Untitled #242, 104, 975 combinations of a 2x2 grid, 18 colors
Untitled #242 is part of Houck’s Aggregates Series, which uses digital tools to manipulate chosen sets and pairs of colors, creating colorful index sheets, bathed in colors and lines. Houck transforms these simple outputs physically, folding, lighting, photographing, and re-printing them, only to fold, photograph, and re-print again.
An MFA graduate from UCLA, John Houck works primarily in the medium of photography and specializes in still-life vignettes. To make his works, Houck arranges an object on a sheet of paper, photographs, and prints it, then places that print back into a new composition, repeating the process again and again until arriving at an aggregate image. The layers appear to be digitally altered, but he does not utilize any postproduction interventions. But Houck is not a purist by any means; he is significantly influenced by his professional experience as a computer programmer, and his artistic methodology mirrors a kind of algorithmic code. By referencing a conventional artistic genre through an iterative and contingent process, Houck offers up photography as a mode of thought.