Drawing Machines : Destroy To Create

Letter to My Object: 

To The Object formally known as a Television,

Before this project, you were useless, and discarded. You had lost your place in the world and had become obsolete in the eyes of those who used to see you as a friend. This project gave you new life, new purpose, and set you on a path that, (while totally different than you intended path,) is just as important.

You were the canvas for my creativity, and the source of my inspiration for the entire project. This project was a collaboration between us. We were both vital in the creation of this drawing machine, and had either of us been different in even little ways, this machine would have looked totally different, and these drawings that are produced are ours and we both share a hand in their creation.

Chris Crary



For this project I thought about the role of the television as a form of entertainment, and tried to make the creation of the drawing a spectacle, framed in the box of the television. That provided me with enough guidelines to start off. I though about how a seismograph works and the how momentum of a pendulum style object could be contained inside the box of the television. With that idea in mind I got to work fully dismantling the television. 

The first and by far most dangerous part of this entire process was removing the CRT monitor. The monitor can be semi-explosive if punctured, so before I even brought the object into class I sat outside near a dumpster and did the dirty work of unscrewing everything and carefully removing the monitor. Once this was done I brought it into class and got to work removing every part from the inside. 

I was hoping to make the entire machine/sculpture out of objects that I took from inside the television, and with the exception to a stick of hot glue, a pen, and 12 screws the entirety of my machine is made up of the original pieces of the TV. I though that that was important, because I wanted the object to still retain its own sense of identity, despite being reconstructed. I also tried to use as much of the actual object in the functioning of the art. The VCR slot was repurposed as the place to insert the paper, and the holes where speakers would have been were repurposed to house the cables that were pulled on to move the pen.

The television is an object synonymous with mass media and commercialism, so by appropriating these stigmas in a nearly useless drawing machine, one might think that I am making a higher commentary about how we consume media, and the true nature of television programming. Im not. During this project I came to the realization that I didn’t want to imbue my object with a higher purpose of point, because that would just distract from what it really is. This is just an object that converts the momentum generated by the pulling of two strings into a drawing, nothing more.

Author: Chris Crary