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Casey Edwin Barker Reas (born 1972), also known as C. E. B. Reas or Casey Reas,[1] is an American artist whose conceptual, procedural and minimal artworks explore ideas through the contemporary lens of software. Reas is perhaps best known for having created, with Ben Fry, the Processing programming language.[2]

Casey Reas
Casey Reas.jpg
Casey Edwin Barker Reas

1972 (age 46–47)
Troy, Ohio, United States
Alma materUniversity of Cincinnati, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Known forProcessing programming language

He has shown his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art's artport,[3][4] Ars Electronica in Austria, ZKM in Germany, Transmediale in Berlin, GAFFTA in San Francisco, Uijeongbu International Digital Art Festival in Korea, the Danish Film Institute, bitforms gallery in New York and Seoul, IAMAS and ICC in Japan, the Microwave International Media Art Festival in Hong Kong, and the Sonar Festival in Barcelona.


Education and early workEdit

Reas was born Casey Edwin Barker Reas in 1972 in Troy, Ohio.[5][6] He studied design at the University of Cincinnati[7] and then spent the next two years developing software and electronics as an artistic exploration.[citation needed] While studying design in Cincinnati, Casey Reas was a member of a band called 'nancy' with Scott Devendorf and Matt Berninger, who went on to become members of The National.[8] Reas went on to direct six music videos for the band's 2017 album, Sleep Well Beast.[9][10]

In 2001, Reas earned a Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences as a part of the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MIT Media Lab.[7]

Art careerEdit

After graduating, Reas began to exhibit his software and installations internationally in galleries and festivals. Reas's software generated images derive from short software-based instructions that visual create processes. The instructions are expressed in different media including natural language, machine code, and computer simulations, resulting in both dynamic and static images. Each translation reveals a different perspective on the process and combines with the others to produce continually evolving visual traces.[11][12][13]

Since 2012, Reas has incorporated broadcast images into his work, algorithmically distorting them to create abstractions that retain traces of their original, representational function.[14]

In 2003, Reas moved to Los Angeles where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Design Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles.[15]


In 2001, together with MIT PhD candidate Ben Fry, Reas created the Processing programming language.[16] Processing is widely used by thousands of artists and designers worldwide, and by educators teaching the fundamentals of programing in art and design schools.[17][18]

Public collectionsEdit

Reas' work is held in the following collections:

Reas' public artwork A Mathematical Theory of Communication was commissioned by the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.[23]


  • Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry, Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, MIT Press, 2007.
  • Casey Reas, Process compendium 2004-2010, REAS Studio, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4507-2713-6


  1. ^ "Information". Casey Reas. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  2. ^ Campbell, Cate Scott. "PODCAST: Casey Reas And The Art Of Interactivity".
  3. ^ Software Structures
  4. ^
  5. ^ David Jason Gerber; Mariana Ibanez (1 January 2015). Paradigms in Computing: Making, Machines, and Models for Design Agency in Architecture. eVolo Press. pp. 59–. ISBN 978-1-938740-11-4.
  6. ^ "Casey Reas - The European Graduate School".
  7. ^ a b "Casey Reas Biography" (PDF). Bitforms Gallery. Bitforms Gallery. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  8. ^ "casey reas : : eat : : ruther 3429".
  9. ^ "Casey Reas | IMVDb". IMVDb. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  10. ^ "The National". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  11. ^ "Casey Reas's Disconcerting Software Paintings".
  12. ^ "Nostalgia for the Lost Subject of Technology in the Work of Casey Reas - Los Angeles Review of Books".
  13. ^ "Did You See It? Wait, Now It's Gone: Casey Reas' Generative Art at ACADIA 2014".
  14. ^ Savage, Annaliza. "Casey Reas at Bitforms Gallery".
  15. ^ "Casey Reas Professor". UCLA Design Media Arts. UCLA. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  16. ^ Foundation, Processing. "Copyright \".
  17. ^ Reas, Casey; Fry, Ben (2007). Processing: a programming handbook for visual designers and artists. MIT Press.
  18. ^ Christiane Paul (2 March 2016). A Companion to Digital Art. Wiley. pp. 590–. ISBN 978-1-118-47521-8.
  19. ^ "Process 18 (Software 3) - Reas, Casey - V&A Search the Collections".
  20. ^ "The John Ferraro Building, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - LACMA Collections".
  21. ^ "Casey Reas - Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation". Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation.
  22. ^ "Process 13 - Centre Pompidou".
  23. ^ "Casey Reas". 3 October 2014.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit