Drawing Machine: A Simple Machine

The First Drawing Machine

This is my first drawing machine, which is a random assemblage of sticks. I was excited and curious when seeing plenty of tools and materials that I never used. I tried using them as frequently as possible without caring the final function, so this first drawing machine looked unexpectedly complex but could only transfer the easlist motion. It was a planless experiment. Both the machine and I were aimless and did not know why we worked in this way. I just very much enjoyed the process of using the drill, spinning screws, assembling sticks and drawing some ruleless patterns.

The Second Drawing Machine

The second drawing machine is less controlled than the first one, because I wanted to create a very different machine compared to the previous by giving it more freedom. Before making the second drawing machine, designing it in the sketchbook is a requirement, which dragged me out of my comfort zone. I was accustomed to considering that imagining artworks without practice is boring. However, the vivid fact showed me that making mechanisms needed early designing and some background information, such as the linkage animations, because transfer motion was a challenge for me. I desired to make a smarter and a more delicate linkage. Although there was no right or wrong, no high-level or low-level, but some vague differences did exist between drawing machines, which may be techniques or thoughts. Finally, the machine I made was satisfying, but the moving was not complete the same as I imagined.

My mechanisms are out of control in some of times, and I feel unacquainted with the machines, due to the lack of research and contact. It still takes time to develop my relationship with linkage drawing machine. Nevertheless, the most importantly, I am glad and even honored to have this experience and have a story with machine art, since the attraction of trying new things is greater than the experience and feeling after trying.

Of course art of machines is existing. Of course machine art is inspiring and meaningful if you read it in an inspiring way. In my opinion, the range of art is broad and boundless. To some degree, it can be counted as art, as long as it makes one person emotional by using its own way. For me, art of machine is avant-garde, no matter in terms of its history, its form, or acceptability and popularity in general. Sometimes I think machine art is full of meaning but needs more aesthetics. I have a personal connection with pigment or something looks nice. I believe machine art, which worths people’s attention, will have huge development and inspire more people in the future. It conveys lots of ideas from artists as a novel medium.  

From the reading, I get to know different machine artists focus on very different aspects of machine. For instance, Andrew Glassner is an expert in processing. David Rokeby is especially interested in the reaction of machines when they are interacting with people. Maurizio Bolognini believes in machines’ autonomy. Machine artists seem to help machines gain life. Machines are also creative, sometimes out of human beings’ control, and do some incredible things that humans can’t achieve. When involved in machine art, most of artists do not aim on mastering machines; instead they collaborate and communicate with them. Machines receive respect, as they are also individual artists.


Author: Yexuan Wang