Oh, the things people do for the sake of art! Brooklyn-based artist Ted Lawson had a robot draw a selfie of him with blood as the medium.
The robot-printed blood selfie (does it still qualify as a selfie if it’s shot – or in this case, printed – by someone else?) will be part of the artist’s The Map Is Not the Territory (named after a concept used in NLP) exhibition, which will open on September 11 at the Joseph Gross Gallery in NYC. It should be noted that Lawson didn’t plan on using blood as the medium for his selfie (and no, the robot didn’t tie him to a chair in order to extract blood from him, you know, for art), but something must have
The good thing about printers in general, and the CNC milling machine that was used for this art project in particular, is that they don’t use a lot of ink (erm… blood) to put the symbols on paper. Otherwise, the artist would have ended in an ER rather than at his own exhibition. The paintbrush that’s handled by CNC’s robotic arm
To make things even weirder, Lawson pointed out that the selfie is actually a nude picture of himself. He proceeded to turning the photograph into code that the milling machine can understand, and the robot went to turn the code into a pixelated selfie.
Everything started as an experiment, though. Lawson placed a pen in CNC’s arm one day and how well the drawing ended up being: “I was doing a drawing of the moon and thought, “Oh, this could be really cool to do in my own blood. It was a logical progression.” Most sane artists would think otherwise, as it’s a long way from ink to blood. It’s not as if Lawson would be the first artist to use “secretions magnifiques” (yes, that really is a perfume created by Etat Libre d’Orange) for painting.
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After finishing the work of art Lawson had to apply an acrylic preservative on it so that it doesn’t rot. Had he used normal paints, he obviously wouldn’t have had such problems, but in that case he probably wouldn’t have made the news, either. It would be interesting to see the public’s reaction after attending the exhibition.
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