How It's Made

"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination." - Einstein

My process to make art is to explore,  create, and then make. 

Exploring - this is the broadest and most ill-defined step. For me, exploring is trying to expand the boundary of what I think is possible to do and interesting to do. Broadly this tends to fall into a few big categories - learning what is artistically possible, physically possible, and technically possible. To learn more about art I read a variety of art books, study other artists and try to reflect on the shortcomings of my own work. To learn about what is physically possible dives into the realm of art praxis and science - and this is me trying to learn to types of materials, techniques, physical interactions, etc. Finally to learn about what is technically possible puts me into the realm of robotics and mathematics. 

Create - once I have a general idea of something I want to work on, the next step is to start getting a feel for this. Most of the time this means starting to write software to express my desire, but occasionally it can mean buying new materials so I can get a sense of how they feel and interact. When I write software a lot of times I have a fuzzy idea of what I want and it ends up being an iterative process of taking a small step, seeing what that ends up looking like and figuring out the direction I want to take it, and then rinsing and repeating. 

Make - at this point most of the legwork in my process is done. I have a really good idea of what specifically I want to make, the materials, and usually have the backbone of the software up. Making ends up tweaking the software to be just right (this might mean me hand-tuning stuff or using machine learning to learn hyperparameters based off of my input), working out the final details of the materials to get the specific effects I'm looking for, and doing by-hand add on (like adding foil or lighting for example).


What kind of plotter do you use?

Right now I mainly use an Axidraw V3 A3, but stay tuned for the near feature when I make something bigger :) 

How long does a piece take to make?

There are a lot of answers to this question, and it depends on how you amortize time spent. To physically draw them with my plotter usually takes around 1-10 hours depending on complexity. To develop the program to generate a piece can take anywhere from an afternoon if the idea is simple and I've already developed the tools I need or a couple of weeks if I need to big out a large scale internal software library to make it. 

What do you program with?

Typically I program in Python and I make heavy use of the traditional ML stack (numpy, sklearn, scipy, etc). Then I use the Axidraw python interface and vpype. 

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The perfect blend between geometric abstract art and op art prints

 © 2020 by Geoffrey Bradway