I’m looking into making a new round of research and development around drawing machines. I’m extra excited to have Blivande as the background of this chapter in my life.
This is a very experimental, collaborative, kids friendly and welcoming process. If someone shows up, it can become a workshop! Or simply a moment of joy watching the process. You may as well come out with a print! 🤷♀️
If you are up for a workshop or would like a print, I will be accepting donations to buy the initial Precious Plastic machines!! Blivanditos accepted
The plan is for it to happen at the Artist in Residency Room, at Tau, between the 19th of May and early June.
It’s a 4 week schedule:
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 18h - 22h
Friday: 14h - 18h (or longer)
** Chat with Alex and Jenny:
Precision gets quite boring. Playing with Quirkbot allows for exploration of textures and gestures that a precise machine can’t achieve. Wild chaotic yet regular. When Vera Molnar and other pioneers made drawings with computer they had precision machines, scientific plotters, so the machine intuition was done with pseudo random numbers. Having turned into commodities, physical computing like arduino (Quirkbot) open a door for the material intuition as well. The mathematical perfect formula interpreted as movement and ink trail.
** Chat with Strawbees:
I have a very specific agenda and goal with those experiments so it was easy for me to develop a series of situation for experimentation. I'm researching for a possible workshop format and my main focus has been on the aesthetics of mechanical movement, randomness as machine intuition and co-creation. I have a few artists as reference and my process is pretty much an attempt to dialog with the chaotic behaviour of the machine to get somewhere where order and chaos play tricks on our brains 😉
There are basically 2 mindset I have noticed on people: Some want to just watch and get surprised, other people want to achieve precision and predictability.
The first one is simple, do whatever, attach a pen and watch.
The second one is a bit more frustrating to do with Strawbees. Holding a pen is not so easy and even if you get to hold it, the average weight of a pen is usually enough to wobble the whole structure. Slow movements and 2 (or 3) gripping points are key. It usually requires mechanical contraptions to translate the rotation of the motor into linear movement, etc...
** Talk with Jenny:
Post humanism, neo materialism.
put a motor between you and the drawing
** Talk with Sero:
It’s like drawing with a children, you don’t take the brush from their hand, you just hold their hands and start the movement until it becomes a gentle touch. You are there to put the hand back in the paper when it goes off paper sometimes.
** Talk with Paulo:
The drawings of this week are aesthetic inspirations. Some of the stuff can be done with code, some can't. It is kind of a low resolution version of what's to come!
This machine is a bit more brainy. It requires a bit more thinking about arcs and the focus is 100% on motor movement. Filling a piece of paper is not so trivial and there is an inherited distortion that can drive optimisation or embracing the distortion.
Using Fabulous Flying Circus is fine with cable but can also be controlled by a web interface.
Isabella came for microcosmic gazing. Gazing is not so exciting for her, a game would be better.
This week is about motor choreography. I am not thinking about x, y coordinates but how the motors will move with a thin layer of abstraction so we can describe the movement the pen does. Still very cartesian and lacking some turtle programming.
People actually came in today played with Strawbees but they started with the drawing machine so they haven’t seen the funky robot walk.
Sally does not know how to code but sat down with me and compiled a drawing into a set of instructions. We debugged and we were on the way to success but it was Friday 17:30.
This drawing machine is a physical object that will live after this week and it could be a livingroom piece. Call for designers. Requires on-boarding.
The thing that really makes a difference to craft is the pen carriage. There are some very good successful designs made with scholar material.
Should be about 3D printer but I no longer have one available.
I’ll use Axidraw instead.
a follow up from the motor movement would be to choreograph the space filling movement so an image is revealed
Wiggly lines to render darker pixels did not create enough contrast. Needs tunning of line, wiggle and stroke size.