera that records the users/participants. The artwork (or system) watches the users and responds to their actions. This work was exhibited in several versions. Bendito worked with


Photo by Xun Chi (Michael)

Public Dance performing Projections (2005). Improvisational performance for the concert Dances We Don’t Know Yet Yat the Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue University.

In another collaboration with Public Dance (2005) the performances evolved into more structured improvisations. The first work in this series was Projections (2005) (Page 68). Bendito’s “brush strokes” change color and orientation. His performative live painterly approach, with Photoshop, blurs the lines between fine art, music, dance, design and performance, creating a unique medium of expression. Kinetic Traces Software Bendito attended SIGGRAPH in 2004, at which he presented his motion graphics pedagogy. At the conference he was introduced to the programming language Processing in a lecture by Ben Fry and Casey Reas (New Media artists and language co-creators). The presentation had a lasting impact in Bendito’s artistic practice. In Processing, he wrote code that influenced his digital prints series, which was launched in 2010. In 2008 Bendito designed and developed a software program, while taking advantage of Processing open source culture. He named it Kinetic Traces, a reference to the 2D-animation component of some of the brushstrokes produced in conjunction with the software. Kinetic Traces replaced Adobe Photoshop in his new performatic series with dancers. The first public appearance of Kinetic Traces was in Visual Music 068

Algorithmic Digital Prints Throughout history many artists have wrestled with the art and science of color. Among the artists, French Romantic Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) was the first to articulate a “color triangle” from which the color wheel was later derived. French Post-Impressionist Georges Seurat (1859-1891) adopted the scientific theories of Michel Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and Charles Blanc—the result was his “pointillism” or application of pure dots of color layered with the intent that they would mix on the retina of the viewer. Those theories were developed further by Paul Cezanne and artists associated with the “Orphism” variant of Cubism, including Robert Delaunay (1885-1941), who created an intuitive connection between color and music. Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944) more carefully connected color and music and explained about the importance of color for its own aesthetic sake (rather than for descriptive purposes) in his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1910). German-born Josef Albers (1888-1976) spent nearly forty years exploring the effects of the interaction of subtractive color (color in pigment) in geometric arrangements he termed Homage to the Square. He postulated, “Color is the most relative medium in art.”20 Such characterization is even more complex in digital media. Colors in RGB change from device to device, for the system is hardware dependent. In addition, printing RGB colors requires them to be converted into the CMYK system (a method used for printing). Bendito has worked extensively with the RGB color system, and he has also researched CMYK printing processes. In 2010 the world premiere of his color and computational algorithmic digital prints took place at FENART (National Art Festival) in Brazil. In addition to a generative art installation produced in collaboration with electro-acoustic composer Didier Guigue, Bendito exhibited three large digital prints: CMYK Spectrum (2010) (Page 75), Transcendency (2010) and Conffetti (2010) (Page 77). Part of his Ludus Chroma series, these works were given their color and shape by computer algorithms programmed in Processing.


CMYK Spectrum (2010) (a.k.a. Midnight Rainbow) Computational Algorithm/Vectors Digital print on canvas, edition of 100 117 x 91.5 cm / 46 x 36 in, size and orientation variable


CMYK Spectrum n.2 (a.k.a. Midnight Rainbow n.2) (2011) Computational Algorithm/Vectors; unique digital print on paper; 91.5 x 231 cm / 36 x 91 in. Installation view: Lawson Computer Science Building, Purdue University.

Digital prints from the Ludus Chroma series were subsequently exhibited in PLAY+TIME: A Digital Dialog22 (2011) at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. After the exhibition, Bendito was invited to exhibit a retrospective of his individual and collaborative art projects at the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University. The exhibition took place in 2012, and was, according to a press release, a celebration of the “combination of computer science and artistic expression”23. The central works in the exhibition were CMYK Spectrum (a.k.a. Midnight Rainbow n.2) and the software art collaboration Action//Musique 3.0 (Page 68). In his statement about CMYK Spectrum n.2 (Above) Bendito explains: [It] is a product of a research project that explores the creation of color relationships that are idiomatic of digital processes. In this work I sought to generate formal subtleness in which chromatic complexity and shape produced by computational algorithms merge in an aesthetic of complicity. The paradoxical nature of Spectrum reminds me that complexity and simplicity, playfulness and seriousness... can co-exist harmoniously. A statement commenting on the evocative component of the works accompanied each piece in the exhibition. For instance, Bendito connected Good Times (Page 91) with his experience growing up in Brazil. He states: I grew up surrounded by the vibrancy and diversity of the colors of Brazil, present both in its people and tropical lavishness. Color was everywhere and the more vivid, the better—so it seemed to me. This work is a celebration of my experience growing up, my attempt to color


Confetti (2010) Computational Algorithm/Vectors Digital print on canvas, edition of 6. 117 x 91.5 cm / 46 x 36 in, size and orientation variable


RGB to CMYK: Test Patterns (2012) Algorithm, paper, laserjet Size and configuration variable Installation view: Rueff Galleries

code the world, or simply the enjoyment of watching the shimmering effect of colorful confetti dancing in the sky. Here I used vectorization to manipulate bezier curve transformations. In 2012, Bendito’s digital prints propelled him to further investigate the conversion from RGB to CMYK. This resulted in RGB to CMYK: Test Patterns (Above and page 79) and in 2014, RGB to CMYK: Shape Randomization Test (Page 79). Bendito explains his process in the artist statement that accompanies the works: Color algorithms were produced and a RGB color matrix was assembled and printed in CMYK. These three test patterns examine the subtleties of color relationships inherent in computational color processes (…) As part science, part art, this work challenged me to reflect on my own understanding and assumptions about digital color. By turning the work itself into a visual experiment, here I test the expressive role of color algorithms in the gallery space—an experience that I extend to the viewer.


