How’s this for meta? Here’s a computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine creating ink drawings of 12 historical drawing machines—from Albrecht Dürer’s “Dürer’s Door” (1525) to Sir Robert Hooke’s Portable “Picture Box” Camera Obscura (1694) to the Drum Plotter “560” from Calcomp Technology, Inc. (1959). Created by Pittsburgh-based artist Pablo Garcia, MachineDrawing DrawingMachines is a beautiful, self-referential project that celebrates the role of machines in the process of artistic creation.
We’re not sure what it is about drawing machines that fascinates us so, but judging from the relative frequency we come across these things, it seems we’re not alone in our obsession. Maybe there’s something compelling about the idea of outsourcing yet another task to the bots so that our own time might be better spent… watching television and refreshing Twitter. Maybe we just like working collaboratively with inanimate objects—they don’t talk back or argue with you, but still have the capacity to surprise you.
Portable “Picture Box” (Camera Obscura), Robert Hooke, 1694
“Dürer’s Door”, Albrecht Dürer, 1525
Projection Device, Ludovico Cigoli, 1600-13