Penal Strokes (2018) is performative drawing project, where the simpledrawing gesture is developed (e.g. pressing a brush dipped in ink against the paper) and then repeated until the paper is filled. Each drawing is performed under different constraints (e.g. with the eyes closed), and while the same gesture is used, the resulting drawings are radically different from each other. The idea leans on instruction-based artworks by Sol LeWitt, where he devised a set of instructions to be executed for his series Wall Drawings.6 In each iteration of the work, although using the same instructions, the work exhibited considerable differences through different interpretations of the rules and varying degree of the ability of the performer. Another critical aspect of those drawing is the fact that they, although produced by the human, resemble an algorithmic procedure strongly, belonging to the realm of machines, rather than to a human artist. In the next step of the project, I programmed a robot to execute the penal strokes for me, embodying a gesture I developed, and tracing that movement on the paper. If algorithms already take our ability to act, in this instance, they also have to bear some punishment. Again due to the translation of the ideal movement into the physical world, the robot was deviating from the given instructions and displayed its disobedience against given rules. In the further development of the project, the rules will be devised by algorithms, which will learn from both drawing books as well as contemporary art assignments for art students to create their own sets of rules.
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