The Portrait Machine now functions as a teaching exercise. I was asked by Katherine Bull to practice the project with Michaelis students via Skype, from my studio at Goldsmiths in London. Abri de Swart is the subject.
Or am I the subject?
An example of my articulate descriptions:
"his mouth is like an upside down, flattened out rainbow..."
Katherine Bull asked me to perform the Portrait Machine for the 2nd Year Michaelis drawing class. Christian Nerf was asked to be the sitter and the 62 drawing students would be the "scribes". John Baldessari performed a similar pedagogical project for students 'Police Drawing', 1971.
This is where Vulindlela and Ian realize they've met. This means that they can't draw one another. We stop. I go looking for sitters.
I find Ann. She is skeptical and in a hurry. Her partner is also skeptical, he keeps looking at Vulindlela's blind drawing of his wife. He tells her that it's a failure, doesn't doesn't look anything like her. This is disconcerting for Vulindlela's drawing process. Ann says she would like to leave. We stop. The likeness of Ann lost in translation and lack of time.
Yusuf works at the carpentry store opposite the gallery. He's happy to sit for his drawing.
Ian draws Yusuf.
On the left Toby's drawing of Gabrielle. Toby (surname unknown) was visiting the gallery and was keen to join in. We thought it a good experiment. On the right is Katherine Bull's drawing. Two very different drawings made from the same description, each bearing its own uncanny resemblance to Gaby.
Katherine and Gabrielle trade chairs. Toby leaves. While Stan's malevolent self stares from the wall.