Blog #2: Tim Barker

Using Bruno Munari’s Useless Machines as an example, Tim Barker discusses the art of the machine as a way of interacting with its environment, and that the interaction itself is creative. A machine must be mobile or have moving parts to be a machine. He goes further into the discussion with the art of the error and the art of the machine as a production of art not directly by the artist’s hands. The aesthetics of the error as the art form is created by situations set up by the artist. They guide the art towards a general direction and thus has a general idea of the outcome, but the outcome is still an absolute uncertainty, controlled by the external forces it is exposed to by the artist. The outcome depends on its “degrees of freedom”, which are the boundaries to its change. For my own understanding, if an artist were to drop balloons filled with paint onto a canvas, even though they have conditioned the balloons to fall vertically onto the canvas, the balloons’ degrees of freedom are limited to its existence in the laws of gravity, it must fall down. Its velocity in which it falls is dependent on its weight, and the exact spot at which it falls onto the canvas is influenced by external factors such as the elevation and the wind. However, the manner in which the paint splatters onto the canvas, although set up by the artist, is uncertain, and therefore the aesthetic of the paint splatter is not a direct production of the artist. This concept, Tim Barker discusses, is applicable to both pre-digital and digital art, as the artist pushes the limits of the software and technology they use to produce glitches, but the aesthetic product of the glitch is only a potential with unforseen results.

and, uh, yeah…


One thought on “Blog #2: Tim Barker

  1. I like your visualization of the balloons falling on a canvas better than the example of Jean Arp dropping cut-outs onto a canvas and creating art out of that. It has the same premises but better visualization considering the splatter of the paint on a canvas.


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