Dither Studies

The dithering process is as old as digital imagery, but has become familiar to us through low-res images viewed online. Simple algorithms generate dithered patterns to approximate photographic images into a smaller palette, offsetting the error of those approximations onto surrounding pixels. When used in an ideal scenario, this process is invisible. Dither Studies makes this process as visible as possible by applying it to images with no content: either solid colors or simple gradients. A color palette of complementary colors is used so they will never visually recombine. Although the dithering algorithms are simple to understand and rooted in a simple logical process, they create patterns that feel complex and irrational.

Last Update: 03/24/2017 Added serpetine scanning for each dither, meaning it reads left to right on one row, and right to left on the next. This allows for some weird dither effects but also some more familiar; Photoshop uses a modified serpentine Floyd-Steinberg dither.

They are a selection of the Rhizome ArtBase at the New Museum. They were reviewed in the Brooklyn Rail and featured on Art F City, Triangulation Blog and on Fast Company's Co.Design Blog


Dither Studies: Web App (2014)

Interactive tool to generate Dither Studies using the most widely used dithering algorithms.


Dither Studies: Original Prints (2011, 2012)

A collaboration with Photoshop. I give the program an impossible task: to draw a solid color or gradient with a palette of incompatible colors, thus exposing the dithering algorithm's complex, seemingly irrational patterns.


Dither Studies: Flip Flops (2013 - )

Dither Studies printed across flip flops were exhibited at Higher Pictures, Mana Contemporary, and Esther Klein Gallery.


Dither Studies: Credit Card (2012)

Dither Studies for Anthony Antonellis's credit card curation project.