See More Clearly Ink Drawing 2003

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Project Description

In reflecting back, this large 11FT piece was heavily influenced by my interest in music, and in particular serialism. It had a very rigid set of rules, which are predetermined at the outset. I believe this extreme systematic approach was taken much further in music than it ever was in the corresponding movement of 'minimalism' in visual art.

Basically, the way this drawing worked is as follows: Each mark on the drawing required 4 rolls of the dice. The first roll dictated the type of line (straight, curved, vertical etc). The second roll determined the size. The third and fourth roll determined the direction and distance away for the subsequent mark. These rules could not be adjusted except at predetermined intervals. The procedure was carried out several thousand times.

After the first 100 or so marks I realized that the dice rolling was interupting my flow too much, so I wrote a C++ program which would print out instructions- 1000 marks at a time.

A more in depth explanation is offered here.

This very tedious process was a challenge in attention. It also forced me to slow down the decision making process. An interesting insight came out of the fact that many times I really hated an entire sequence of marks. But since the rules dictated so, I had to continue. Invariably, these passages would turn out to be my favorite parts of the drawing later down the line. What a strange paradox. I suppose a life lesson is in there somewhere.

The piece was later shown at Project Room in Philadelphia, and Princeton University.