the act of drawing
without the body

How to draw without using
the human body?

The research project Machinic Protocols leaves aside the ‘hand of the artist’. Here, rather than being animated by the preconceived idea of the outcome of an art work, we work the forces that enable its emergence. We design mechanisms that design. Even though the term machinic may evoke a mechanical act, it is more generic: it refers to an attitude, the one of relying on automatized processes to perform desired tasks. In other words, to delegate to others, may they be human or not.

This method of creation implies that, once the creation process has begun, it runs on its own and the ‘author’ becomes a mere spectator. Since the outcome is produced by sometihng else, it is unknown to the author; chance and accidents therefor play an active role. This automated process is fuelled by protocols, the real implication of the ‘author’ – or the designer – as a recipe, a set of instructions that dictate actions to be executed. The real outcome of Machinic Procols is a methodology for design, one that targets design questions in the field of drawing and space. It unfolds into a series of projects, each serving as an iteration to test and define that methodology. Directed by Edouard Cabay, this work has been developed within the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and in Appareil, an experimental architecture office in Barcelona. It has been initiated in 2015 with academic studio projects and has since then lead to numerous iterations in the academic world, art museums and cultural manifestations.
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Third Deviation

2019

1500 impacts  / 12 days / 1 painting / paint on glass / white – black – red

 

 THIRD DEVIATION is part of a series of experiments whose object of study covers opposing ideas of stability and instability. The series of DEVIATION introduces wisely notions of accidents, temporal operationality and random interventions in the infallible process of a technological mastery, then dragging production towards unexpected plasticities.

The work presented by the CIVA at KANAL-Centre Pompidou is a catapult (length of the lever arm: 60cm) that moves on a rail (length: 10m) parallel to the glass facade of the showroom on Place Sainctelette. The catapult is programmed to launch 2,000 paintballs at the end of the 12-day performance, gradually revealing a drawing (width: 10m / height: 2m) whose geometric rules have been previously encoded in the robotic circuits that control the mechanical arm. The drawing materializes itself directly on the glass facade, producing from then a pictorial canvas consisting of a recto and verso, where the reading of the paintings’ layers is inversely possible according to whether one is inside or outside the building.

The work brings together in its layering two public spaces that face each other: the sidewalk and the museum in the making.

 

Author: Edouard Cabay

Collaborator: Peter Geelmuyden Magnus

Development team: Hamill Industries (Pablo Barquín and Francesc Soria)

Programming: Joan Cañellas

 

First Deviation : Arts Santa Mónica, Barcelona, 2018.

Second Deviation : Area Gallery, Paris, 2018.

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Kanal – Pompidou Center, Brussels – 2019

Second Deviation

2018

500 impacts  / 24 days / 2 paintings / ink on paper / yellow – blue – red

 

The deviating trajectory of a pendulum inscribed on a canvas.

The ensemble performs in an elongated space:  a ball, attached from the ceiling by a thin nylon wire, drops into color ink containers, from there, a robot arms catches by means of an electro-magnet to bring it to a higher point in space form which it gets released, crosses the room at high speed until it collides onto a canvas.

The collision leaves an impact of ink, the trace of a moment, of a process…

In an elongated space, a ball, attached from the ceiling by a thin nylon wire, drops into color ink containers, from there, a robotic arms catches it by means of an electro-magnet to bring it to a higher point in space,  form which it gets released to cross the room at high speed until it collides onto the canvas, positioned vertically on the wall. The collision leaves an impact of ink, the trace of a moment, of a process…

Theoretically the pendulum should draw a perfect grid but, due to vibrations and movements in the air, deviates from its course. Each impact on the canvas becomes a manifestation of the deviation.

A pendulum impresses by its relentless regularity, unmistakably subordinate to the laws of physics. As in few phenomenon, the theoretical model and the reality are identical. Second Deviation challenges this particularity as a fully automated drawing apparatus that attempts to make a perfect gridded drawing.

Second deviation is the second in a series of installations that explores the non-controllable dimension of physical processes in a creative practice of drawing.

 

Direction: Edouard Cabay

Curation: Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou

Team: Peter Geelmuyden Magnus, Soroush Garivani

Area Insitute: Christian Girard (Pr.)

With: Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and ABB

Photography: Aurélien Mole and Peter Geelmuyden Magnus

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AA[n+1] Gallery for Area Institute, Paris – 2018

First Deviation

2018

18.900 drops  / 8 days / 8 paintings / ink on paper / yellow – blue

 

A droplet of coloured ink forms and grows at the edge of the nozzle from which it suddenly detaches and starts a free fall in space. The trajectory of the fall deviates, seemingly affected by insignificant vibrations in the air: voices, wind, humidity… until the drop eventually splashes and spreads its colour on the page below.

Every time a droplet falls the canvas is moved by a small distance until an orthogonal grid of stains appears on the page. For every new drawing, the nozzle is placed a little higher, increasing the margin of deviation.

Framed in between two automated devices of high precision – the electronic nozzle and the robotically moving canvas – the space of the fall is where deviations happen, manifested as the colourful impacts on the page.

First deviation is the first of a series of installations that explores and attempts to reveal the non-controllable dimension of physical processes in a creative practice of drawing and other means.

