- Draw a 15cm x 15cm square on an a4 piece of paper.
- Using a compass draw 20 circles with diameters between 10 and 25mm in random locations within the square. Circles may overlap
- Shade the circles in carefully with a black sharpie
- Roughly rip the square out so its borders become approximately between 10-13 cm on each side.
- Rotate so it is in a diamond shape and stick centrally on an A3 piece of paper.
My analogue coding piece is an instructional artwork inspired primarily by Agnes Martin’s 1963 piece ‘The Moment (Egg)’ and Sol LeWitt’s 1998 piece ‘Wall Drawing #328’. Martin’s ‘The Moment (Egg)’, which draws its aesthetic value from the borderless ‘egg’ shape created by a series of imperfect lines. These imperfect lines immediately invite the eye to inspect the finer detail in the lines making up the ‘egg’ shape (A. Martin, 1963). Sol LeWitt’s ‘Wall Drawing #328’ (S. LeWitt, 1980) uses shapes within a shape to create a striking image through the contrasting lines; the parallelogram inside the circle and the circle inside the square frame.
To create my pragmatic art piece, I used the visually engaging structure of a shape within a shape combined with a large blank background to draw the viewer into the image. I conceptualised my piece titled ‘tear’ as a group of black circles contained within a ‘tear’ in the paper on a sparse white background. This ‘tear’ would give a notion of depth to the image through its window like appearance.
Initially, I conceptualised the tear to be rougher than that of the attempts undertaken, almost gouge-like to contrast the circles enclosed within. A concept which proved difficult to convey through text as the word ‘roughly’ can be quite subjective. Two of the attempts resulted in a quite cleanly torn square that didn’t quite replicate the image I had conceived. The third image by Haylee was closer to what I had intended on. This was my main issue with the pieces.
Upon discussing the instructions with the participants on completion of their pieces, the common issue brought up was the confusion they encountered with the 3rd step, ‘Shade the circles in carefully with a black sharpie’. The participants all found that the instruction was not explicit enough in whether to shade in the circles in differing tones or as a single tone of black. Luckily the sharpie had limited flexibility in its tones and resulted in the participants all finishing with a single shade of black.
The form of the image may be changed by incorporating a black A3 background to further the contrast of the tear, however, may also detract from the impact of the tear on the flat white background. The sharpie worked well; however, the participant’s confusion of shading the circles’ different tones highlighted an excellent point. Using lead pencils to achieve different tones would further the feeling of the ‘window’ within the frame adding extra depth to the image.
Overall I believe the simplicity of instruction and limited wording worked well and resulted in images that were surprisingly extremely similar to that of which I had originally conceived. The main take away I gained was increasing the specificity of instruction when needed to cover shades or physical actions carried out such as the tearing of paper to fully convey my intentions to the participant.
Artsy, Agnes Martin the Egg, Viewed 22 August 2017 <https://www.artsy.net/artwork/agnes-martin-the-egg>
RISD Museum, Variations of a drawing, Sol Lewitt and his written instructions, Viewed 22 August 2017 <http://risdmuseum.org/manual/45_variations_of_a_drawing_sol_lewitt_and_his_written_instructions>