Automatic Drawing

When this topic was presented this week I thought I was going to be in the category of those that were frustrated in performance of this piece. I was correct. I was frustrated. Not at the process of implementation, but rather the lack of a goal to the piece. I work in the power engineering industry, and before we can even propose a project we must plan out what we are going to do for the project, including goals for success and failure. Everything is planned out, the desired product is known. While we may not always achieve the desired product, the goal is still in mind.

A structured project is my comfort zone. This project, however, is inherently unstructured. We give in to the entropy of the universe. I can see how the prospect of this is rather exciting to some people. The call to the void. The touch of the beyond. I, however, do not have that inclination to explore the beyond.

The piece came out as one would expect something that had no plan. Chaotic. A manifestation of Entropy. An affront to the goal of life: which is to make order out of disorder. That’s when I reached an epiphany: I try so hard in my life to apply order when that is against the nature of the universe. Why, as humans, do we insist on doing this? Is a familiar structure something that we desire. Are we seeking shelter from the unknown? Or is it because were unique in the universe, a force that works against the tendency towards chaos. Is that in fact is the nature of the human spirit: to fight impossible odds, infinitesimal probability, and to somehow succeed?




2 thoughts on “Automatic Drawing

  1. Great analysis Kevin! I actually use this project because of the drawing experience itself and the aesthetic ideas it brings up. Great that you took it to a philosophical context.

    One way of looking at Life or Universe is, as you’ve said, Entropy vs Intelligence. Mathematically speaking, we already know Entropy wins. Yet some believe that sufficient intelligence can rewrite, or recontextualize, “the rules”. (oh look – I just went on a way bigger tangent that you did) — even so, I think you’ve pulled a fundamental question out of this “simple” activity.

    Interesting that you talk about being an Engineer and the context of your work. What do you think about Scientists? Is the context of their work different?

    Thanks for being a good sport about an activity that I know can be frustrating.

    Here’s a few recent Automatic Drawings that I and some friends made:

    PS: the photo of Aspen “trying to make sense” of your Automatic Drawing is priceless!


    1. The thought process between engineers and scientists is similar, but engineers tends to focus more on actualization of an idea, rather than conceptualization that is typical for most scientific thought.

      I also thought Aspen was hilarious. She’s my art mascot.


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