Harmonograph Drawings, 2012

I’ve built a harmonograph in my studio. Popular in the 1920-30s as a parlour activity, these devices generate spirograph-like drawings by using inertia and entropy. A drawing plane sits atop a universal motion gimbal, which has been set in motion and very slowly loses its energy.  A pen rests on top of the plane and draws a single, continuous, concentric line as the planes swirls and drifts to a stop. The resulting drawings are each dense, etching-like compositions, which transcends the multiple chance elements of their creation to become their own odd little galaxies.

If my last few series of drawings evoke and record energy and essences of the past, these drawings more simply record a loss of energy.

The drawn element is about 2.5 x 2″ ellipse within a 8.5×11″ sheet of card stock.

Harmonograph in studio

Harmonograph in studio

Harmonograph Drawing 1

Harmonograph Drawing 1, 8.5×11″, ink on paper, detail

Harmonograph Drawing 3

Harmonograph Drawing 3, 8.5×11, ink on paper

Harmonograph Drawing 5

Harmonograph Drawing 5, 8.5×11″, ink on paper