Automatic
 collaborative project, 301 Gallery, 2019
An exploration of art and authorship in an age of automation.

Automatic is an exploration of the evolving role of technology as tool, medium, and active collaborator in artistic practice. Designed and developed by myself and Andrew Sliwinski, this collection of work centers around a series of drawings produced by an Automatic Drawing Machine (ADM). 

Inspired by Surrealist Automatism in which the artist supresses conscious control over the drawing process - allowing the unconscious mind to guide mark making - the ADM transforms electrical activity in a wearer’s brain into marks on paper. The drawings in this collection of work were produced while eight different artists engaged in a range of practices including painting, drawing, writing, woodworking, and computer programming; forming a type of call and response between the artist and the technology.

The ADM system works by utilizing a non-invasive brain sensing technology called Electroencephalography (EEG), as well as custom software to transform raw brain activity into a graphic representation. For this exhibition at the 301 Gallery in Beverly, MA, these graphic representations of the artist’s brain activity were transferred onto paper using a computer-controlled plotter and ballpoint pen.




The ADM helmet with EEG sensors, 3D printed and assembled using Open BCI components.

ADM helmet detail.

Artist using the ADM while painting.

Artist using the ADM while letterpress printing; on screen is the corresponding drawing being made using the artist’s EEG data.

Left: An artist drawing. Right: a visualization of their corresponding EEG data.

Left: Artist’s finished drawing. Right: Corresponding ADM drawing.


Left: Video documentation of an artist wearing the ADM helmet while woodworking. Right: the artist’s ADM drawing happening simultaneously (no audio).



Audio / video doumentation of an artist playing a banjo in a duet while wearing the ADM helmet.


A selection of ADM generated drawings made using  participating artists’ EEG data processed through custom software.
   
ADM drawing detail.

An ADM drawing being plotted..

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view with live projection from the ADM.
Exhibition view.
Exhibition view; tabletop audio / video on iPads.

Exhibition view; process work and statement.

Exhibition view.
My interest in weaving includes it’s related tools. Traditional looms and weaving tools often require large space and time commitments to both warp and weave projects. How can I have a daily weaving practice that can 1) Fit into my schedule and 2) is portable (perhaps wearable) and doesn’t require the space needed for a traditional loom? Designing this ring is my attempt to reconcile my love of weaving and my lack of both time and space.

This ring was 3D modeled using Tinkercad and 3D printed in a variety of media; the final versions were printed on a Formlabs Form 2 using their photopolymer resin. The ring has an inner diameter of 19.25mm (approx a US size 9). You can download the file using the links above to print one for yourself.



Final Version, weaving in progress. 3D printed black resin.

Final version, weaving in progress. 3D printed black resin.

Final version, 3D Model view.

Weaving Sample on 3D printed clear resin.

Weaving Samples, detail.

Ring prototypes 3D printed in clear, gray and translucent gray resin.

First ring prototype, printed in PLA plastic.

Detail, first ring prototype.
First ring prototypes.


Woven Moments
a two-person exhibition, Hynes Center, 2018
Paired with photographer Lindsey Beal’s abstract cyanotype works, this show was a further exploration of imagery developed through my Interlaced project. A selection of fabric collage works were shown a alongside new and previous digital works exploring the form, process and structure of weaving. This project was shown at the Hynes Convention Center in 2018. You can find a copy of the show’s statement here.

Left: Digital Weaving, Inkjet Print, Sarah Trahan.  Right: Abstraction #12, Cyanotype, Lindsey Beal.



Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.



Pieced Fabric, 18” x 24”.

Pieced Fabric, 18” x 24”.

Pieced Fabric, 18” x 24”.

Photocopy Collage, 24 x 36”.

Photocopy Collage, 24 x 36”.

Photocopy Collage, 24 x 36”.


Interlaced
solo exhibition, Aviary Gallery, 2017
Pattern is the symmetrical result of rhythmic action on matter.
Time is one of the elements of rhythm, just as metre is one of the elements of poetry.

- Elsie Fogerty, “Rhythm”, 1936.
This project explores the act of handwork in relation to processes of textile construction and digital capture. As an artist working primarily with textiles, I see rhythm and pattern as inherent to the woven structure of textiles and I experience the physical rhythms present in actions such as stitching, cutting, and folding cloth. With a background in photography, I begin to wonder; what happens when these rhythms of making are expressed through a photographic lens? What does it mean when the structure of a cloth’s warp and weft is translated into a pixel grid?

With fabric scraps found around my studio, needles, thread, scissors, a xerox machine and a flatbed scanner I began to document simple acts of hand stitching and textile construction. The use of photographic scanning devices to capture these processes allows me to play with time, scale and the digital artifacts that arise from the way the equipment’s sensors capture the movement of hands, tools and fibers. The resulting scans from these actions were then combined into grids that represent basic weaving patterns. A pixel pattern of a photograph is coupled with the gridded pattern of a weave structure; a rhythm within a rhythm, a grid within a grid. What emerges from these meta combinations are new “woven” structures, visually textured surface designs that incorporate the actions and artifacts of handwork over time into new kinds of interlaced constructions.



Inket Print, 42” x 64”.

Inket Print, 42” x 64”.

Inket Print, 42” x 64”.


Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.

Inkjet Print, 24” x 36”.



Installation View.

Photocopy Collage #1, 24 x 36” framed.

Photocopy Collage #2, Close up.

Photocopy Collage #3, Close up.



Examples of process work; fabric, thread, 8” x 10” framed.

Inkjet Print, 42” x 64”.

Installation View.



Inkjet Print, Detail.

Inkjet Print, Detail.

Inkjet Print, Detail.

Retouch Paintings
ongoing project, 2018-
These paintings are the artifacts of digital retouching processes. In these pieces, the original photographic imagery being retouched has been stripped out and what is left over is a record of the retouching process in Adobe Photoshop; a complex layering of color filters, pixel selection tools, cloning tools, flat color and digital brushstrokes. Because of the nature of the retouching process, echoes of the original photographic imagery also remain. Bits of fabric, organic materials and irregular surface textures intermingle with digital artifacts and pixel structures.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 24 x 30”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 24 x 30”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 24 x 30”.

Detail.

Detail.

Detail.