IMD _Institute of Media and Design

copyright _IMD

MEDIA DESIGN | Drawing workshop with Eske Rex | How to make a drawing machine

Giant spirals and other patterns take place in various colors and prints on large format paper or metal plates. That which was made by hand in the childhood of many, yet smaller in size, is generated by Danish artist Eske Rex on home-made drawing devices that generate similar effects, only bigger: To draw, two independent pendulums are set in motion, where different drawing or cutting tools (pencils, pens, circular saw, etc.) can be attached. Here the harmonic oscillations of different frequencies are converted into a drawing. The apparatus spins tight networks or draws large areas; gives the line width to the outside or is superimposed in the center. Eske Rex's pattern always generates a strong momentum. The drawings result from the interplay of time, motion and gravity.

However, a certain artistic freedom still remains in the instrumental system, because the two pendulums never perform the same way together so that each image is unique and unpredictable concurrently. At the same time Eske Rex conceives his apparatuses as moving sculptures: "Drawing Machine is built as a moving sculpture, and a tool with which a number of studies of time, force and motion can be made."

This semester we were able to win the internationally acclaimed Danish artist and illustrator for a workshop at the IMD. His announcement text of the workshop was: What is a drawing? What is a drawing machine? At the workshop you will be introduced to the renaissance invention Harmonograph as well as my own and other artists work on the theme. Working in groups you will explore, design and build mechanical drawing machines yourself using natural forces as the only source of energy. You will be investigating themes like time, motion and gravity, constructing analog machines as well as focusing on developing new graphic expression through natural movement.

Directed by: Eske Rex