Mobility Agents - A Computational Sketchbook

Artist Book, 2005

Includes a book and CD

Published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and Printed Matter, Inc.

An artist's book and software CD, Mobility Agents traces the development of John Simon's dynamic drawing tools. Influenced by the notebooks of Paul Klee, Simon transformed diagrams of moving lines into software drawing tools. The software is an electronic book ending with a fully functional drawing program that lets the user explore.

"Pedagogical surprises abound in John Simon's endlessly inventive Mobility Agents. The artist's software and text deftly forges connections across art history and into the future as he expands the very means and medium of drawing. It is an artist book that belongs in every art school and on every curator's desk." - John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator of Film and Media Arts Guggenheim Museum

"Mobility Agents is a beautiful interactive sketchbook and drawing board that gives invaluable insight into how software translates data into marks on the computer screen. Educational without being didactic, this sketchbook invites users to explore the basic variables of drawing by means of a computer. Mobility Agents perfectly illustrates that every mark on the screen is the result of many creative decisions and can be a highly individual form of expression." -- Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

"These code improvisations are drawing exercises. In his own work, John uses a drawing tablet and software to draw with lines in motion. He discovers the kinds of marks and drawings that are possible from combining his hand gestures with his software drawing tools.

John first started experimenting in 1989 by making small variations to simple code statements and observing the wide variety of resulting marks. Sixteen years later he is still discovering new lines and motions." -- artport.whitney.org

6 applets are presented as excerpts from Mobility Agents on the Whitney Museum's ArtPort website