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DEFINITION AND DEVELOPMENT OF ROBOGRAPHY

"What robography really is, I couldn't say."
"What robography really is to me, personally, that I can say..."
                                                                                                          Mark Lindquist

ROBOGRAPHY

"The creation of (analog/digital) Images, in or on (varietal) media, with/by recording device(s), by robotic means, (including remote, end-effector, jig-held, or technically evolved hand-held means).  The recording, and/or display of image information (light, hysteresis, etc. through analog or digital devices/means)."

                                                                        Mark Lindquist

"I've been working on a definition that applies to my artwork, but it is a personal usage of the word, the way I appropriated the word "Stratigraph" for some earlier works I did using a chainsaw to make drawings on wood panels."

STRATIGRAPHS - Mark Lindquist

Having evolved out of a craft tradition of technical woodworking skills, my work began several years ago to investigate the meaning of the cut. In the philosophy of Buddhist carpenters and wood sculptors, the first action, or first cut, mars the perfection of nature. The cut evidences the interaction of humankind with nature. The destructive nature of the cut (what we call the subtractive process) has the potential to be positive if it embodies the spirit of both craft and art.

The Chinese used the words "Tzu-Jan" to describe the characteristics of brush strokes which came alive like "the birds' flight." Japanese calligraphers captured the essence of their materials and their subjects through the deft manipulation of their brushes. Italians called this casual, seemingly offhand manner of sketching "sprezzatura." After many years of disciplined study, these serendipitous effects become possible.

When I was a child growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, my aunt took me to parks and zoos. I remember in particular wooden bridges over small streams, and small Japanese puzzles, brightly colored, intricately carved, and made with careful craftsmanship. Ironically, these objects were produced in the cheapest wood. But how exquisite! I found click-clack puzzles, fans, scrolls, boxes and carved animals enticing because of their outward beauty, but the questionable quality of the materials inevitably asserted itself. The works in another of my current series -- painted, chainsaw carved reliefs in plywood -- establish a similar tension between beauty and “substandard” material. I employ traditional, art historical expression and master craftsmanship, and pit ideas and inexpensive materials against each other to create a relaxed state of tension. The plywood is mass-produced and processed. I now use a sophisticated custom-built hydraulic chainsaw as a stylus, simulating Tzu-Jan or sprezzatura to create intricate lines. The applied colors work in concert traditionally, in the historical sense of the interaction of colors, yet more significant are the altered states that result when the paint reacts with the layers of plywood it invades, and is encased beneath layers of finish. The prodigal treatment of the material liberates the innate noble essence of wood.


Mark Lindquist, Stratigraph, 1995, Polychrome on plywood

These two-dimensional works are ambiguous. They could be chainsaw drawings, or painted low relief carvings. Ultimately, however, this medium allows me to express the variety of interests I have in art history, philosophy, photography, woodworking, painting, and sculpture. The intertextuality, simulacra, and parody of subject matter create the disconcerting state of pastiche.

Overall the works are all about layers; layers of growth, of civilization, of thought, and being; layers of decline, contradiction, decomposition, and regeneration. Les Couches Decouvertes (French for “the layers uncovered”), is about uncovering the archaeological or stratigraphic histories / ideologies of those various epistemologies.


Mark Lindquist - September 15, 2003

Robograph

Robographs are technical, and they result from a synthesis of man and machine." "It's very simple really, but it's easy to become bogged down in jargon or nomenclature, particularly when entering a technical realm such as photography"

" In my world view, a robograph is:"

An image created by any means of image recording technology, i.e. traditional photography, or digital imaging, or engraving (graphical rerecording) done (largely) by remote control, i.e., through the use of a sequence initiating device, such as a button, relay, integrated circuit, wireless transfer switching mechanisms, including all historical photographic exposure systems, with the intent of capturing (crafting or creating) an image for purposes of artistic, documentary or scientific means or expression, and created for the purposes of capturing or documenting motion of:

A moving object (object in motion)
The motion of the recording device itself
A combination of the recording device and the object in motion.
The image may exist in or on any medium (film, transparency, paper or related media such as canvas, linen, parchment, wood, clay, etc.etc.,) or as a digital file.

The method of capture implies that motion (impulsion) is inherent in the process through:

RECORDING DEVICE

Initial positioning of the recording device
Pre-prescribed path of the recording device
Co-incidental result of motion inherent in process (i.e. accidental or free-style movement of recording device created purposely as part of the process or resulting as serendipitous to the process ( for example a random motion creates a unique capturing)
Duplicative or repetitive means (CNC , remote control within specified tolerance paths)
Non- duplicative means through remote control but along similar prescribed paths
Motion pathway of recording device is referred to as linear or circulinear or combining elements of the two throughout the duration of the recording process (act).