RGB to CMYK: Shape Randomization Test (2014) Algorithmic color palettes, paper, laserjet Size and configuration variable

RGB to CMYK: Test Patterns (2012) Installation process Note: Individual laser prints hang on a laser cut support system created by the artist. The color palette was devised algorithmically using Processing (Java) and each color was applied to individual sheets.


Bending Colors Bendito traveled to Paris in the summer of 2008 to co-teach Color and Communication at the American University of Paris. During his stay in Paris he gave art tours about color at the Musée Picasso, Centre Georges Pompidou and Musée d'Orsay; the latter holds an impressive collection of Impressionist Art. He also visited Monet’s house in Giverny and took dozens of photographs of the lavish gardens, which inspired a new series. During the same period, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris held a retrospective of the work of Bridget Riley, a major figure in OP art, whose work also provided inspiration. Bendito said “I did not realize Riley’s optical works were so large in scale. The optical effects, mostly in black and white, were overwhelming.” When he returned to the US, Bendito started a new body of work: the Bending Color series. It emerged as he turned colors he sampled from the flowers at Monet’s garden into fluid abstract expressions. The series inspired the aesthetics and methods used in the Natural Disaster Color series (See essay by Dr. Catherine Dossin, page 8). Bendito samples colors from images in nature using a commercial graphics application24 and manipulates strips of color using vectorization methods. Bendito’s compositions literally “bend” the visual field, and sometimes create 3D optical effects, as seen in the studies for Lilies (2011) and Rose Garden (2011) (Page 81). This series is also a reaction to his earlier digital color field works that had a comparatively “hard edge.” Bendito’s response is a “soft edge” through manipulated curved lines; a bending of the aesthetic to produce a new chromatic experience. Works from this series were displayed at Purdue's INhome exhibited in the Solar Decathlon (2011), in Washington DC at the National Mall's West Potomac Park, an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Bendito developed his own method to print the works. Instead of adopting commercial methods of color calibration, he designed a printed color atlas 25 (Page 81). He then used to select and match colors with the printer’s output capabilities, to achieve print accuracy. Bendito explains the process: As I transposed pixels to printed matter, colors were matched to a system that I designed: The RGB/CMY Color Atlas. This atlas allows me to target any specific printer's capabilities and substrate, consequently freeing myself from commercial matching systems such as Pantone, NCS, etc.


(left) Study for Liliies (2011) (detail). Digital print on paper. (right) Study for Rose Garden (2011) (detail). Digital print on paper.

Studies for RGB/CMY Color Atlas Implementation (2011) Designed by Petr么nio Bendito


Color Code Series It is Bendito’s interest in systems of colors that allowed him to push further to develop the Color Code series (Page 82-91). The appearance of Bendito’s Color Code series stands in sharp contrast with the Bending Color series (see previous section). However, both series employ commercial software in the design process26 and, as in the Ludus Chroma series, color palettes are produced based on computational algorithms. The colors and forms (lines and squares), generated by the code, are manipulated in vector format using commercial software.27 This vectorization process of design is significant, resulting in the ability to print Bendito’s work at variable sizes. In the Color Code series Bendito explains that he intends to “embrace digital methods as a way of increasing our understanding of computational color design processes.” His artistic process combines mathematics and intuition, yielding a potent form of self-expression determined in collaboration with the computer. The results are deceptively simple in terms of their structure, yet the combinations of colors are sophisticated and expressive. Bendito also adopts a more rigorous color selection methodology28 and documents his algorithmic color output in two different Books of Color (one contains the matrix and the other a test pattern method that he created). The algorithmic method that Bendito uses “capitalizes on cuboids, planes and lines.” A diagram of his process, designed for this volume (Pages 84-85), explains how the works begin in the structure of the RGB cube and then are eventually liberated, becoming aesthetically expressive printed works. In the initial phase, Bendito programs the computer to inductively produce color palettes using a matrix format that he borrowed from Bauhaus master and artist Johannes Itten (1888-1967). Bendito believes that Itten’s matrix is an optimum medium to conduct preliminary study of the expressive potential of computational color palettes. However, it is important to emphasize that independently from Itten, Bendito’s palettes come from a different method: the algorithm places random colors of a predefined system (i.e., a geometric shape inside the RGB cube) in each square of the matrix, and also in hundreds of lines. The results are consistent and are based on probabilities and permutations. Bendito uses parametric methods to develop groupings of color relationships, showcasing his controlled method of working with colors. Early Color Code series (2012~) and notation book. Portrait of the artist by Vincent Walter for the College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University. 082


