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10th September 2015 / 6pm – 8pm / FREE
11th September – 10th October 2016

As a practice-based researcher at the Design Centre, University of Sunderland, my research has investigated the interplay between code, machine and output as well as the audience response to the mechanism’s output.

Having previously focused on art and design that has a traditional digital output (via screen and print), current research considers alternative ways of outputting via drawing machines. Unlike processes typical in digital reproduction, these drawing machines are inherently imperfect in their design and will produce different results each time they are run even if they are driven by the same data. It is the physicality in the production the drawings and the ability to have a direct connection between code and output that I find most intriguing about working with the machines.

The exhibited drawings may take several hours or even days to produce. This is contrary to the way we typically look to machines and computers to speed up a process. The slowly emerging patterns give time to consider the drawings at various stages of complexity and the final result may be much different than expected. The research is ongoing and most recent explorations have revisited the initial programs used to control the drawing machines that had much less control but were able to produce drawings with a much looser style. These early drawings were created entirely at random within the circuitry of the machine itself, with no pattern or coordination of movement. As development progressed, it became necessary to gain greater control of the machines to enable very specific output. However, during this process the marks lost some of their expressive qualities and the final stage of my doctoral thesis is to distil the qualities of the earlier randomly produced drawings and produce algorithms that can marry the looseness of random sketches with the control of the data-driven work.

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