OBJECT (SUBJECT / OBJECT)

Subject is in motion
Subject is not in motion
Subject is in or out of motion throughout the duration of the recording.
Subject is in view or not in view throught the duration of recording (ie, the subject enters into part of the phase and exits at another part of the phase, repeats, or completes).

MOTION OF BOTH RECORDING DEVICE AND SUBJECT

Combining the aspects of motion of the recording device and the aspects of motion of the subject or object.
Method of capture implies remote or robotic control.

Remote, meaning that the recording device is held by mechanical or non-mechanical means:

Device is clamped or fastened in some manner that implies control (i.e., a camera is clamped to tripod or external holding/fastening device enabling stability throughout movement, via a tripod, ball head accessory, etc.), or a router, lazer, etc., (any graphical recording device ) , is held in a position connoting control.
Device is hand held using control techniques designed to promote stability and control, such as bracing, or "locking in" techniques employed by craftsmen, for the purpose of achieving specific level of quality in process (i.e., using a chainsaw as a stylus in order to create drawings or carvings on wood), or using an engraving tool in order to mark a signature, etc., using a "free-hand" technique. A highly advanced technique employing movement of a tool along a practiced and/or mastered path to achieve high-level results. Any precision motion mimicking the prescribed path of making or recording of an automated process recording or making device by a human using a jig or free hand to produce sophisticated end product.
Device is actual end-effector on remote or robotic device (Robot). Robot employs recording device to create "robograph". (Robotically controlled camera creates motion image (video, digital file, etc.), and the resulting image is printed using a computer, controlling a printer (CNC output device). (In robotics, an end effector is a device or tool connected to the end of a robot arm. The structure of an end effector, and the nature of the programming and hardware that drives it, depends on the intended task.)
Production robots mimicked human work/object scenarios to achieve repetitive process and quality control. Similarly, now, humans mimic robots in repetitive process and quality control.

Repetitive process in the manufacture of art and/or craft mimics robotics in 20th, and 21st Century making endeavor.

RECORDING DEVICE | RECORDING METHOD | RECORDING MEDIUM

OUTPUT MEDIUM | OUTPUT METHOD | OUTPUT DEVICE

REPETITIVE MOTION: (of Recording Device) (see replication) (see reiteration)

Images captured through repetitive / duplicative process

Images captured through repetitive / non-duplicative process

Images captured through a duplicative process involving exact replication under precision computer numeric control through programmed execution. (Programmed Capture using Robotic Arm)

Images captured through a non-duplicative process involving sequential capturing under precision remote, non-programmed process involving jigs, or highly developed bracing techniques to assist in precision capture.

I needed to consolidate several controllers in order to be able to work more efficiently and taught myself a level of electronics that allowed me to accomplish my goals, but I never took it beyond that." I am more aligned with the inventor, the experimenter, the hobbyist, or perhaps what you might call a gadgeteer." "I like that - the idea of playing with things, keeping a playful spirit, playing games with the tools and the materials and the ideas. I've used "go-kart technology" (What I refer to my brand of gadgeteering) to make some interesting robotic tools for my work in wood sculpture, and of course, those aspects have crept over into robotics with photography. This is a robotic setup I've used for many years incorporating hand / remote control of tools and equipment/process:

TERMS:

A roboticist, is someone who designs, builds, programs, and experiments with robots.

Roboticists develop mechanical devices that can move by themselves, whose motion is modeled, planned, sensed, actuated and controlled, and whose motion behavior can be influenced by the programmed task as well as by the environment in which the robot device operates. Robots are called "intelligent" if they succeed in moving in safe interaction with an unstructured environment, while autonomously achieving their specified tasks.

SEE: The Robotics WEBook
An online textbook about robots and other mechatronic systems (http://www.roble.info/robotics/robotics/)

Types of robots: Intelligent Vs. Dumb
Intelligent robots use closed loop computerized control, dumb robots do not. (Dumb robots are controlled through remote or human assist means).

ROBOT-ASSIST : ([neologism-ML], employs robotic means in the accomplishment of tasks)

Dumb Robot: ("Human-Machine Interfaces") a mechanical system that includes human involvement within the loop, i.e., a remote controlled robot used for specific tasks, repetitive or precision in nature, to assist in the completion of tasks. Conversely; human activity that includes mechanical means or devices within the performance of activity.

According to this definition of (dumb robot) both a car and driver are part of a dumb-robotic system. The car would be a dumb-robot being controlled by human involvement, and/or the human would be a dumb-robot, employing the mechanical device (car) in order to perform a task (driving). In this sense, the robot (car) aids in the completion or a repetitive task (moving objects) in a precise manner (speed, safety, comfort) in a symbiotic relationship. The car does not drive itself (yet), and the human is not able to move through time and space precisely, (yet), without the aid of the vehicle.

