In Signal to Noise Casey Reas uses a recorded block of broadcast TV as raw data to create moving shapes and colors that look like a cross between video compression glitches and Geometric Abstraction. The source data loops every 30 minutes, a standard block of TV programming, but the piece itself never repeats; shapes cut in and out at roughly one-second intervals, the average pace of camera cuts in American TV. Sometimes figures come into view for a few seconds, but never very clearly. The whole experience is illusive and mildly frustrating, like time spent trying to adjust a rabbit ear antenna only to lose the picture. That “loss,” if not the point of this canny act of media sabotage, is certainly a benefit.
Among the other 27 apps on view, Scott Snibbe’s Gravilux is particularly engrossing. It starts as a grid of single pixel “stars” that can be pulled toward your fingertips in the manner of matter being sucked into a black hole, changing color and trajectory as they travel in unexpected ways. The app features multi-touch input so you can play with a partner. Also included are Snibbe’s musical apps, Bubble Harp and OscilloScoop, which, when run on multiple iPads, turns the gallery into an aleatory concert hall, blurring the creative distinction between artist and viewer.