09/16/2010 08:20 pm ET | Updated Apr 11, 2012

The Essence Of Light: Thirteen Years Of Exploration (PHOTOS)

The San Jose Museum of Art is presenting my first-ever museum survey show and features 20 sculptures dated from 1997 to the present.

My work is focused on stripping systems down to their essence to better understand the underlying structures and rules that govern how they work. I am interested in lowest common denominators such as pixels or the zeros and ones in binary code. Starting at the beginning, using the simplest forms, I begin to build elements within a framework. The work explores not only on the physical but adds the dimension of time combining both spatial and temporal resolution. The forms move, change, interact and ultimately grow into complex organisms. Inspired by mathematician John Conway's work with cellular automata and the Game of Life, I have sought to create my own sets of rules. Central to the work is the element of chance. My goal is to create a rich environment in which emergent behavior can occur without a preconceived outcome.

I believe in being an active participant, serving as editor in the process through the careful selection of compelling sequences. These selections are then further refined through combination with other sequences through simple operations such as addition, subtraction and multiplication.

The sequence's opacity, speed and scale can all be manipulated through custom software. Ultimately, complex compositions are formed and then displayed in random order and for a random amount of time in the final artwork. The visual manifestation of the code in light is my core interest.

Leo Villareal At San Jose Museum of Art