Thus in photography, the camera accomplishes specific tasks through electromechanical means: It internally actuates a shutter mechanism either (externally) through pushing a shutter button that actuates the shutter for exposure, and it may accomplish the task of capturing an image with human involvement in the loop, or remotely, programmed or unprogrammed, tethered to a computer or intervalometer to accomplish the exposure. If the camera is actuated, tethered to a computer, programmed to execute specific repetitive tasks (i.e. make a certain number of shutter actuations in a certain sequence for a certain amount of time, etc.,) and is controlled by the program of the computer, the process would be robotic, in that the execution of the task was automated, carried out with a degree of "native intelligence", where after programming, human involvement was no longer required. When a human (dumb-robot) actuates exposure through the means of a remote control, (wired, or wireless), the process becomes innately "dumb-robtical" in that the human/machine symbiosis exists. The camera is a dumb-robot component, the operator is a dumb-robot component: together their relationship is "dumb-robotical", or bio-robotical (to imply biological/mechanical mechanism [HMI]), or robomimical (mimicking a purely autonomous robotical activity) at the very least human and machine become counterparts. Robomimical behavior is most apparent in repetitive task human involvement, whereby activity becomes 1) learned, 2) practiced, 3) skilled 4) mastered 5) transcendent. In transaction of mundane tasks, such as manufacturing, robotic systems excel. In certain aspects of manufacturing, humans excel, where robots fail. In art, the missing component of roboticism is nuance, or original expression. A musician may perform and the performance may be recorded and played back exactly, but rarely, if ever, can the human perform the same piece again, exactly as before, and rarely, if ever, can the recorder (robotic device) come up with an equivalent masterpiece of original expression, similar to what the maestro could do.

Some terms that apply to the idea of robography:

AUTOMATION: meaning "self dictated" (from the ancient Greek) - the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system, operate automatically (using electro/mechanical devices obfuscating human control.

AUTONOMATION: (Jidoka) ("automation with a human touch" ) Jidoka, means, in the production context, not allowing defective parts to go from one work station to the next. It specifically refers to machines or the production line itself being able to stop automatically in abnormal conditions (for example, when a machine breaks down or when defective parts are produced). This Autonomation (as it is also called) allows machines to run autonomously, as they will stop when a problem occurs. Ultimately, it is about transferring human (or better) intelligence to machines.

Jidoka is also used when individual people encounter a problem at their work station. They are responsible for correcting the problem - if they cannot, they should stop the line rather than let the defective part do.

The principle was first used by Sakichi Toyoda at the beginning of the 20th century when he invented a loom which stopped when the thread broke.

( http://syque.com/improvement/Jidoka.htm )

ANIMATION is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement.

INSTRUMENTATION: use of instruments (devices) for observation, measurement, or control.

(see http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/instrumentation)

ACTUATION (implies) human action or human activity > to put into mechanical action or motion - to move to action (see http://www.wordreference.com/definition/actuation), (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=actuation)

REPLICATION: (see Merriam Webster 4: "performance of an experiment or procedure more than once")

SIMULATION: (see Merriam Webster Đ 3a: "the imitative representation of the functioning of one system or process by means of the functioning of another <a computer simulation of an industrial process> b : examination of a problem often not subject to direct experimentation by means of a simulating device) (see mimicry)"

MIMICRY: (see Merriam Webster 1a, and 2:

1 a : an instance of mimicking b : the action, practice, or art of mimicking

2 : a superficial resemblance of one organism to another or to natural objects among which it lives that secures it a selective advantage (as protection from predation)

ROBOMIMICAL *: Concomitant* Human/Machine involvement combined in a symbiotic relationship of simulation/replication, where the human employs mastery of movement techniques in order to accomplish transcendent goals in making art / objects, etc., while using an electromechanical device to achieve those ends. *(This is a neologism created by Lindquist).

*See: Webster's: 2. concomitant

Function: noun

: something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else : ACCOMPANIMENT

(Note: in the traditional sense of "instrumentation" (using an instrument to perform artistic acts), i.e., a figure skater cannot accomplish the feats of skating art/craft without the use of skates or blades.

The figure skater might be a glorified dancer, gymnast, etc., were it not for the device (skates) but without the "gadget" simply could not achieve glorious heights of a variety of spins that result from the physics unleashed through the process of applied motion within that specialized process. An electric guitarist cannot accomplish feedback or other process specific effects with an electric guitar without the use of an amp and other electronic accessories. I contend that in the modern world any and all human/electromechanical counterpart / complementary involvement is Robomimical, given numerous electro magnetic forces (EMF) that enter in that effect outcome. As we use devices powered by electromagnetic energy (EMF's) we enter into a specialized state of being that is distinctly different from a lesser charged simpler use of "tool". Being plugged in, we partake of the realm of metaphysics, the realm of the mysterious that we mostly don't understand, yet employ to our benefit.

