As one of the artists tasked with creatively utilising a Kano kit as part of the Future C U R I O U S TINKER commission, I have been working my way around the functioning of the raspberry pi and considering its potential in relation to my drawing practice. My initial response was that I would need to find out how to make work by drawing with code and that the raspberry pi was a potential competitor with regards to creating illustrations in the future instead of a tool I could utilise, but that thought process has changed a lot in the last few weeks.
One of the first things I came to acknowledge when considering this task was how digital my work already is, with images rarely staying as a pencil drawing on paper but rather taking on new characteristics through scanning, editing and disseminating online. Something that comes with that is utilising different file types and colour modes without really batting an eyelid, which was something I was keen to delve deeper into for this project. I therefore laid out the structure of RGB as the stimuli for creating a series of 3 images, demonstrating some of the image manipulation techniques that I have been exploring by applying them to drawings, which in themselves explore the different stages people go through when given a new piece of technology: Response, Galvanise & Breakthrough.
Working with the newfound concept of my drawings becoming data once they enter the computer, I used the raspberry pi to edit my images in the following ways:
- Making the scanning of the drawings part of the creative process rather than a straight-forward necessity by moving the paper around on the scanner bed.
- Converting the image files to raw data, opening them as audio files using Audacity, editing the audio using different effects, before converting them back to image files.
- Opening the images as .txt files on a text editor, editing the code by adding or removing text, and then exporting back as an image.
- Using the KANO OS Make Art application to write code for different shapes such as dots, concentric circles.
- Using GIMP (a free GNU image manipulation program) to apply screens of colour to create a visibly RGB series (a red, a green and a blue image)
Here are some of the outcomes using the above drawing, based on the word GALVANISE:
This freedom with shaping and warping my work - the quality and form of which I see as a precious thing to be preserved - became an interesting interplay between me and the raspberry pi, with lots of strange results. A highlight was being able to listen to my images using Audacity (they sounded suspiciously like helicopter blades), but equally moments of frustration and uncertainty fell when images failed to open as I had minced the files into submission. This was a line I was happy to tread though; trying to establish a balance between function and corruption, chaos and clarity, to glitch the drawings without eradicating their original properties altogether.
I will be rejoining the other lovely tinkerers to present our final bodies of work and discuss the themes this process has raised with regards to future arts practices at the Future C U R I O U S Future FORUM on Sunday 20th September, 11am - 3pm. I won't be wearing one of the above colander apparatuses, unless things get really weird.