About the Artist

Judith Seeger
The rendering of concepts into visual forms has appealed to me from a very young age, for which I can partially thank Walt Disney.The original “Fantasia” was the second movie I ever saw, at the age of 5.The section on the “Toccata and Fugue” made a profound impression on me, and for the rest of my childhood, I would see colors and shapes in the music I heard. I would try occasionally to draw these images, but drawing was not my forte, and I soon gave up.

My father was a linguist and during WWII, worked as a cryptographer.I think I’ve inherited something of his love of codes.What also appeals to me is the idea that an image can be attractive on its own merits, but also can contain hidden information.An article in the March, 1964 Scientific American talked about the Ulam spiral, which is a representation of the prime numbers as they occur when a spiral of integers is drawn.Stanislaw Ulam, bored during a meeting, numbered the intersections of a piece of quadrille-lined  paper, starting in the center and working CCW, circling every intersection which was a prime number. After a while, he noticed a pattern emerging.He later wrote a program which displayed primes as white dots and composites as black dots, from 1 to 10,000.I was intrigued by the illustration, and thought it would be great to have that as a coffee table top, and people would think it was just a random display of white dots, but you would know it wasn’t. 

This idea stayed with me for fifteen years,when I made my own Ulam spiral, but instead of circling intersections, I wrote the digits of each prime number in the resistor color code.This led to my using color in the representation of phone numbers.

When I was at electronics school (Heald), I had a teacher in the first quarter who used colors to represent the things going on in three dimensions.I consider this my introduction to color as language.

And I think my fondness for hidden information is what led to the “Hen and Chickens” series.