The works from PlotterTwitter were pretty interesting to me. I thought the there were many creative and unconventional uses of color, pen media, and form. It got kind of redundant with the line patterns, but I found the mixing of colors, particularly in the work linked above to be incredible. What I like about Brandon Dail’s Neon City Sunset (above) is the complexity of the layering. None of the layers have particularly complex elements, mostly circles and squiggles, but the layering of colors creates incredible visual textures.
The most interesting things to me were the the innovative uses and color mixing. One person was painting with watercolors and even cleaning the brush and switching colors! Another was using overlapping hatching of different colors to mix colors and create different views when up-close or far back (like a printer). The disappointing pieces were the ones that were less identifiable as being drawn by a plotters. Honestly, the things with straight lines that appear the same from a laser printer don’t look all that special. Maybe with materials and inks/drawing implements that don’t look like a laser printer would be better.
Paul Rickards (@paulrickards) created a piece by playing with mixing CMYK colors in hatching patterns. The order of the layers and closeness of the hatching pattern affect the resulting color and effect.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of different variations of the plotter drawings in this feed. From different materials to different aesthetics, it answered some of the questions I had of the limitations I thought I would have would this technique. I was particularly interested in the ones with multiple layers with colors because it feels as if they have more depth (content and visual-wise) and it just amazed me when I was reminded that they were generated by a machine. But even out of all those satisfying and “prettier” designs, this project stood out to me the most:
At first, I was intrigued by its’ photographic, hyper-realistic design, like the drawing on the right bottom corner looked like a picture of mars but when I clicked on it, it was actually like this: That honestly blew my mind because I really didn’t expect anything like that but I loved the combination of both fine lines and more doodle-like lines in creating this project.
Plotter twitter is technically quite interesting, there’s lots of cool algorithms at play, interesting glitches with pens running out of ink, experiments with different media, etc. But for me the vast majority of the work was just that – technically interesting – nothing more. As art, maybe some of the pieces made me feel awe at the precision of the lines, or dread of the task of executing the drawings which is interesting because it implies an empathy for the machines, or just aesthetic enjoyment. But again, my reaction was mostly the same as how I react to reading clever code/algorithms.
Several works by Licia He showed up in the hashtag, and I appreciate the combination of the imprecise nature of watercolor with the precision of the machine. This is also reinforced by the titles of the works, which are sort of conversational and comforting.
On plotter twitter I mainly saw geometric patterns and drawings with an element of optical illusion. I also saw limited color selection and uniform thickness pens. Interesting techniques I saw was the use of flat tip pens to achieve variable thickness strokes in the same svg line. Makes me wonder if stylus rotation is controllable on plotters. As marimonda and aasdee mentioned, another beautiful technique an artist used was to make a water color plot painting by creatively structuring the svg file to dip the brush in a palette.
This artist uses a flat nib pens to create visual illusions. It looks like they redraw the same SVG file with two flat nib pens. However, in the second drawing they orient the pen in the plotter such that it produces thick lines where the first pen was thin and vice versa. This layers the ink in illusiony ways
Another technically interesting piece by the same artist.
Before viewing PlotterTwitter, I expected to see primarily abstract drawings with (varying) line detail. In my head that made sense because it showcases exactly what a human CAN’T do + maybe it’s easier to code abstract stuff at the beginning.
While I did end up seeing a lot of abstract drawings, what caught me off guard wasn’t the occasional representational drawing but rather the technique and amount of detail captured in the closeups of some of these tweets. I don’t know why but this tweet and this tweet are so hypnotizing because of the combination of moire + color.
Like others’ PlotterTwitter posts, I also found the watercolor technique used in this tweet to be fascinating – I’m interested in seeing how changing the frequency of water breaks for the paintbrush changes the texture and look of the final drawing.
