Archive for the ‘Robots in Art’ Category

1964-5 – Robot Art – Enrique Castro-Cid (Chilean)

castro cid anthropomorphics 1 2 1964 x640 1964 5   Robot Art   Enrique Castro Cid (Chilean)

Anthropomorphicals I and II. 1964. Plexiglass and Aluminum. 65in. x 20in. x 24in. Richard Feigen Gallery, New York. 1965.


Source: Beyond Modern Sculpture - Jack Burnham 1968

It would be misleading to classify [Hans] Haacke as an artist primarily devoted to applying cybernetic principles to mechanical artifacts; rather his interests are in those cyclical processes which manifest evidences of natural feedback and equilibrium. One might call this an environmental systems philosophy, one that has little to do with practical or theoretical science. Instead it reveals a keenly sensual attitude toward the most ephemeral phenomena.
Clearly in opposition to Haacke's position is the Chilean presently living in New York City, Enrique Castro-Cid. The early drawings of Castro-Cid demonstrate a strong awareness of cybernetics as it is beginning to affect our notions of human physiology. These working drawings progressively substitute machine components for their anatomical equivalents. It is evident from the author's conversation with the artist that Castro-Cid has read deeply in the literature of mechanical evolution and the mind-body problem of classical philosophy. He senses that the possibilities of man-machine interaction are richer than ever before. Thus, his newer constructions depend more on this awareness and less on prevailing tastes in sculpture.

Enrique Castro Cid 1965 Richard Feigen Gallery x640 1964 5   Robot Art   Enrique Castro Cid (Chilean)
Since Castro-Cid's first robot exhibition in 1965, the artist has moved toward a more sophisticated awareness of man-machine interactions, in which anthropomorphism plays a diminishing role. The early robots (FIG. 126) are interesting for their painful sterility : no longer the clanking metallic beasts of the 1920's, these are more akin to humans divested of their corporeal form, mere brains placed in bell jars with appropriate electrodes inserted, sending commands to mechanical limbs. This contemporary electronic man is encased antiseptically in a clear plastic enclosure ; a vestigial anatomy drawn on the background hints faintly at a once biological life. Wiring and small components take the place of tendons and blood. Anthropomorphic I (1964), while suggesting the lapidary effect of a micro "mechanical brain," is technologically an unartful assemblage of synchron timing motors, a set of mechanical relays and a handful of light bulbs—all used to terrifying effect. But, reduced to its functional definition, this machine has none of the goal-seeking, self-stabilizing ability of even such relatively simple animals as Grey Walter's Machina speculatrix; it is, indeed, a mock robot.
Lately Castro-Cid's energies have gravitated toward a mode of sculpture which could be termed "cybernetic games." These are imposing, boxlike systems sometimes powered by air jets which keep plastic spheres moving within a defined cycle of positions. The trajectories of these bouncing balls are limited but appear to be random. There is a kind of ultra-precision to these constructions which implies more ultimate purpose than that invested in most New Tendency kinetic works ; they simulate the precise, instantaneous technology of a computer system in which playfulness is merely an aspect of some greater hidden function. The poetic imprecision of these games as On and Off—exists in the fact that they imitate a level of technology which they have little hope of duplicating. On the white surface of the compressed air sculptures are painted green areas which suggest different functions. The chasses of the games are extended into nonpurposeful shapes which contains no interior equipment.
What electromechanical components (photocells, electromagnets, air compressors and film projectors) Castro-Cid does use are invariably endowed with a certain forbidding and brittle austerity. Here the motion-picture form becomes the means for projecting a changing image with more substance than the imposing chassis housing it. While the chances for man-machine interaction often remain restricted with these sculptures, their real purpose, in terms of future art, is apparent : the joining of dissimilar systems into playful semi-automatic games in which the human operator can be seduced by an element of unpredictability while charged with the impression of strong purpose. In terms of their psychic complexity these works may appear to be trivial, but as a means of introducing ideas for reshaping the world they transcend the single-purpose machines of Kinetic Art and move beyond the limitations of scientific Constructivism.
It may be argued, justifiably, that modes of art do not transcend each other; they simply are. Yet a fundamental quality of art which has become possessed by technology is its tendency to follow the ascending spiral of sophistication defined by technology, either real or conceptual. Style, thus, becomes a ramification of a certain technological level, and a stable non-evolutionary technology would in effect produce a styleless art, if the results of such a marriage could still be termed art.
While it is reasonable to suppose that the constructions of Castro-Cid cease to represent the classical image of sculpture, it is equally relevant to question whether figures in bronze and marble still symbolize the form-creating ambition of our culture. It is obvious that they do not, and we are less and less inclined to pretend that they do. It has been retorted, though, that an art form so intensely technical as Cyborg Art cannot but lack in spiritual vigor. Still, we might answer with Spengler: what a culture shapes with its life blood—be it an ethical system, architecture, or a spaceship—represents the quintessence of its spiritual destiny. An artist such as Castro-Cid constructs mock cybernetic systems, not in hopes of producing another stylistic tremor, but because they represent the technical and spiritual will of our civilization.


