Mark making is a basic need and tool to develop artistic expression, within the analogue and seemingly also the digital. As the studio first has been confronted years ago, - and lately even more so-, with an uprise of the need for translating algorithmic input into materialized output, time has come to build awareness for the concepts and consequences that the Industrial Revolution 5.0 is bringing us about. How can we translate the basic understanding of Correlation of the AI into the earthly approach of Causality, and what will we discover on our journey to do so? The use of pen plotters and other drawing machines has become an important part of the contemporary generative and digital art scene. 


“Failure gave me access to my talents”. —->Maybe this should be the bolded part instead,  only because more specific to robot drawing: She welcomes error, mistakes, and glitches— all traces of the perfect machine being imperfect.


Liz Melchor is obsessed with drawing robots. Before finding the machines, she loved to draw with her hands. Her work is gestural and messy. Each mark is an experiment, and each subsequent mark is a reaction to what is already there. She watches something emerge that she couldn't foresee. And when she found a pen plotter, she was drawn to the challenge it posed: how could she use a precise and predictable machine to covet the surprise that drove her art? 


Come spend a weekend learning about this intersection between the programmable and the unanticipated. We will experiment with the basics of writing your own coded algorithmic art ideally suited for a pen plotter. We will then explore the series of decisions to make your digital creation material. You will end the weekend with some of your own generative code, a plotted piece of artwork, and all the resources needed to further explore drawing with robots. 


A technical background is not necessary! Don’t be intimidated by the words “programming” or “code.” This is an absolute beginner’s class, and there is no previous knowledge required, only a curiosity and willingness to experiment. 


Laptop required with these open source (free!) software installed: Processing and Inkscape.

Liz Melchor

Liz Melchor is from San Francisco. Before arriving in Vienna, she spent five years in Lisbon, Portugal where she ran Curious Monkey, a cultural association dedicated to playful and communal engagement in the arts, and Storytelling Lisboa, a monthly event where people share true stories on stage. A lifelong obsession with the creative process has driven her wide interests. Before robot drawing, she spent a lot of time writing both creatively and as a journalist, publishing in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and NYMag’s The Cut among others. She graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in literature and has graduate degrees in both psychology and writing.  She has her studio at Creative Cluster in the 5th district.


Expect an introduction to what is Generative Art and Creative Coding, we create and experiment with generating digital input, to be realized by our Pen-Plotter in the print lab, and get an outlook on what can be translated into printmaking.