Team: Edouard Cabay, Peter Geelmuyden Magnus, Soroush Garivani, Kunal Singh Chadha

With: Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and ABB

Photography: José Hevia and Peter Geelmuyden Magnus

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Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona – 2018

Capture Alive

2018

Graphite on plaster, 4,2 m x 3,1 m.

During a long process of observation of a wall, an unusual light unexpectedly appeared. It travels and reflects itself across the space and the glass of the windows until it eventually reaches the white surface.

It’s a light and a shadow, but its form is unusual as it only appears for an instant and tells more about the space in front than the wall itself.

The drawing took 72 hours to make. In a grid of 3 by 3 cm, each dot was drawn during a pre-defined time. 0 seconds corresponds to a white dot, while 14 creates the darkest zone.

The sound of a metronome accompanied the drawing period.

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Residence at Black Horses  – Halle, Germany

314 moments

2016

Once every minute, a camera takes an aerial picture of the public space in front of Barcelona’s cathedral. A simple algorithm converts the photograph into a vectorial register of the position of the people on the square. And that information is fed to a 3-axis robot equipped with a pen that simply draws it on a 50 cm by 70 cm paper canvas.

A person is represented by a dot, labelled with a number and a short line going in the direction of the orientation of the sun at the moment at which the picture was taken. After completing the drawing of a photograph, the system finds the last picture taken and undertakes the drawing of a new set of lines on the same canvas. It repeats the action form 10 am to 8 pm, overlapping the lines of hundreds of photographs, of thousands of people. Every day a drawing gets started on a fresh white page.

These drawings can therefore be compared one to another and, if carefully observed, reveal characteristic of how the public space is being occupied in space and time.

Sometimes the system collapses, the script gets corrupted and a drawing of radically different form occurs.

 

Team
Project: Edouard Cabay
Digital fabrication: Alejandro Rondón
Coding: Rodrigo Aguirre
Automation: Alexandre Dubor
Sound: Lina Salamanca

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Cercle Artistic Sant Lluc, Barcelona – 2016

Traces

2016

“A wave rolls on the surface of the sea, affecting the equilibrium of a floating pendulum causing it to swing. With a pen at its extremity, the pendulum leaves traces of ink on the page below, expressing the rhythm and course of the waves: a translation of the sea.”

Traces proposes an analogue physical device holding a pen that will transcribe physical forces such as waves or wind, translating them into drawings. 

Each drawing is made over a period of two hours enabling the emergence of graphical patterns that provide a two-dimensional representation of the physical phenomenon. The experiment essentially gives rise to consistent maps of movements or time lapses in nature.Every iteration of the experiment produces a new drawing: their series might share graphic characteristics or patterns as well as calligraphic qualities, but every page is a unique outcome, acknowledging the singularity of every moment in nature.

Traces – delineating Incidents is an exhibition that concluded a collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc in Barcelona. The exhibition featured projects initiated as an investigation at the MAA of the IAAC in fall 2015 by Edouard Cabay and Rodrigo Aguirre.

 

Team: Edouard Cabay, Rodrigo Aguirre and Alejandro Rondón

With: Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Students: Pedro Levit Arroyo Ventura, Dirk van Wassenaer, Tobias Deeg, Peter Geelmuyden Magnus , Martin Hristov, Vishnu Jadia, Khushboo Jain, Hong Jeng Rung, Sidharth Kumar, Utsav Mathur, Jean Sebastian Munera, Chenthur Raaghav Naagendran, Lina Salamanca, Naitik Shah , Goutham Santhanam, Ekaterina Simakova

Photography: Enric Bolaño

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Cercle Artistic Sant Lluc, Barcelona – 2016

Scripts

2017

A rotating arm in the middle of a white page holds a pen on an expandable rod, whose rotatory movement is provoked by an electronic board that controls both the speed of revolution and the distance between the pen and the centre of the device. The pen’s circular trajectory creates thin lines of ink as a deformed circle; over time, as many circles overlap, varying densities of ink appear on the page, showing the possible paths that the anatomy of the machine permits.

Scripts is an experiment in which physical parts compose mechanisms that compels a movement of a pen on a paper canvas. The drawing machines are fuelled by low voltage electricity, and their movements are controlled by electronically induced impulses. This enables them to potentially connect to the outside world, able to receive information numerically, sensed from the city, to convert data into drawings.

Scripts – a chronicle  of incidents is a collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and the Casa elizalde in Barcelona. The exhibition featured projects initiated as an investigation at the MAA of the IAAC in fall 2015 by Edouard Cabay and Rodrigo Aguirre.

Team: Edouard Cabay, Rodrigo Aguirre

With: Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Students: Valerie Frey, Mehmet Berk Bostanci, Gelder Van Limburg Stirum, Pablo Agustin Vivas, Hsin Li and JengRung Hong, based on original work by Nasser Ghannam, Mohamad Rachid Jalloul, Ceren Yildrim and, Guolang Zhang, Cagan Izgi, Athanasios Zervos, Keesje Avis, Kathleen Bainbridge, Irene Ayala Castro, Yasmina Wery, Krati Gorani

Photography: José Hevia and Xavier González

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Cercle Artistic Sant Lluc, Barcelona – 2017