Casey Reas “It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form)”

Bitforms Gallery

poster for Casey Reas “It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form)”

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bitforms gallery presents Casey Reas’ seventh exhibition with the gallery, It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form). The exhibition is the culmination of the artist’s Still Life series, a body of work debuted at the gallery in 2016. Exhibited works also include generative, blockchain-based artworks, video, plotter drawings, and woodblock prints.

It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form) imagines conceptual software painting through simulation and computer graphics. Still Life (HSB D) and Still Life (RGB D) perform a set of rules that invite new, non-repeating configurations. Both works orbit through colorful, linear choreographies of Platonic solids that grant the series its naming convention—presented in the gallery are RGB D and HSB D, for dodecahedron. Each work’s color scheme is denoted by either RGB (red, green, blue) or HSB (hue, saturation, brightness). The series, created between 2016–2023, has inspired a number of diverse projects, most recently including LACMA’s presentation of An Empty Room. An Empty Room, Reas’ 2016 solo exhibition, There’s No Distance, and It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form) derive their titles from interviews with David Hockney in which he shares his thoughts on digital representation during the creation of an early digital painting. While he paints he murmurs about the image, mentioning “it doesn’t exist in any other form.” This remark shows that in the creation of a digital painting the artwork is born digitally. Reas’ works are also born digitally as real-time performances of coded instruction. The Still Lifes gesture towards traditional memento mori yet thrive in a state of unrest and evolving motion.

At once familiar yet unpredictable, the artist’s panorama of generative systems do shift across mediums. A suite of HSB works, on view as both woodblock prints and a long-form generative work available via fx(hash), act as the precursor to Still Lifes. HSB-119-006-090-1366-618 / HSB-135-006-090-1232-687 flattens dimensional space so that multiple planes of the same solid occupy the visual field simultaneously. The printed diptych portrays HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) as an alternative color space to RGB. Two works from RGB-3 accompany this presentation. RGB-3-170°-166°-130° and RGB-3-6°-52°-7° are rendered by a plotter machine in red, blue, and green archival ink. Although fabricated as physical objects, the artworks are defined by the angles each color was instructed to be drawn within—for instance, the drawing RGB-3-6°-52°-7° orients the red lines at 6°, the green lines at 52°, and the blue at 7°.

While a rise in generative artworks and NFTs have recently garnered media attention, Reas has long incorporated computational procedures in his practice, stemming from his co-creation of Processing in 2001. It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form) celebrates several bodies of work definitive to Reas’ career. Dubbed the “godfather of generative art”, Reas is the co-founder of Processing and the co-founder of Feral File. On the occasion of the exhibition, visitors have two opportunities to purchase his on-chain works. Three square monitors on the rear wall of the exhibition host real-time performances that explore the topography of geometric line work across different planes of vertical and horizontal space. In each of these works, parameters were defined so that shapes exist, collide, and morph into ever-evolving loops that can also exist as static compositions. Fine line details become more visible as the intersecting paths of vertices halt in motion at their final destination. In collaboration with Gemma, an open-edition video invites visitors to purchase the titular work, It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form), in video form. Additionally, a long-form generative piece will be released with fx(hash) as an ode to the original HSB woodblock print.

In tandem with the exhibition, the gallery is pleased to announce both a screening and a book signing event on Saturday, November 11. Join Casey Reas and Allison Parrish at the gallery on Saturday, November 11 between 3:00–6:00 PM for a book signing of Compressed Cinema. The publication features the complete works from Reas’ acclaimed, Untitled Film Stills and is accompanied by a companion text generated in response to the images by Allison Parrish. RSVP is not required, masks are appreciated.

After the signing, bitforms gallery invites you to attend a screening of Casey Reas and Jan St. Werner’s Compressed Cinema in a theater rental at Anthology Film Archives. Two screenings will be held at 7:15 and 8:45 PM. A reception will be hosted between screenings. Tickets reservations are required and available at Brown Paper Tickets.

It Doesn’t Exist (In Any Other Form) was commissioned by Gemma, an on-chain art ecosystem built by and for artists. Learn more at

Casey Reas
b.1972, Ohio
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Casey Reas’ software, prints, and installations have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His work ranges from small works on paper to urban-scale installations, and he balances solo work in the studio with collaborations with architects and musicians. Reas’ work is in a range of private and public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Reas is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Media Arts and Sciences and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. Reas was named to the ArtReview Power 100 in 2022.



from November 09, 2023 to January 12, 2024


Casey Reas

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