Drawing Machines: A Simple Machine

Top: The Machine, first draft completed Bottom: The Machine, installed and used.     

After our discussion in class I started seeing drawing machines as something more than just a medium. I can see now that this is a style that has been a staple inside many different artistic movement. As described in Brockmon chapter one, many different artist used drawing machines as a way to understand the new machine dominated world. During and after the industrial movement drawing machines became part of the mainstream plastic art scene.

While building my own project I understood why this style can unlock aspects of the machine human relationship. How the balancing of power between these two things shifts the product produced by both parties. In my experiments I crafted a machine that gave very little to the actual production of the drawing, interpreting this as a positive. It was only after I presented my work to the class that it dawned on me how I was immediately unwilling to give the machine control. It was when I let go of my complete control that my machine became interesting.

I am intrigued by my unwillingness to let go of control over my projects in this class. It is by far from the first studio class I have taken, however, any other project I was able to create was something on my own creation. I never considered that my art could exist on its own and have its own agency over the art it produced. In collage, in creating sculpture, and painting murals I as the creator had no desire to let go of the control I thought I had. I have gotten frustrated with paint brushes over the fact that I cannot grasp the tool correctly to use it the way I see fit.

With this class and with these projects I must push away from this intense need for complete control. I originally believed this would be an easy task, but it has been extremely difficult. Anytime I believe I have created a version of my machines that push towards the machine having more agency I am told to examine how wrong I am.

In this product, I think that there is still a lot the machine can’t contribute. In the next machine I build with my found object I want to expand on this and take away more control. I am excited to begin.