Friday, July 22, 2011

Gustave Courbet, The Painter's Studio, 1855 

 Scene from the Papyrus of Hunefer (ca. 1375 B.C.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tracy Payne and Francis Burger

Francis drawn by Tracy

I invited Tracy Payne to come and draw for the portrait machine, and asked Francis Burger to sit for the project.

Tracy drawn by Francis

There was an impromptu decision to swap roles, Francis drew Tracy who had so shifted from being the scribe the to become subject.

With the two participants swapping roles something great happened, not only did the project become more participatory and so less passive a process for the sitter. I noticed that the mirrored experiences opened up a space for a comparative and empirical discussion.

A conversation.

Owing to the nature of this drawing process coupled with imposition of the rules of the portrait machine, the drawer, has to relinquish control and should have complete trust in the description provided. So the drawing becomes quite different to ones other work, it's a blind drawing in many ways, self reflexive and completely contingent on its mutualistic mode of production.

The  speaker acts as the scribe's eyes. The scribe transcribes/records the words to image. The speaker's role and actions can be paralleled to the function of the left brain logic, looking and analyzing.  While the scribe's role can be compared to the right brain, creative, perceptive and abstract. In the merging of these two we arrive at the drawing which becomes the documentation of a participatory process or engagement  between the two users. One listening and drawing and the other seeing and looking. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

day one of the portrait machine!

On the left is me describing, transcribing on the far right is Peter (my new studio mate) and in the middle is the first ever "subject"/participant of the portrait machine Sara.

I had to timeously usher in Sara so that Pete would remain unaware of who he was drawing.

It was an extremely intimate transaction. An entirely new vocabulary and language needs to be explored on finding more effective ways to describe the way a person looks, I found myself to be quite inarticulate in this regard. So for now in the still early days in the life of this project more experiments will be done within our studio before hitting the streets.