Drawing Machines: Destroy to Create


The first letter:

I’m just going to say it, you’re not a great telescope. Your design is functional, but rudimentary. Galileo came up with it. I used you as a kid to see the surface of the moon from my neighborhood park. Once, the local astronomy people who go out there showed me the rings of Saturn on their large fancy telescope. My ten year old self was amazed. I tried to look through you, and all I got was a wonky dot. Although, you did help me find my favorite star, Vega, the soon to be north star, in about 12,000 years. Since then I’ve moved on, I’ve learned the ages, movements, and configuration of the stars. I know the science behind their explosive cycles of life and death. I’ve learned how both you, and much larger telescopes are built. Is it cruel to take you apart knowing that I can put you back together again, but choose not to?

The second letter:

Change is the only constant, and I hope your changes are for the better. I as your changer can’t say for sure, nor do I think anyone can. Your motion and purpose has completely changed, no longer for seeing and searching. You don’t need to reach for light to condense and project. Now you reflect and spin, drawing instead of watching, living in the dark to protect your canvas. However, I’m not sure of your effectiveness. The beauty of the works produced from you are beautiful because of aspects other than the lines you draw. The colors speak louder than the lines, but the lines still are a part of this work so I can’t completely discredit you, even if I try. Perhaps an unnecessary concept is not a useless one. An expectation for you to have a higher purpose is too high for what you are. The innards of a telescope reborn doesn’t have a great destiny even if I expect you to act and perform well without too much of my help. I can’t help but expect of you to be more human. I have found that my frustrations with you put responsibility not on you to be better, but for me to build you better.

The machine is art as is any other medium. Wood, textile, pottery, anything can be art and the machine is a debated medium in this sense. The discrimination of what is art and what is not was broken in part by machines become a medium. As a newer form it was looked down upon in the beginning, but so have many other artists and original forms. Creation from noting or the transformation of our ordinary objects is art as much as a painting may be.

The orderly fashion of the machine reflects a order and regulation not found in human activity or even in the world. The machine is argued to be even a truer form of art because it reflects order to the natural chaos of the world. We took the objects we had and transform them from order to an intermediate state of chaos back to order again.

We also worked in the realm of interactivity. Many of the pieces, including mine depended on a user to interacts with and shape the resulting image. More than running the machine, determining where the ink fell on the image or manipulating an aspect other than the machine, we influence the art individually. It is not the same every time because of us and our interaction with the machine.


Author: El Ryan