For approximately the past year, I have been making drawings using a home-brewed CNC-based drawing machine, as a studio-based tool, fashioned primarily of components from the local big-box store. After using this tool for a number of months and finding myself still enamored with the mechanical motion of the machine, I designed a wall-hung version, capable of functioning during exhibitions, to draw directly on the gallery wall with a standard, mechanical graphite pencil. The images presented here represent the first version of the drawing machine.Beyond the desire to bring to the tool to the exhibition space as a kinetic and performative work, the exhibitive version of the drawing machine retains the tension between high and low-tech, exposing the banality of its components aside the precision of the digital electronics. The nuance of the machine resides in this tension, offering an accessibility to the viewer through this duality, the digital and analog, that reflects the current state of contemporary life. This accessibility, further enhanced by the tactility of the images, challenges the assumptions of both digital processes and of the handmade, residing somewhere in between and less easily categorized.
While there is, in certain individuals, an apprehension surrounding digital technology and the loss for the handmade, there resides another option. I have chosen to undermine the system and make handmade, digital tools. When the digital is no longer viewed as an unknown foreign entity, impenetrable in its logic, it becomes raw material, like any other material, and the boundaries grow into something much less clear.