Darkness and Light 1

Basic Information

Title: Darkness and Light 1
Artist(s): Simon Kirby
Date Created: 2020
Unframed Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.75 in.
Inventory ID: Kirby-2020-03


signed lower right in graphite

excerpt from the artist’s website regarding this work:
“30,000 straight lines in black and blue ballpoint. Custom software, drawing robot.

I am interested in the role of machines as part of the extended mind, especially when it comes to creative activities. We are used to using tools to create things, but there’s something interesting that happens when that tool is sufficiently complex as to bring its own unpredictable biases into play. We’re used to thinking of robots as devices of infinite precision, but that really isn’t the case. In making these drawings, I start with writing an algorithm, and then render the results of running that algorithm on paper using familiar tools like fountain pens controlled by a simple robot. The resulting image bears the hallmark not only of my original idea expressed algorithmically, but also the biases and imperfections brought about by the physicality of the machine. As with much of my work, I find that including a robot as part of the process leads strangely to an outcome that is more organic, and perhaps even, more human.

Most of my drawings have elements in them that are not under my control. They appear to be random, but in fact most computers actually cannot generate true randomness. Instead the process needs to be given a “seed” each time the algorithm is run.”


Detail images of the work

More Artworks By Simon Kirby

Ballpoint Texture in Red and Blue (02/21/1999)

signed lower right in graphite titled with date lower center in graphite excerpt from the artist’s website regarding this work: “Custom software, drawing robot. Each is seeded by a location or date that’s important to you. Just provide a latitude and longitude or date when you order and you’ll get a drawing that is unique […]