Bendito arranges the resulting color palettes chronologically or in other orderly patterns. About the algorithm and process Bendito states: Each color palette […] is derived from an algorithm that samples colors from a plane [a cuboid, or line segment] that [is] created inside the RGB color model, defined as R=X, G=Y, B=Z. The size and position of the plane [cuboid, or line segment] determine the range of possible colors. At this point Bendito examines the color outputs and categorizes them into two types of approaches: Subjective and Objective Discoveries. A Subjective Discovery results from his viewing of the color matrixes produced by the computer and his subjective choice of those that hold significant aesthetic value for him. He further studies those palettes and uses them in his art works. An Objective Discovery is a color matrix that can be related to either natural or cultural manifestations; therefore, they follow a more analytical process of discovery. About his Objective Discoveries, he explains: The matrixes allow me to examine the overall effect of the color palettes and study their relationship to culture in general. For example, I have found in preliminary studies that some algorithms generated color palettes that resemble the seasons, traditional events (Christmas, Easter…), etc. They also relate to other artists and their color palettes such as the paintings of Mark Rothko, Paul Klee and Van Gogh. In this latter form, nature and culture are connected back to math, a process he calls “cracking the color code.” In the Color Code series the history of art and science are intimately re-connected. The works in this series are vibrant and demand the viewer’s attention. This is clearly evident in Color Code, Algorithmic Lines n.0078 (Page 87). Susan Happersett29, a mathematically oriented visual artist, provides the following review about the work in the blog fibonaccisusan: mathematical art: At the Art Exhibition at the JMM [Joint Mathematics] conference quite a bit of the art was digital printing on paper. Petrônio Bendito – in contrast – prints his work on canvas, giving the prints more of a painterly feel. Bendito has developed algorithms to define his color palette, but there is also an element of artistic expression in establishing the final images. “Color Code, Algorithmic Lines n.0078″ is so vibrant that it beckoned me from across the room. Bendito’s use of color and line creates a cacophony of bright, straight and curved thin ribbons of paint. The use of the black background makes the exuberant frenzy of color jump out to the viewer. 086

(top) Color Code, Algorithmic Lines n.0078 (2012) (bottom) Color Code, Algorithmic Lines n.0032 (2012) Digital print on canvas, edition of 6 70 x 70 cm / 24 x 24 in, size variable


Courtesy of Universidade Positivo

(left) Color Code, Matrix Sampler n.0001 (2012) (right) Color Code, Algorithmic Lines n.0017 (2012) Digital print on canvas or paper, edition of 6, 90 x 90 cm / 35.5 x 35.5 in, size variable

Installation view: Petronio Bendito—Color Code: Alpha Test (2012) Bloco Vermelho Gallery, Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, PR. Brazil

(facing page, left) Color Code, Fountainest n.0081 (2014) (facing page, right) Color Code, Confettical n.0097 (2014) Digital print on paper, edition of 6, 91.5 x 241 cm / 36 x 95 in, size variable



Installation view: Petronio Bendito—Color Code: Algorithms and Expressions (2014) Upper East Gallery, Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University.

Color Code: The Virulent Analogy Bendito describes his aesthetic choices in his Ludus Chroma and Color Code series as a way of examining “opposites.” He explains: “Formalistically I orchestrate via color and shape visual solutions that propose a unified reading of extremes: balance and chaos; light and darkness; structure and spontaneity.”


aspect of Bendito’s work is how he re-uses color palettes derived from the same algorithm. He experiments by applying the same algorithms to different artworks. Bendito says: “In digital terms, this process is similar to transferring a computer virus from one program to another.” For instance, in Good Times and Spectronic (Page 91), the colors are sampled, at first, from the full RGB color spectrum (over 16 million colors). In addition, he states that he “filled them with colors devised on the same color algorithm that [he] used for Spectrum n.2 (Page 76). It was another way to test the algorithm’s [visual] effect. The results are intrinsically similar but expressively different.” In Bendito’s reflections this methodology has applications beyond the fine arts: “These [algorithmic color] palettes have the potential to be used in graphic, product and interior design, fashion, fine arts, games, etc.”. This fluidity allows the artist to envision the application of the algorithmic color palettes in different forms of manifestations. In print media, Bendito's virulent color approach made its first major appearance at FENART (2010) in Brazil (Ludus Chroma series). It returns in the The Color


Algorithmic color palette diagram.

Two artworks with identical algorithmic color palettes generated using Bendito's "virulent" approach: (left) Good Times (2010-2011) and (right) Spectronic (2014) .


Code series, first displayed in Bendito’s solo exhibition Color Code: Alpha Test (2012) at the Universidade Positivo (UP) (Curitiba) in Brazil; concurrently the artist gave Color Design Methods workshops at three universities: UFPR, UP (Paraná) and UFRJ (Rio de Janeiro). In 2013, his artwork Color Code 0025: Algorithmic Lines received the Best of Show award in Digital Art: Printmaking 201330 at the LTC Gallery in Lowell, Massachusetts. The exhibit was a featured event of The Boston Printmakers Biennial. Color Code works have been exhibited in other juried exhibitions, including at one of the largest mathematics meetings worldwide, the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings’ art exhibition. The most recent works from the Color Code series were displayed in an invitational solo exhibition (2014), Petrônio Bendito—Color Code: Algorithms and Expressions, at Upper East Gallery, at the Howard L. Schrott Center for Visual and Performing Arts at Butler University, Indianapolis IN. Bendito’s virulent colors have also appeared in his videos, performances and collaborative works.

