Japan Media Arts Festival  

Art Division

New Face Award

The Dither is Naked

Internet art

YANO [Switzerland]

© 2017 YANO


In the field of digital imagery, dithering is a method for creating the illusion of color depth with a reduced color palette, and it is done by adding noise. In that sense, a well-dithered image is one where the algorithm remains unnoticed. The Floyd Steinberg dithering is an algorithm that uses error diffusion. This means that it adds the residual quantization error of a pixel to its neighboring pixels, and overall averages out the errors. When the algorithm is applied to gradients, its camouflage quality becomes weaker, revealing itself to the viewer’s eyes. This project allows viewers to select their preferred pixel size and color, and the dither weight and type, making the algorithm visible. 


YANO has taken dithering, a long and widely used image processing technology, and regarded it not as a practical tool but as a goal, as an embodiment of the raw beauty of algorithms themselves. I cannot help but be mesmerized by seeing this inverted idea being fueled and accelerated by the artist himself. In other words, the “dithering for the sake of dithering”─a form of “art for the sake of art”─ is driving the artist to create a genuine web app and to post on social media an abstract dither image collection that has the feel of expansive nature. The carefree attitude of adding “here’s a fancy dither for you!” to the images is also fabulous. (NAKAZAWA Hideki) 

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