drawing machines

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Art Design

The NeoLucida is the First Portable Camera Lucida to be Manufactured in Nearly a Century

May 8, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Years before the first photographic print and two centuries before Google Glass, was the Camera Lucida, a clever optical device designed by Sir William Hyde Wollaston that utilized a prism to project an image onto a piece of paper so you can trace it, a method that would transform life-drawing for nearly a century. Have you ever used one or seen for sale? Likely not. Your best chance would be scouring Ebay where antique Camera Lucidas sell for upwards of $300. Enter university professors Pablo Garcia (previously) from the Art Institute of Chicago and Golan Levin from Carnegie Mellon who have teamed up to design the NeoLucida, the first portable camera lucida in nearly a century.

So what’s the point? In the age of Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and Instagram who needs to sit down and draw what’s in front of them? The duo explains via Kickstarter:

We both have a lot of students who’ve come to believe that being able to draw photo-realistically is the most important thing. We both love realistic drawing, but not necessarily the way it’s usually taught—which often ignores the tightly-intertwined relationship between drawing and imaging technologies. In particular, art students are encouraged to draw photo-realistically, in the manner of the Old Masters, but without the proper tools for doing so. So we’re producing the NeoLucida as a provocation, not as a business, to help get this discussion started. We hope the NeoLucida will prompt new questions about the relationship of art and technology—and potentially even disrupt business-as-usual in the classroom. Most importantly, we genuinely believe that using a camera lucida will profoundly change how people see, how they draw, and how they think about art.

Lastly, is there really a demand for a simple $30 drawing device based on a little prism? The Kickstarter received pledges for almost 100 of them while I wrote this post. So there’s that.

 

 



Art

A Drawing Machine that Records the Chaos of Pinball

November 28, 2012

Christopher Jobson

From the pendulum-based drawing machine by Eske Rex to the art of Tim Knowles who attaches writing implements to trees, I love when the seemingly random lines of chaos (or maybe just physics) are rendered visible using ink or pencil. This latest project titled STYN by Netherlands-based graduate student Sam van Doorn is no exception. Using modified parts from an old pinball machine van Doorn created a one-of-a-kind drawing device that utilizes standard flippers to control a ink-covered sphere that moves across a temporary poster placed on the game surface. He suggets that skill then becomes a factor, as the better you are at pinball the more complex the drawing becomes. See much more on his website, here. My drawing would have a single line that goes between the flippers and then have TILT written all over it. (via lustik)

 

 



Art Design

Custom Polargraph Drawings

September 21, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Mechanical drawing madman Sandy Noble (previously) continues to crank out great polargraph drawings, but has taken the artform in two new directions. First you can now order customized polargraph prints directly via Etsy, all you have to do is provide the imagery. And, for the more robotically inclined (ie. hardcore), Noble helps you buy or build one of the devices for endless squiggly drawing fun.

 

 



Art Design

3D Drawing Machine

September 11, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Vision is a rather unique 3D drawing device created by twins Ryan & Trevor Oakes, allowing almost anyone to draw images in perfect perspective using nothing but your eyes and a pen. The device MESSES WITH YOUR BRAIN by using a technique that splits the ocular system, creating two images of the subject, allowing the artist to literally trace one directly onto paper. You really need to watch the video to get a clear idea of how it works, and there’s also some rather touching remarks about the nature of the twins relationship.

This made the rounds back in 2009, but that was pre-Colossal, and before the recent creation of the video above, so I feel at least somewhat justified covering it here. Plus, it’s just freaking awesome, and gave me an excuse to finally create the drawing machines tag. (via polkadot)

 

 



Art

Time Print Machine

August 1, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The Time Print Machine by designer Paul Ferragut uses standard felt-tip pens mounted to a device controlled by custom hardware using openFrameworks to draw pointilist representations of images. The marker stays in contact with the paper for a time period relative to the brightness of the pixel it’s attempting to draw, thus the “bleed” of the marker creates larger spots for darker pixels and smaller ones for lighter. Ferragut further modified the machine to create successive 4-pass CMYK drawings as well. This certainly isn’t the quickest method of drawing something with a robot, but it’s pretty darn neat. See some more detailed photos of the drawings and the machine here, and also check out his gesture drawing device. Thanks Paul for sharing your work with Colossal!

 

 



Art Design

Numerically Controlled Sharpie Drawings

July 19, 2011

Christopher Jobson

These lovely sharpie drawings are a collaboration between Matt W. More (previously) and aarn who turned Matt’s vector drawings into machine language and then fed the instructions to a 3-axis CNC machine wielding a black Sharpie marker that proceeded to draw the prints. Each print from the limited edition is signed and numbered and comes with the Sharpie used to make it. Available in the MWM Graphics Shop. Video by Paper Fortress Films

 

 



Art

Jesse Houlding’s Magnetic Drawing Machines

July 12, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Over the past several years Oakland-based artist Jesse Houlding has created a variety of incredible kinetic drawing devices using magnets and iron fillings. As a series of magnetic components move in various patterns behind the paper, the iron fillings leave a gradual residue that reveals a visual representation of the magnetic field holding them in place. Houlding says that he is interested in the accumulation of marks, specifically how time is evidenced in artwork and the relationship between process and end-results. You can see a couple more videos of his machines on his Youtube channel. Thanks Jesse for sharing your work with Colossal!

If you liked this check out the work of Sandy Noble, Eske Rex, and Harvey Moon.