Conclusion Petrônio Bendito’s work with technological and conceptual applications of color theory has gone through several distinct phases, each of which demanded significant research and consideration of relevant theory in New Media (McLuhan, Laurel, Ascott, Holtzmann), design (Norman) and social activism (Freire). Collectively his work has been concerned with computer-generated color. His early work animated a three-dimensional model of the RGB cube (the model that controls color in computer environments). A second phase of work broke significant boundaries within New Media, by first incorporating digital music and projected color immersive installations, and then environments for dance performances. In collaboration with scholars and artists in disciplines other than his own, Bendito pushed both the conceptual and aesthetic frameworks of his earlier work and made what had been an internal investigation (of the computer) profoundly external and performative. Most recently he has pushed his exploration of color into yet another medium: two-dimensional printed works on canvas based on further exploration of algorithmic color palettes and extensive theoretical and experimental explorations that create dialogues with the history of color and line in art, notably the work of Monet, Itten and Riley. Bendito has used both scripting languages and more complex programing languages. Writing computer software himself has allowed Bendito to understand


a wider spectrum of color relationships in the computer environment. In particular, the language Processing “offers outstanding visual capabilities” and allows Bendito to “produce an infinite number of color combinations that tests a wide range of assumptions about color palettes and perceptions.” Bendito’s knowledge of computer processes and the history of color allowed him to define and create meta-experiences for his audience—immersive and responsive systems capable of triggering, capturing and reformatting viewer memories, gestures, emotions and bodily presence. Its complete incorporation of and dependence upon the viewer moves Bendito’s meta-experience well beyond what the nineteenthcentury composer Richard Wagner termed gesamstkunstwerk (“total work of art”). The three broad categories conceptualized by Bendito (mind/body state of the participant, suggestive reality, and conscious/unconscious knowledge acquisition) has broader theoretical implications for the study of the history of Installation art and New Media. Bendito has discovered and articulated an important model that will allow a better understanding of the role of the audience not merely as “viewers” but as active participants in the articulation and interpretation of contemporary artwork. Bendito’s work is progressive in three significant ways: his thoughtful linking of past (analog) color theory to future (digital) color theory, his use of a highlevel mathematical design process to produce fine art outcomes in a New Media context, and his defining of a meta-experience. His digital color design method is leading the way for future examination and application of digital color aesthetics in the 21st Century.

Elizabeth K. Mix (formerly Menon), Director of the Art Program and Associate Professor of Art History at Butler University, is the author of Evil by Design: The Creation and Marketing of the Femme-Fatale in 19th-century France (University of Illinois, 2006) and The Complex Mayeux: Use and Abuse of a French Icon (Peter Lang, 1997) and co-author of Art Nouveau: A Research Guide for Design Reform in France, Belgium, England and the United States (Garland, 1998). Recent publications include "Art and New Media," (Choice, 2010), "Japonisme and Cultural Appropriation" (Mississippi Museum of Art, 2011) and "Postmodernism in Art" (Lincoln Library of Essential Information, 2012). Her bibliographic essays on the pseudonymous graffiti artist Banksy and Ethiopian American artist Julie Mehretu, and a thematic essay on "Television and Art," appeared in Grove Art Online in 2011. Dr. Mix gives papers regularly at national and international professional meetings and has been a reviewer for Choice since 1997.


Studies From Various Series (Selected) 2002-Present

Digital Printmaking > RGB to CMYK



























Digital Printmaking > Color Code and Algorithmic Drawings















RGB > Live Performance Studies > Kinetic Color Traces










Exhibitions, Performances and Screenings (Selected)


Solo and Collaborative: Exhibitions, Performances and Installations
















Natural Disaster Color (solo) / Art Museum of Greater Lafayette / Lafayette, IN / USA Color Code: Algorithms and Expressions (solo) / Upper East Gallery, Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler University / Indianapolis, IN / USA Immersions_XYZ (retrospective) / Rueff Galleries, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA LightScape Tesla_XYZ (performance) / Elliot Hall, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA Double Helix (performance at Wintry Mix) / Fountain Gallery, Purdue University / Lafayette, IN / USA Color Code: Alpha Test (solo) / Red Block, Universidade Positivo / Curitiba, PR / Brazil Experience Color (retrospective) / Department of Computer Science, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA Ludus Chroma / FENART (installation) (National Arts Festival: Music, Dance, Theater, Fine Arts) / Fundação Espaço Cultural / João Pessoa, PB / Brazil Kinetic Traces: Dreamscape (performance) / Teatro SESC SENAC Pelourinho / Salvador, Bahia / Brazil Pulse-Trace-Restore (installation) / Art Museum of Greater Lafayette / West Lafayette, IN / USA Projections (performance) / Dances We Don’t Know Yet / Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA Project IN Motion Concert (performance) / Fowler Hall, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA Color Digits (installation) / Usina Cultural da SAELPA / João Pessoa, PB / Brazil

Hábitat Digital (installation) / Galeria Archidy Picado / João Pessoa, PB / Brazil Technology Side Effects (solo) / West Lafayette, IN / USA

