“The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.”
In Week 3’s workshop, we explore the practice of rule-based-art. We research known artists working in this modality, we execute some works, and we have a go at producing our own rules.
Research & Analysis
Find 3 artists who were creating ‘Rule Based Work’ or who belong to the movement known as American Minimalism’ in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s . Identify one of each of their works, and note down the rule / rules used to generate the work.
- Most importantly: Why you think the work is successful … the visual idea, the pattern, the combination of colours etc.
- The name of the artist, the name of the work, the year
- Write down the rule that they have created (if it is a rule based work)
- Find photographic documentation (if it exists)
- Aesthetic value: Write down the possible realms of meaning that the work delves into. You may have to do a little bit of research to identify these.
I you are stuck trying to identify what the meaning us about, you might try following these simple guidelines:
- Write a list of all the representations that are made in the work
- Write down a list of all the questions that the work poses (i.e. the questions that enter your head when you are trying to work it out).
As a start, you might have a look at Lewitt’s work documented here: http://archive.fo/OAesu
3 Exercises (executing instructions)
1. Rule-based paper sculpture
(Idea taken from here: https://chloedraper.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/rule-based-art-2/)
- Draw a square, 6cm x 6cm
- Add a triangle (of any shape/size) to the side of a square
- Add a square to that triangle
- repeat steps 2 and 3 six times
- Cut the shape out
- Fold along every second line
- fix together (into 3D shape) using tape
2. Knots in 3’s
In a group of 3, with 3 different coloured textas: do the following (see the video above)
- Elongate your line on both sides by looping it over and under a line of another colour.
- You may not loop your own line or the line you looped in your last turn.
- If you have no options left on one of the sides, that side is dead.
- When both sides are dead, you may place a new line.
(explore the other works at https://www.conditionaldesign.org/archive/)
Kaleidoscope: this is another interesting work from this site (https://www.conditionaldesign.org/workshops/kaleidoscope/)
3. Algorithmic drawing
- Draw 9 cubes (your best cubes, doesn’t matter how messy) in a grid of 3 by 3 on a sheet
- Shade in a different side on each cube. (only 3 cubes will be shaded … you can only see 3 sides of a cube!)
- Draw many parallel diagonal lines from the edge of the sheet … start at the top left corner (more or less) and progress towards the bottom right hand corner. Do not cross a cube. If you hit a cube, stop the line.
- Continue until a large part of the page is covered in diagonal lines
Create 3 of your own instruction based works that are informed by the research and analysis exercise you completed earlier.
- which visual forms seem to be the most engaging,
- which visual forms manage to make a broad range of representations
Create your own set of instructions, pass them onto 2 other people who will then execute them.
Examine the below plotter drawings by Vera Molnar from the series: (Dés)Ordres, 1974.
- Identify why you think they are visually rewarding piece.
- what are the representations that they make, what do they remind you of, what do they look like?
Identify how the work was produced:
- how many shapes are there in each unit?
- how are they varied?
- are there many different line thicknesses?
Then … choose one and reproduce it in Processing!