matthias gommel
martina haitz
jan zappe

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Drawings of Martian Landscapes

The central element of ‘the big picture’ is a creative process that goes beyond the limits of human possibilities. In a months-long, uninterrupted working process the robot artist fabricates a single large-sized drawing. With an inimitable technique it creates a unique artwork with a high level of detail and precision.

Art in a traditional sense focuses on the perception of the world, of nature, of the human body or even of art itself as viewed from the perspective of the human eye. The robot refers to this mode of art, it virtually takes up the position of a landscape painter, but here the subject of the image has never been seen by a human eye but only perceived by means of technology. By hypothetically referring to any form of digital data, for example originating from sensors, measuring probes or electromagnetic devices, the robot's perceptivity goes beyond the visual world into a data world that is most commonly translated and visualized, e.g as false colour image, for humans to become perceivable.

The machine artist takes the imagery data and transforms it through algorithmic operations into a single, uninterrupted path. Travelling hundreds of kilometres over the canvas, the thin line constitutes a complex structure on the large format screen, which can be moved back and forth by the machine to reach all areas of the drawing.

The robot's movements are determined by the machine's inherent logic, which consists of the machine's specific features in physical geometry, dynamics, control system and software. They constitute the robot's characteristic imaging method, endow the machine with an individual and distinctive drawing style. The generated image gives a partly abstract partly depictive representation of the original information interpreted by the robot itself.

The original image of the first drawing 2014 derives from the Mast Camera instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover during midafternoon, local Mars solar time, of the mission's 526th Martian day, or sol (January 28, 2014).

Cooperation for software development: Nikolaus Völzow


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