Group Exhibitions and Screenings 2014

2014 2014




2013 2013 2013



2011 2010



SoundImageSound10: International Festival of New Music and Visual Image / Conservatory, University of the Pacific / Stockton, CA / USA Punto & Raya Festival / Reykjavík Concert Hall / Reykjavík / Iceland Mathematics Art Exhibition | Joint Mathematics Meetings / Baltimore Convention Center / Baltimore, MD / USA QUARTET: Faculty Exchange / Art Center, Eastern Mediterranean University / Famagusta / North Cyprus QUARTET: Faculty Exchange / Rueff Galleries, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA Digital Art: Printmaking 2013 / Downtown Gallery, Lowell Telecommunications Corp (LTC) / Lowell, MA / USA Cultural Confluences / JABAB Building / Lafayette, IN / USA Chaotic Order / Low Road Gallery / Greencastle, IN / USA Todos os Bichos | Arte Contemporânea / Casarão 34 / João Pessoa, PB / Brazil Liquid Identities | Venice Ed. / Scoletta di San Giovanni Battista e del SS. Sacramento in Bragora / Venice / Italy Punto Y Raya Art Festival / Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía / Madrid / Spain PLAY + TIME / Art Museum of Greater Lafayette / Lafayette, IN / USA MetaDataPhile / Begovich Gallery, California State University Fullerton / Fullerton, CA / USA Faculty Art and Design Exhibition / Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA AUDO (Sound) / Patti and Rusty Rueff

2009 2009














Galleries, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA Visual and Music / DePaul University / Chicago, IL / USA Punto Y Raya Art Festival / Centre D’arte Santa Monica / Barcelona / Spain Daegu International (Invitational) Poster Exhibition for the 13th World Championship in Athletics / Daegu Exhibition & Convention Center EXCO / Daegu / Korea Color and Design International Poster Exhibition / Daegu Exhibition & Convention Center - EXCO / Daegu / Korea International Traveling Juried Festival of Electronic Art / Centro Cultural Telemar / Rio de Janeiro, RJ / Brazil Faculty Art and Design Exhibition / Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries, Purdue University / West Lafayette, IN / USA International Traveling Juried Festival of Electronic Art / Galeria de Arte do SESI / São Paulo, SP / Brazil Brazilian Biennial of Contemporary Music / Sala Baden Powell / Rio de Janeiro / Brazil International Juried Festival of Electronic Language / Galeria de Arte do SESI / São Paulo, SP / Brazil National 17th Annual McNeese Works On Paper Exhibition / Abercrombie Gallery, McNeese State University / Lake Charles, LA / USA National Lagrange 2004 Biennial XXIII / Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum / LaGrange, GA / USA National VROOOM... Art in Motion / Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery / Kokomo, IN / USA International Traveling 6th and 7th Rencontres Internationales Paris/ Berlin / Immanence / Paris / France International Traveling 6th and 7th Rencontres Internationales Paris/ Berlin / Im Podewil / Berlin / Germany National 20”x 20”x 20”: A Compact Competition / Union Gallery, Louisiana






State University / Baton Rouge, LA / USA National Chicago Solution Show / Gallery on Lake Judith Racht / Chicago, IL / USA International Exhibition 18th Annual Greater Midwest / Art Center Gallery, Central Missouri State University / Warrensburg, MO / USA International October Exhibition / Armory Art Center / West Palm Beach, FL / USA National AVA (Association for Visual Artists) Juried Annual Exhibition / Hunter Museum of American Art / Chattanooga, TN / USA IDEAS/Interactive Digital Environments, Arts & Story Telling / Telecommunications Building, Indiana University Bloomington, IN / USA

Awards and Grants (Selected) 2013

2013 2012 2007

2005 2005


2004 2004

Best of Show / Digital Printmaking Art Show / Lowell Telecommunications Corp (LTC) Research Initiative Grant / College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University Indiana Arts Commission Grant / Individual Arts Commission, Indiana Creative Achievement Award / International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) Study Abroad Grant / International Programs, Purdue University Visual and Performing Arts Excellence in Teaching Award for 2004-2005 / Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue University Digital Content Development Grant / Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) and Multimedia Instructional Development Center (MIDC), Purdue University Bank One Purchase Award / Bank One Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education Award / Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System (IHETS)



2003 2002








Braden-Beauchamp Visual Literacy Award / International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) Puffin Foundation Artists Grant Award / Puffin Foundation Ltd. National 15th AVA Juried Annual Exhibition/Show Award / Association for Visual Arts Best of Show / Northern Illinois University (NIU) 2001 Web Awards / NIU’s Showcase Steering Committee Best Educational Website / Northern Illinois University (NIU) 2001 Web Awards / NIU’s Showcase Steering Committee Best Use of Graphics or Multimedia in a Website / Northern Illinois University (NIU) 2001 Web Awards / NIU’s Showcase Steering Committee Online Course Development Fund / Division of Continuing Education (DCE), Northern Illinois University Best Descriptive Web Page / Academe Awards for Northern Illinois University Web Pages / ACD, DCE, FDIDC, MS, UL / Northern Illinois University Best Integration of Original/Adapted Photography / Academe Awards for Northern Illinois University ACD, DCE, FDIDC, MS, UL / Northern Illinois University Evelyn Fry Smith Scholarship / Art Department at Central Michigan University

Artist's Writings (Selected) (Addressing color and new media) Bendito, P. (2013). Color, Algorithms and Expressions. Online Journal of Art and Design, 1(1). online. ( articles/11/111.pdf). Bendito, P. (2012). Color, Algorithms and Expressions. Proceedings of the International Conference on Communication, Media, Technology and Design, Istanbul, Turkey. pp. 81-84.