I liked this one particular experiment by @Sheltron3030 on Twitter (Sheltron) because it got me thinking about how you replicate the stroke weight and texture found in calligraphy on an axidraw – I want to see an axidraw write some completely unintelligible cursive script. 🙂
Going on Plotter Twitter was super interesting! There’s like a very unique sense of rhythm/repetition/texture inherent to the machine/medium that I hadn’t seen before in any other kind of artwork. I liked the ways people played with illusion, like overlapping primary colors to suggest other colors, and creating drawings with so many straight lines that there were implied curved forms (or so many ordered circles that there were implied straight forms). I think in a way most computing is really about illusion—the pixel matrix is not a continuous space, and floating point numbers render all decimals to the nearest approximation they can hold. It’s all about encoding information in the best way we can. Plotting these computed artworks felt really fun to me because these people were taking discrete, encoded approximations and shoving them back into a space with uncountably infinite possibilities (i.e. the blank page).
((Although, I would also have liked to see more attempts at generative objective artwork, like Lingdong’s fish. ))
This was one of my favorites from the tag. I just really enjoyed the interplay between the meticulously programmed artwork and the messiness of the watercolor. I loved the gradients that arose when different colors met and were still wet, and I liked the scratchiness of the white lines formed by the negative space between blocks.
Before this assignment, I had never been on plotter twitter. And wow was I really missing out because there is some crazy, crazy stuff. The diversity in what people can people can make with this one tool is pretty insane. I feel like personally it offers some stylistic choices that I felt like I was missing from programming art. I love the imperfections and unexpectedness of using physical materials, so seeing how people can combine that with algorithms and code that also offer some unexpected (or expected) outcomes is really exciting.
I felt like this approach to blending color was super interesting and really taking advantage of what the plotter can do.
I was really drawn to the plotter work of @Sheltron3030. I think one thing that I was drawn to was his use of 3D in the 2D space of the paper. Using the plotter he was able to get such incredible depth that would be pretty difficult to do by hand. I also really loved the small distortions/gaps in each plot. It added this uniqueness and character that otherwise wouldn’t be as interesting without these “mess-ups”. Some of his plots also remind me of the look of screen printing? I’m not sure if it is the material/pen he used or just the mark being made, but I love it. Especially the ones with white pen on black paper. Kind of looks like the cover of unknown pleasures…?
I’ve engaged with #PlotterTwitter before – I have an axidraw and I unfortunately use Twitter. I really admire Michelle Chandra and Frederik Vanhoutte’s prints. The geometric repetition of their prints appeal to me.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of interdisciplinary work with plotters and odd applications of plotters on PlotterTwitter. For example, one user posted a video of two axidraws painting in watercolor. The svg files for those plots must be daunting to look at.
I admired the use of multiple different pen thicknesses to enhance different prints, but pens that have a round nib tend to be the standard. I’d like to see what a print from a chiseled pen or marker would look like. I also want to see prints that challenge the purpose of a plotter. Instead of thinking of it as a robotic arm that draws, one can view it as a guide or an arm that can pick up, hold, move, or stab things. There’s this minigame from Rhythm Heaven, a rhythm game I use to play in my childhood, where you control a hand wielding a fork and your goal is to stab food that is flicked to you across the table. For some reason, I wish for an axidraw to do that.
The post that I appreciated the most involves a collaboration of a photographer and a plottermeister (using “plotter” for someone who uses a plotter to generate art doesn’t seem right, but “plottermeister” has a nice ring to it).
I like that this project clashes nature’s randomness with digital precision. It’s a good juxtaposition.
I have stumbled into PlotterTwitter before and I have always appreciated the variety of creative minds that it brings together. One of the things I appreciate the most about it is the general gravitation towards the abstract, and fundamentally in creating drawings or art that are not easily replicable by human beings. This comes in the form of highly intricate patterns or works that rely on precise curves that can’t be easily replicated through real-life tools. However I also appreciate it when the converse happens, and there is legitimate experimentation with media, to the point of replicating versatile and messy techniques like watercolors.
Licia He makes incredible art that does this, and I think for me this was one of the most fascinating pieces of plotter art that I saw, in large part because I couldn’t believe it was generative.
One of the other themes I appreciated the most was this idea of copying and replicated biological structures and patterns into physical objects. I came across this wonderful piece by @josephwilk that highlighted this.