I created this installation as testament to the ultimate impossibility of technology to have a soul and express emotion. Installed in Whittier College’s Greenleaf Gallery in Whittier, CA in 2015, this piece consists of two semi-autonomous drawing machines programmed to write love letters to each other on a giant sheet of paper, (one with red, the other with black). Over the course of the 30-day exhibition, layer upon layer of words and letters obfuscate each other, adding to the inability for them to effectively communicate, (but they keep trying).

I began building drawing machines (drawBots) in 2013 to explore relationships between robotic mechanisms and typography. The machines installed in this gallery are my latest creation and consist of a Sparkfun RedBoard (Arduino UNO clone) and DF Robot Motor Shield as the controller, a digital compass to keep them oriented to a typographic baseline, two encoded DC Motors and Polulu wheels for propulsion, six rechargeable AA batteries and a 6V voltage regulator to provide consistent voltage to the motors, three Sharp Infrared sensors to avoid colliding into walls (and each other), on/off switch, small ball castors, and a mini servo motor atop a repurposed plastic sheath to lift and lower a Pilot Jumbo maker. All these components are mounted to ann 1/8-inch acrylic chassis that I designed and laser cut. This is an open source project, contact me if you want specifics.

The text they “write” is pulled from a small database, including sentences like, “i am lost”, “i am here”, “where are you” and “i need you”. The font is a very geometric sans serif and it only uses minuscules (lowercase letters).

Exhibition was in collaboration with Troy Richards.

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