We think of a car as just a car, yet it is a most sophisticated machine that moves elegantly with us and we with it, as we are in tandem; we are as though schools of fish or flocks of birds (see swarms, Synchronization, flocking process, Tamas Vicsec (http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/1998/A/199800332.html ), Navier-Stokes equation, the basic equation that describes fluid motion.
The movements in natural phenomenon inevitably become the model for motion study and robotic process. Nature is our teacher, we can only imitate and learn from it.

THE PHYSICS OF FLOCKING. "...Studying one of the more remarkable examples of collective behavior, scientists at IBM and the University of Oregon have developed a physics- based theory of how a group of birds manages to move together as a single unit, even if the individual birds make frequent misjudgments and can only see an extremely small fraction of the other birds in the flock. In their model, the researchers capitalized on similarities between certain features of flock motion and several phenomena in physics. Like a group of tiny bar magnets, the birds in the flocking model line themselves up in the same direction by interacting with their closest neighbors. Like dust particles in a fluid, nearby birds may soon find themselves far apart. Like parcels of hot material spreading their heat through the process of convection, birds spread information about the direction which they are moving by circulating themselves through the flock. By incorporating the well-developed mathematical descriptions of these processes in the model, and plugging in typical values of such parameters as how fast real flocks move in the air, Tu and Toner came up with realistic predictions of such things as how densely the birds are packed together in certain situations and how this density fluctuates. (John Toner and Yuhai Tu, Physical Review E, October 1998; more at www.aip.org/physnews/preview)ÉÓ (http://www.physicist.org/pnu/1998/split/pnu395-2.htm)

SEE ALSO: IGERT 499 Study Group

Swarming, Flocking, and Applications to Multi-Robot Systems

(http://lims.mech.northwestern.edu/~lynch/IGERT499/ )

Electromagnetic Field: is a physical field that is produced by electrically charged objects and which affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction, one of the four fundamental forces of nature. The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. The way in which charges and currents interact with the electromagnetic field is described by Maxwell's equations and the Lorentz Force Law. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_field)

Electromotive Force: (emf) is the amount of energy gained per unit charge that passes through a device in the opposite direction to the electric field existing across that device. It is measured in volts. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromotive_force)

HYSTERISIS: The lagging of an effect behind its cause, as when the change in magnetism of a body lags behind changes in the magnetic field.

also:

"...The lag between making a change, such as increasing or decreasing power, and the response or effect of that change. It typically refers to turn-on and turn-off points in electrical, electronic and mechanical systems. For example, if a thermostat set for 70 degrees turns on when the temperature reaches 68 and turns off at 72, the hysteresis is the range from 68 to 72..."

(http://www.answers.com/topic/hysteresis)

From wikpedia: "...Hysteresis phenomena occur in magnetic and ferromagnetic materials, as well as in the elastic and electromagnetic behavior of materials, in which a lag occurs between the application and the removal of a force or field and its subsequent effect. Electric hysteresis occurs when applying a varying electric field, and elastic hysteresis occurs in response to a varying force. The term "hysteresis" is sometimes used in other fields, such as economics or biology. In such cases it describes a memory or lagging effect in which the order of previous events can influence the order of subsequent events...."

CYBORG: see (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg)

According to some definitions of the term, the metaphysical and physical attachments humanity has with even the most basic technologies have already made us cyborgs.[4] In a typical example, a human fitted with a heart pacemaker or an insulin pump (if the person has diabetes) might be considered a cyborg, since these mechanical parts enhance the body's "natural" mechanisms through synthetic feedback mechanisms. Some theorists cite such modifications as contact lenses, hearing aids, or intraocular lenses as examples of fitting humans with technology to enhance their biological capabilities; however, these modifications are no more cybernetic than would be a pen, a wooden leg, or the spears used by chimps to hunt vertebrates.[5] Cochlear implants that combine mechanical modification with any kind of feedback response are more accurately cyborg enhancements.

The prefix "cyber" is also used to address human-technology mixtures in the abstract. This includes artifacts that may not popularly be considered technology. Pen and paper, for example, as well as speech, language. Augmented with these technologies, and connected in communication with people in other times and places, a person becomes capable of much more than they were before. This is like computers, which gain power by using Internet protocols to connect with other computers. Cybernetic technologies include highways, pipes, electrical wiring, buildings, electrical plants, libraries, and other infrastructure that we hardly notice, but which are critical parts of the cybernetics that we work within.

PANNING: Panning refers to the horizontal movement or rotation of a film or video camera, or the scanning of a subject horizontally on video or a display device.

In photography, the panning technique is used to suggest fast motion, and bring out foreground from background. In photographic pictures it is usually noted by a foreground subject in action appearing still (i.e. a runner frozen in mid-stride) while the background is streaked and/or skewed in the apparently opposite direction of the subject's travel. (http://www.answers.com/topic/panning-camera)

 

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