Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Documenting Movement ; Process Based Mark Making

Issue number 6 of McSweeney's magazine had an art theme and a cd made by They Might Be Giants to accompany it. It's a clever concept with a small notation on each page for the short ditty on the cd the goes with whichever story or image. In that issue, they featured the art of Dave Ford, who did a body of work based on the random movements of suspended pencils inside of a box truck. To quote his website, his process is as follows, " Plastic bottles with penciled tips are hung points down from a web of straps in the back of a truck. The pendulums draw on paper mounted on the floor as the truck travels." Here are two process images and two images of the results:

First Large Scale and Long Distance Truck Drawing, by Dave Ford

He has done other works documenting movement in mailed packages and door-driven drawings. This type of work reminded me of another artist doing similar work in the late 70s on a smaller scale. William Anastasi did a series of "Subway Drawings" at this time - Pamela Lee explains his process:

"Sitting with a pencil in each hand and a drawing board on his lap, his elbows at an angle of 90 degrees, his shoulders away from the back rest, Anastasi was operating as a seismograph, allowing the rhythm of the moving train - its starts, stops and turns, accelerations and decelerations, to be transformed into lines on paper. This signifies not only the internalization of chance in a work but furthermore the phenomenological process:..."it is an art object that expresses the physicality of its making." (Pamela Lee)

William Anastasi, Subway Drawing, Bus 3-10.06 13:40 els.

There's more on these works via rodcorp blog, who rightfully compares process/chance based works like these to important works by Marcel DuChamp like "Three Standard Stoppages."

I would like to round out this post with another artist who depends on the "physicality of making", Luke Homitsky. Luke is a friend of mine from Savannah who is currently doing a series of "body movement documetation" in China using a similarly removed processes to the above mentioned artists. Luke built a device that wears like a back-pack and has a freely suspended marker which records his body movements. The results are random, unpredictable and quite expressive looking.
Luke Homitsky, 30 minutes teaching art class permanent marker on paper 50cm x 65cm 2006

The freedom of these works is inspiring to me, especially after masking off lines on tedious paintings.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails