My mother-in-law is 63 years old and she has early onset Alzheimer’s. It is devastating. At times the disease is slow and methodical, with parts of her memory becoming obscured a little bit at a time. But it is also punctuated with seemingly large jumps into the new realities of what she can and can’t do for herself. It is an ugly process, but embedded in the experience is the beauty of her response to the disease. An unforgettable optimism that she draws from. onset is a generative artwork that creates “cells” that are randomly spawned across the screen, constantly obscuring what was drawn before. The gray value of each cell is determined by the relationship of the cell’s origin point to the underlying pixel value of unseen b&w photo of my mother-in-law that is loaded in the background. The work is intended to acknowledge the persistent nature of the disease, growing and hiding what has happened in the past, drawing structures that both reference the biology at work while trying to find some element of beauty that can provide a silver lining to cling to.
onset was created using the Processing development environment.