Kinetic Installation, Performance, Paintings
We must think of Pollock as a happy machine! The Drip Machine is swinging buckets filled with red, yellow and blue paint over and across a large, empty canvas. Its machine brain generates motor melodies for the actuators that set the pendulums in motion. A timid pianissimo turns into a swinging allegro, grows to an exuberant forte and beyond – at its extreme, the machine is almost taking itself apart.
As with Max Ernst, Pollock or Janet Sobel, the paint drips onto the canvas in complex, unpredictable patterns. But the result is not what you think: The canvas refuses to accept the paint, simply letting it roll off without leaving a trace. The machine goes on, reacts, dances, and constantly creates new possible images – even if nothing remains. A painting Sisyphos.
Is painting all about the process and performance – or is it the permanence of a painting that matters? Let’s find out! That’s what the Drip Machine is for: to examine our intuitions – not just by argument but by experiment. Intuitions about artificial creativity, authorship, expressionism, aesthetic automatisms about composition, color, chance, materials, technique, authenticity and what’s amazing.
That’s why I prepared ten canvases with a wide variety of surface properties and compositions. As a performance and experiment, I jumped in and held these canvases into the Drip Machine, saving a few of the images from oblivion.
The machine keeps going. Even if something remains – or everything passes away.
Video of the Installation and Performance “The Drip Machine” at the PHOENIX 2.0 Theaterfestival und Konferenz, KulturQuartier Erfurt, July 7th 2022.