Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Generative Art as Experiment
Andres Wanner
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Applied Arts in Visual Arts
Number of Pages
Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada
Thesis Supervisor
Ingrid Koenig
Supervisor e-mail
icharkoenig AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Dr. Maria Lantin, Dr. Karmen Franinović, Dr. Chris Jones
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Visual Arts
Languages Familiar to Author
German, English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
Mechanical drawing machines, Robotics, Art and Science, Generative Art, Appropriation, Glitch
Abstract: 200-500 words
This thesis investigates my generative art practice with mechanical drawing machines, for which the relationship between humans and technology provides the larger context. The comparison between machinic and software-based generative art systems acts as a starting point for reflections on technology in general. Producing pictures with self-made, commissioned or appropriated drawing machines, my practice aims at subverting the instrumental nature of technology, and emphasizing its anthropological dimension. The practice focuses on inaccuracies, errors and deviations from my attempts at control. The glitch (a short lived, unexpected disturbance) is discussed as a way of highlighting the production process of a picture. My research explores the media-specific Eigensinn (obstinacy) of drawing machines, a synergetic force colliding with the intentions of myself as a human creator. Calling up technological history, I argue that making art with technology is a paradoxical endeavour, which I embrace as a way of investigating subjectivity in my aesthetic decisions and art making. The emotion of surprise, resulting from this collision, is presented as my primary motivator for engaging with generative art. The seeming autonomy of generative art systems brings up questions about the authorship of such practices. These are contextualized with other practices less based on the hand of the artist than on the manipulation of symbolic entities, e.g. readymades (Duchamp), and conceptual art (LeWitt). I draw a connection from my hands-off methodology to the scientific experiment, which runs without the interference of the scientist. My machine drawings are compared to scientific graphs and the artist studio is paralleled to the science laboratory.