Title: Untitled (Diamond Variation)
Artist(s): Ruth Leavitt
Date Created: 1975
Framed Dimensions: 28.75 x 28.75 in.
Unframed Dimensions: 20.5 x 20.5 in.
Medium: acrylic on paper
Inventory ID: Leavitt-1975-01
signed and dated on the back of the paper
a computer generated design, which was transferred onto paper and hand painted by the artist
software: custom made “Stretching” software coded using FORTRAN written by Jay A. Leavitt
“The “stretching” program from which all the art in the exhibition was derived was my idea. When I was a child I had a rubber dollar bill and loved stretching George Washington’s face in different ways. I thought that stretching patterns on a rubber sheet would be an innovative and effective use of the computer. Jay Leavitt constructed the stretching program, essentially how a rubber sheet moves, which he wrote in Fortran. That created the environment in which I could place a pattern on that virtual rubber sheet and begin to transform it. The program was made so that the whole surface moved. I could see the sheet with its pattern on the computer screen and I could exert the forces such as expansion, contraction, rotation, etc. by drawing with a light pen on the screen and immediately visualize its impact. I selected and plotted on graph paper the patterns I displayed on the rubber sheet, which formed the various series of computer output designs, the Herringbone Variations, the Prismatic Variations, and the Diamond Variations. Later, I did learn two different programming languages and taught them to my students.”
– Ruth Leavitt: Computer Directive exhibition catalogue, RCM Gallerie, Paris, FR