Bendito, P. (2011). Exploring the Taxonomy of Kinetic Traces’ Body, Shadow, Space and Drawing in Motion: An Interdisciplinary Workshop. International Seminar About Dance, Theater and Performance: Technological Poetics. Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil. pp. 21-42. Bendito, P. (2011). RGB colours, kinetic traces, body, and space: An exploration of the narrative potential of the interaction of light and colour in the performing art. AIC 2011, Interaction of Colour & Light in the Arts and Sciences, Midterm Meeting of the International Colour Association, Zurich, Switzerland [CD-ROM]. Bendito, P. & Jaycox, H. (2006). Dance and Digital Color: The Development of a Kinetic Visual Vocabulary. In R. E. Griffin (Ed.), Imagery and Artistry: Animating the Mind’s Eye: Selected Readings (pp. 43-49), Loretto, Pennsylvania: International Visual Literacy Association. Bendito, P. & Britsch, S, J. (2006). Tropicália, Technology and Cultural Cannibalism. Media-N [online]. (http://www. Bendito, P. (2006). Colour Aesthetic Experimentations in the RGB Colour Environment. Proceedings of the European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) 529: Efficient Lighting for the 21st Century. Bulgaria Academy of Sciences, Institute of Solid State Physics, Varna, Bulgaria, pp. 57-62. Bendito, P. & Guigue, D. (2005). Digital Colour Aesthetic, Music, and the RGB Colour Cube. Proceedings of the 10th Congress of the International Colour Association (Part 2), Granada, Spain, pp. 1441–1444. Bendito, P. (2005). RGB Colour Palette Based on Hue Relationships. Proceedings of the 10th Congress of the International Colour Association (Part 2), Granada, Spain, pp. 1187–1190. Bendito, P. (2005). Computer-Assisted Colour Aesthetics Education. Proceedings of the

10th Congress of the International Colour Association (Part 1), Granada, Spain, pp. 115–118. Bendito, P. & Burke, P. (2005). Pulse | Trace | Restore. FILE 2005 Selected Artists, São Paulo, Brazil [online]. ( works.php?works_id=690&lang=en). Bendito P., Martin, C. & Menon, E. (Eds.) (2005). Digital Concentrate: Art and Technology, West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Galleries. Bendito, P. (2005). New Media Arts Expression. In P. Bendito, C. Martin, E. Menon (Eds.), Digital Concentrate: Art and Technology (pp. 24-30), West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Galleries. Menon, E. & Bendito, P. (2005). Gonper Museum. In P. Bendito, C. Martin, E. Menon (Eds.), Digital Concentrate: Art and Technology (pp. 33-36), West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Galleries. Bendito, P. (2005). Aspects of Visual Attraction: Attention-Getting Model for Art and Design. Journal of Visual Literacy, 25(1), 67-76. Bendito, P. (2005). From Paint to Bytes: Computer-Based Color Design Education (session Distance Education Studio Art Course in US Colleges and Universities: Is there a Future?). Abstracts 2002 - College Art Association 90th Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, p. 57. Bendito, P. (2005). New Media Art Expressions. Media-N [on-line]. 01(01), 74-75. ( media-n/2005/v01/n01/ MediaN_F2005v1n1. pdf). [Reprint from Bendito, P. (2005). New Media Arts Expression.] Bendito, P. (2004). Metaphors and MetaExperience in Technology Side Effects: A Multimedia Exhibit. In R. E. Griffin, J. Lee & S. Chandler (Eds.), Changing Tides: Selected Readings (pp. 55-61), Loretto, Pennsylvania: International Visual Literacy Association. Bendito, P. & Reese, D. (2004). Meaning in Motion: Conceptual Metaphor as a Motion

Graphic Design Communications Tool. In R. E. Griffin, J. Lee & S. Chandler (Eds.), Changing Tides: Selected Readings (pp. 63-68), Loretto, Pennsylvania: International Visual Literacy Association. Bendito, P. (2004). Motionary: A Dictionary of Meaning in Motion. Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques - ACM SIGGRAPH - Conference Select, Los Angeles, California [CD-ROM] ISBN: 1-58113-895-4. Reese, D. & Bendito, P. (2003). Enhancing E-Solution Animations Through Conceptual Metaphor. Journal of Visual Literacy. 23(2),163-176. Bendito, P. (2003). Teaching Interactive Multimedia Design from a Visual Communications Standpoint: Curriculum and Assessment Strategies. In R. E. Griffin, J. Lee & V. S. Williams (Eds.), Turning Trees: Selected Readings (pp. 19-27), Loretto, Pennsylvania: International Visual Literacy Association. Bendito, P. (2003). Ensinando Multimídia Interativa a Partir do Ponto de Vista da Comunicação Visual: Currículo e Estratégias de Avaliação [translation of “Teaching Interactive Multimedia Design from a Visual Communications Standpoint: Curriculum and Assessment Strategies,” Bendito, 2003]. Information Design International Conference Proceedings, Recife, Brazil [CD-ROM] ISBN: 85-89879-01-1. Bendito, P. (2002). From Paint to Bytes: A Web-Enhanced Approach to Teaching Color Theory. In R. E. Griffin, J. Lee & V. S. Williams (Eds.), Visual Literacy in Message Design: Selected Readings (pp. 57-66), Loretto, Pennsylvania: International Visual Literacy Association. Bendito, P. (2000). Digital Color Design with the RGB Color Cube: Visualization and Color Coordination Activities. Journal of Design Communication [online]. (http://scholar.lib.


