Untitled, 20090419.html, HTML, 470 x 340
by Chris Ashley (2009)
Look, See is on an ongoing series of HTML drawings that Ashley begun in 2000. The drawings are made using HTML tables in the WYSIWYG editor in Dreamweaver, a software application used to create websites. The WYSIWYG editor (What Your See Is What You Get) is a tool used for editing a web content that, unlike writing source code, allows for the direct manipulation of the colors and shapes that will appear online. The HTML table is a grid with a designated number of rows and columns. After making the selections for the table, Ashley assigns a hexadecimal value to each square in the grid, giving it its color and code. A new HTML drawing is made every day.
The selections for this exhibition are the set of drawings from April 2009. All the images vary to some degree. However, a general aesthetic is at work throughout---solid and mostly opaque colored squares and rectangles that create a larger square shaped image. At the same time, the trick is that there is no image. It is solely code and its execution. If a user tries to click on the “image” to save it, she will find this impossible. Look, See plays with the intrinsic grid that structures most content on online (vector based images are the exception). While still retaining reference to this constraint, Ashley also manages to make each drawing visually elegant.