Carter Hodgkin explores a new language of abstraction created by the intersection of science and the algorithm. Her work transforms atomic particle collisions into line and color to create animations, paintings and large-scale mosaic installations.

Hodgkin’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries in the U.S., Europe, Japan and India. She has been awarded fellowships from the Adolph & Esther Gottieb Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

Americans for the Arts cited her permanent Public Art Project “Electromagnetic Fall” as one of the best public art projects for 2010. Her work is included public and private collections including the U.S. Library of Congress and the U.S. Department of State, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum and the Basil Alkazzi Foundation.

Her work is included in Art+Science Now, a survey of artists working at the frontiers of science and technology. She teaches at Parsons/The New School.


My work is based on visualizations of energy, inspired by particle physics and forms in nature. I create works which trace movement, energy and space.

Manipulating computer code as a drawing process, I generate animations of particle collisions to create hyper-energetic, cascading compositions from thousands of vibrantly-hued dots which grow, dissipate and dissolve.

In my process of creating an image, I am interested in how colliding particles reveal structures and patterns of movement. In creating an image, the particle equals a pixel — a building block for matter as well as imagery. Form is created through a proliferation of particles/pixels reacting to forces, built by orders of accretion and multiplication to express the speed in our lives.

In my paintings, layers of hand-painted tiny dots and fragile lines transform the digital into a tactile, gestural form as the image succumbs to the touch of the human hand. The repetitive painting of dots becomes meditative and contemplative. 

My animations play out the act of painting dot by dot, giving the viewer an experience of forms growing, dissipating, and dissolving. They display the act of drawing in space and time, slowing down the act of viewing and becoming somewhat meditative. The digital nature of my process makes the animations scale well. On large LED screens, the animations become large–scale paintings that move.

In the mosaic commissions, I use my drawing process to simulate collisions interacting with the architectural space. Each pixel in the design becomes a small tile, enabling a rich array of color and texture. These large-scale projects chart a metaphoric territory where gesture, line, motif and color bring drawing into the architecture of a space, connecting the historical use of mosaic in public places with a modern digitized vernacular.