The drawbot is going well. All problems I had were down to my average math skills. I've since bought a new tape measure with bigger numbers and lines on it. My studio has relocated; the drawbot is currently set up on a smaller scale, on a 900x1200mm board, suited for drawing on A2 paper. Parts for a larger machine have been ordered so I can go back to drawing at 1500mm wide (the widest paper I could buy) The new machine has an SD card reader and LCD screen so there will be no need to have it tethered to a laptop. Exciting times.
Before I downsized the drawbot, I managed to draw a life sized Bertha on some scrap paper. It turned out wonderfully
Then I tried to draw four Berthas, giving the machine a vector image. Four turned into 24.
One of the ideas behind my drawbot project was to free up time. In theory, I could have the robot drawing whilst I was performing other tasks. For me, these tasks range from studio and theory practice related, to holding down a job and the mundane domestic chores one must perform to sustain everyday life. The reality is that firstly, the drawbot is mesmerising to watch. Secondly, the drawbot can’t be trusted, unforeseen things happen. The pen runs out or a counterweight gets caught on something, straining a motor, putting the drawbot out of alignment etc. Thirdly, errors in the code can result in the drawbot not performing as expected, so I must be around to step in and rectify it. Thus a ‘domestic guilt’ starts to set in, because on those days the machine is drawing, I make plans to do other things, to save time. Things like going to the supermarket, or my weekly, (read:daily) trips to Bunnings or doing the washing. These things hardly get done. What does get done is a lot of tea drinking and reading. But those things are unseen advancements. I still come home to at times, empty cupboards, dirty washing and more reading.
Days when the drawbot is not running are spent either at my part time job or in front of a computer writing/reading/creating the next image. This is usually done at home, which turns problematic as although I may have achieved a lot, again there is no physical thing to show for the time spent. What there is, is a pile of washing and dirty dishes. This is a hangup from years spent on sculptural projects where there was a measureable physical change in the work on a daily basis, making a sense of achievement much more noticeable.
This is not to say I exist in some kind of heteronormative domestic bliss whereby a male companion sits at home expecting me to be both domestic servant and studying Artist with a part time job. This is the twenty first century after all. My sole flatmate is a normal functioning person, performing an equal (if not greater) amount of house related domestic duties.
Sporadic rants of an angry queer feminist artist. Regular updates on Instagram