Press and Bibliography (Selected) (Publications about the artist) Press Shafer, Tom. (2014, Jun. 05). “Out of disasters' darkness, bright, hopeful color.” Journal and Courier. Arts Section. p.C4. Lafayette, IN Chen, Wei-Huan. (2014, May. 08). “Briliant color: Trio of new Art Museum exhibits challenge reality in bold strokes.” Journal and Courier. Arts Section. pp.C1, C3 (cover image) Herrold, Morgan. (2013, April. 15). “TEDx PurdueU brings something for everyone.” The Exponent. pp.1, 5. West Lafayette, IN Herrold, Morgan. (2013, Aug. 22). “PAO's latest gallery uses cross-cultural collaboration.” The Exponent. pp.2. West Lafayette, IN Brouk, Tim. (2012, Jan. 20). “Artistic flair, digital know-how team up.” Journal and Courier. TGIF Section. Lafayette, IN, p.D16 (Fall 2011) “The Great Wall: Interactive video wall entertains while educating.” Insights – Purdue College of Science (online) Brouk, Tim. (2004, Apr. 23). “Gallery Walk mixes art, dance and more.” Journal and Courier. TGIF Section. Lafayette, IN, Cover and p.11 (2004, Apr. 23) Journal and Courier. Lafayette, IN, Cover (Reproduction of collaborative work) Redação. (2003, Aug. 15). “Mundos real e virtual em instalação” [Real and virtual worlds in installation]. Jornal da Paraíba. João Pessoa, PB, Brazil Editorial. (2003, Aug 15). “Artista plástico Petronio Bendito abre a mostra Hábitat Digital ” [Artist Petronio Bendito opens the show Habitat Digital. Correio da Paraíba, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil, p.C3 Editorial. (2003, Aug. 14). “Bendito e seu hábitat digital” [Petronio and his digital habitat] O Norte, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil, p. C2 Brouk, Tim. (2002, Nov. 21). “Technology and art fuse in new exhibit.” Journal and Courier. Life Section. Lafayette, IN, p. C8 Vross, Mat. (2002, Nov. 21). “Professor turns ‘technojunk’ into art.” The Exponent. Features section. West Lafayette, IN, p. 11


Vross, Mat. (2002, Nov. 22). “Postmodern art show closes with ceremony.” The Exponent. Features section. West Lafayette, IN, p. 18 Noronha, Chico. (2001, July 10). "Teoria das cores digitais" [Digital Color Theory]. Correio da Paraíba, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil, p. 01 Rogeria, Araujo. (2001, April 10). "As cores prêmiadas de Petrônio Bendito" [The award winning colors of Petrônio Bendito]. Jornal da Paraíba. João Pessoa, PB, Brazil, p. 02 Bibliography McMullen, Shannon (2013). AUDO: Alternative Practices in Sound and Alternative Modes for exchange. Media-N. Summer 2011:v07 n01. Web. 30 Mar. Williams, S. & Pie, D. (2011). "Bridging The Math-Art Divide." Consortium, No. 100 (4 pages). COMAP, Inc. Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications Metadataphile Exhibition Catalogue (2010), Jennifer Frias and Lilia Lamas (curators), California State Fullerton (catalog) People Planet Preservation (2010), Office of the Vice President for Research Annual Report, Purdue University Barrientos, R. (2008). Les entreprises critique en prespective. In Toma, Y , Barrientos, R. (Eds.) Les entreprises critiques - La critique artiste à l'ère de l'économie globalisée, édition bilingue français-anglais. (pp. 25-46). Paris: IRDD Cité du design Axelrod, D. (2007). Artists' color display system. US patent Document E. K. Menon (2004). Web Installation Art, Interactivity and User Connectivity. In Fereric, C. (Ed.) Image and Imagery: Frames, Borders, Limits/Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 25-44). New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang Publishers E. K. Menon (2004). Communicating Vessels: Digital Semiotics and Web Installation Art. Anderson, J., Dunning, A., & Fraser, M. (Eds.), DRH 2001 and 2002. Selected Papers from the Digital Resources for the Humanities 2001 and 2002. London, UK: Office for Humanities, King's College

Essays’ Endnotes Petrônio Bendito and The Digital Colors of Remembrance by Dr. Catherin Dossin Note: This essay appeared in the QUARTET exhibition catalog (pp. 5-6) and is transcribed below. EMU Art and Design Center (publisher), 2013. 1

2 3

See for instance, Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Anchor Books, 1990); Allan Sekula, “On the Invention of Photographic Meaning,” Artforum 13, no. 5 (January 1975): 3645; Martha Rosler, “In, around, and Afterthoughts (on documentary photography) (1981),” in Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings, 1975-2001 (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2006): 151-206. Bendito cross-checks the images he uses with images and information found on governmental websites to guarantee that they are genuine snapshots; not fabricated images. The Color Code series was first exhibited in 2012 during the Bloco Vermelho at the Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil. More information is available at: http://www.

