Think Of Yourself As A Machine.

painting series / acrylics on canvas / various sizes / 2016

This painting series shows the performance of a computer program and its inscription onto the body. By programming a simple Python script, the algorithm creates a machine spitting out audio commands. These recorded voice commands include vocabulary from code, military and dance language. The inscription of the body by code aims to heighten the visibility of the human and machine interface. From the cybernetic perspective, the snake bites itself into the tail. The author coded the self-imposed algorithm, simoultaneously being the executing body. The paint brush is not to be understood as a pure reference to painting or the image, but rather as a prosthesis, which the body needs. The development of this work led to Silent Ducktape, which is performed with water, instead of paint. In this way the focus shifts more to the body and its movements.

During this process of painting on transparent surfaces and directly onto the architecture, I wanted to know how this system is transferable onto canvas. For half a year I only painted on the basis of the randomized instructions and worked in my studio in 60 minutes audio sets.


What happens to my work attitude and style when no audience is watching? How do I handle excessive demand when I hear too many instructions layered on top of each other? Does the system still work if my body has ‘learned‘ how to excute a certain movement? Can I neutralize this idea, the authorship at all? How do I overcome my own constant assessments during the painting process? Where does the machine start, where does the self stop? 

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© martina morger 2022