Geetings and thoughts from Rob!

Why should artists use CNC machinery, code and programming?

The coding for the input side is new, almost none of the participants have experience in developing complex scripts to feed the computer. So in programming terms the results are very basic and the quality of expression is constrained to the basics. The challenge is to develop an artistic standpoint. The use of CNC machinery for output was limited in the same way like the input, as it is complicated to direct a CNC router to make moves. Manual control of a tool is much more direct. So for everybody it felt like drawing a picture without using their hands, guiding the brush only with the lips. After getting over this frustration the workshop showed what could be achieved even with this limited abilities. Provided with the same processing sketch the participants saw the diverseness of output that can be created. Everybody using the same sketch, creating different images, a whole image space was evolved. With this understanding the motivation rose to create individual and collaborative expressions within this constrained environment.

The workshop demonstrated the complexity of new tools for design and art. In the past this process would have involved a computer scientist, an artist, a machinist and a coordinator. After three days of discussion the workflow was understood and began to output. For some it was not easy to be confronted with tasks never done before. Flexibility and team spirit succeeded and made this workshop a great starting point for further development.

Thank You for the invitation. Robert Laux