Petrônio Bendito’s Intermedia Expressions: Installation, Software Art, Performance, Digital Print and Video by Dr. Elizabeth K. Mix Note: The artist’s quotes in this essay are from artist statements (print and electronic) and personal communications shared with the author between May 2013 and April 2014. 1

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5 6


8 9 10 11 12

Dick Higgins, statement made August 3, 1966, Published in: Wolf Vostell (ed.): Dé-coll/ age (décollage)* 6, Typos Verlag, Frankfurt - Something Else Press, New York, July 1967. Accessed at March 29, 2014. Ibid. Bendito, P. (2011). Exploring the Taxonomy of Kinetic Traces’ Body, Shadow, Space and Drawing in Motion: An Interdisciplinary Workshop. International Seminar About Dance, Theater and Performance: Technological Poetics. Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, pp. 21-42. Bendito used Macromedia Director to produce the work and Shockwave for online presentation. He proposed the visualization method of the RGB color cube in 1998 in his master thesis from Northern Illinois University. Holtzman, Steven R. Digital Mantras. Holtzman uses the term “idiomatic to computers” to define a pure aesthetic of digital media. Bendito, P. (2005). RGB Colour Palette Based on Hue Relationships. Proceedings of the 10th Congress of the International Colour Association (Part 2), Granada, Spain, pp. 1187–1190. This work was recreated and given this new name for the MetaDataPhile exhibition. Curators: Jennifer Frias and Lilia Lamas. Artists: Cory Arcangel and Frankie Martin, Josh Azzarella, Petrônio Bendito, Matthew Bryant, Sky Burchard, Kathy Grayson, Rafael LozanoHemmer, Ken Rinaldo, Kim Rugg, Jason Salavon, Peter Sarkisian, John Sisley, Stephanie Syjuco, Michael Toillion and Jason Varone. Roy Ascott, “Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision,” in Randall Packer and Ken Jordan, eds., Multimedia from Wagner to Virtual Reality. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001), p. 98. Ibid. See note entry #7 for exhibition information. Wired. (Issue 10.03) March, 2002.


13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22 23 24 25

26 27 28 29 30

Portuguese title: Hábitat Digital. Bendito’s work is an early form of projection mapping using Macromedia Director. The commentary appeared on the wall in the entrance to the exhibition and on flyers. Ibid. Florian Cramer, Ulrike Gabriel. “Software Art.” Web. 15 August 2001. McMullen, Shannon. AUDO: Alternative Practices in Sound and Alternative Modes for exchange. Media-N. Summer 2011:v07 n01. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. Curated by David Sigman. Artists: Petrônio Bendito, Andrew Bucksbarg, Aaron Henderson, Ashley John Pigford, Daniel Sauter, David L. Sigman, and Fabian Winkler. Albers, Josef. Interaction of Color: Yale Press. 1963. p.1. Visual arts curator: Bruna R.A. Pinheiro: Rooms/Installations: Petrônio Bendito and Didier Guigue; Flauberto. Group Exhibition: Alberto Lacet, Alice Vinagre, Chico Dantas, Cristina Carvalho, Manoel Fernandes and Shiko. Photography curator: João Lobo; artists: Rodolfo Athaíde, Reginaldo Marinho, Guy Joseph, Ricardo Peixoto, Adriane Franco, Cris e Dani, Roncali, Zé Darlan Darlan, Leandro Cunha, and Rafaela Tabosa. Curator: David Sigman. Artists: Petrônio Bendito, Andrew Bucksbarg, Aaron Henderson, Ashley John Pigford, Daniel Sauter, David L. Sigman, and Fabian Winkler. “New artwork comes to Lawson Computer Science Building.” University News Service. Purdue University. 15 September 2011. Web. 20 March 2014. This series was produced in Adobe Photoshop. The Color atlas is derived from his work published in “Bendito, P. (2005). [RGB Colour Palette Based on Hue Relationships.] [Proceedings of the 10th Congress of the International Colour Association (Part 2)], Granada, Spain, pp. 1187–1190.” In 2013 the atlas was further developed in collaboration with mathematics Ph.D. student, José Lugo. Commercial software was not employed to design his early algorithmic digital prints (e.g., Confetti (2010-11), CMYJ Spectrum (2010)). Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Bendito received the support of Purdue University’s Honors Program via the Dean’s Scholar Program and Wilke Internship Program, in which students assisted him during his research. “More from the JMM exhibition.” Web. 22 January 2014. Juror: Jim Jeffers. Artists: Petrônio Bendito, Stephen Clements, Daehwan Cho, Patty Harris, Noredin Morgan, Eileen Ryan, Dan Rocha, Robert Spahr, Cyane Tornatzky, and Mari Weinberg.

(right) Detail of study for Color Code, Algorithmic Lines series. Programmed in Processing.


Photo by Mark Simons for Purdue University

Petrônio Bendito was born in Brazil in 1971 and moved to the United States in 1993. He earned Doctoral (Ed.D.) and M.F.A. degrees from Northern Illinois University, and a B.F.A. from Central Michigan University. He also studied at the Federal University of Paraíba, in Brazil and Purdue University in the United States. His primary research interests are computational color design methods, intermedia arts, and visual literacy. He has worked extensively in interdisciplinary projects and has collaborated with musicians, dancers, choreographers, a light designer, and computer programmers. Bendito has exhibited, screened, performed, and presented his artworks and research projects throughout the United States and abroad in Brazil, Bulgaria, North Cyprus, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Bendito is a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), a former contributing editor for Media_N, a founding member of the New Media Caucus, and a current reviewer for the Journal of Visual Literacy. He has been involved in many community-based projects. He is a member of West Lafayette's Public Arts Team and was instrumental in founding the Spectrum Gallery of the Pride Lafayette Community Center in Indiana. Bendito has presented his color design workshops in Brazil, France and in the United States. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University (2001~). He has also taught at Northern Illinois University (USA), DePaul University (USA), and a Summer program at the American University of Paris (France). • •




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