Jason Salavon  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jason Salavon (born 1970) is an American contemporary artist. He is noted for his use of computer software of his own design to manipulate and reconfigure preexisting media and data to create new visual works of fine art.

Life and art

The son of an artist, Jason Salavon was born in 1970 He earned his BA in 1993 from the University of Texas at Austin and his MFA in 1997 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During and after school, Salavon worked as an artist and programmer in the video game industry. After he earned his MFA, he also designed and taught courses as an instructor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Hill 2004). Salavon currently lives in Chicago, where he is a studio artist and an assistant professor and research fellow at the University of Chicago.

Salavon is noted for his use of custom computer software to manipulate and reconfigure media and data to create new visual works of art. A significant body of Salavon's work involves two general means of manipulating preexisting media to create works of art: first, by overlaying images (such as multiple photographs) and averaging the result to create visual amalgamations and, second, by distributing processed media (such as individual frames of a movie) side by side or in other configurations. An example of the first means is Salavon's 2004 suite of works, 100 Special Moments, which consists of images based on the average of groups of 100 distinct commemorative photographs culled from the Internet. An example of the second means is his 2000 work, The Top Grossing Film of All Time, 1 x 1, which is a static image showing all of the frames of the movie Titanic reduced to the average color most representative of each frame.

A third part of Salavon's work involves the recomposition of statistical data into visual images. For example, in the 2001 works Shoes, Domestic Production, 1960-1998, Salavon organized and transformed a data set concerning the show industry into "psychedelic constellations" bursting with color. A more recent example is Salavon's 2006 work, American Varietal, a commission to transform census data into site-specific art for the new headquarters of the US Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland.

Salavon's work has been and continues to be shown in numerous exhibitions around the world and is a part of many public and private collections (Hill 2004:54). He has also received commissions to create site-specific artworks, including a commission at the US Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland. More recently, he received a commission to create art for the expansion of McCormick Place in Chicago.

At one point, the Google search results for the term "Playboy" placed Salavon's website in a higher position than Playboy's own website. This was likely the result of extensive blogosphere discussion about and linking to Salavon's website for his works Every Playboy Centerfold, The Decades, amalgamations showing the decade-by-decade evolution of the "average" Playboy centerfold from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jason Salavon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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