 1964 5   Robot Art   Enrique Castro Cid (Chilean)

Enrique Castro-Cid , 1965.

Source: Cornell Daily Sun-1965
Enrique Castro-Cid Chilean Artist's Robots Show Machines Can be Playful

By DIANE P. WEINSTEIN

Two foot-tall robots on a large plexiglas platform playfully buffet and "elbow" each other about. A larger robot moves across the floor with a pumping red, rubber heart in his chest. A fourth, confined to a basin under a plexiglass dome shifts futilely back and forth. Another waves red tentacular arms in slow circles and blinks a solitary light bulb. Their creator is Enrique Castro-Cid, a young Chilean artist and art critic with long, thick black hair and a generous smile. Castro-Cid arrived at the University yesterday as a guest of the College of Architecture and will remain on campus until tomorrow, lecturing, observing classes and criticizing the artwork of Cornell students. Although his family encouraged a legal career, Castro-Cid was diverted from law school to the study of art and served as an assistant professor of drawing in Chilean University. The difficulties of making a living in Chile, where artists receive few subsidies and awards, led him to the United States four years ago. Castro-Cid has since had two successful one-man shows and was recently awarded a $5000 Guggenheim Fellowship. His unique creations glide, stalk, hover, float, flirt and even think. This past month a force of Castro-Cid's robots and automotons flashed their playful personalities and conquered New York City's Feigen Art Gallery. Children were fascinated, but their parents were more captivated by these plexiglass, wood, and plastic robots and rapidly bought out the show. Modern society, Castro-Cid feels, is unduly preoccupied with the "Faustian" evil of machines. Much of today's science ficton depicts a bleak future where unfeeling, dominant machines enslave their human creators. For many, automation portends mass unemployment and a society suffocated by the glut of leisure time. A cheerful advocate of the idyllic "Dionysian" society, Castro-Cid is most optimistic about the present trend. Contrary to traditional belief, he feels that labor is not the moral ideal. He makes the sympathetic observation that "to work is terrible if it is not thoroughly enjoyed" and hopes that automation will make the drudgery of labor obsolete. His machines are "playful" and personable and therefore very likeable. They were originally intended for Castro-Cid's own amusement, and their foremost purpose is to be enjoyed. The inventions, however, also illustrate some of the complexities of modern life. Two ping pong balls, red and black, fight for a single current inside a wire container. The head-shaped cage, Castro-Cid explains, represents the human mind where ideas compete for precedence in a randomly-directed stream of thought. An electric train buffets a black ping pong ball around a circular track. At one point the ball is trapped by an upward stream of air while the circum-navigating train tries to pass a loop around it. Statistically, Castro-Cid explains, the shakily hovering ball should pass through the hoop in two out of every 20 trips. Castro-Cid added he believes this paradox of the "limited or ordered random", freedom within a restricted area, reflects the condition of modern man. Accident and order are equally significant in human existence, he said. Castro-Cid explained he has attempted to demonstrate the complexities of the machines and the human mind by mimicking both in his anthropomorphic technology. He does not ally himself with "pop" artists who, he claims, establish their rather weak points by mis-placing everyday objects such as soup cans and brillo boxes. He was enthusiastic, however, about the work of Cornell student artists who he considers "on the par with professionals." Castro-Cid's first show, entitled "Ideas for Fantastic Zoology," dealth with compound anatomies, his preoccupation before robot art. Inspired by studies in the American Museum of Natural History, the artist concocted "jaberwocky" creatures whose organs and appendages logically fulfilled the animal's needs. Castro-Cid explained this inventiveness in painting to mechanical innovation. Working at home, frequently in energetic late-night sprints, he has produced 20 works in the past seven months.


Enrique Castro-Cid – Pioneer in Latin American Art
Published: August 17, 2011 – Source – here

Enrique Castro-Cid burst onto the art scene with ferver.  He had arrived in the United States to a hungry New York City waiting for the next big thing.  Awards, Guggenheim Fellowship Grants, exhibitions at galleries and museums followed briskly after his early 1960's arrival.  He immediately became a darling of the art world.  Dashing good looks and a Latin American style led him to marry first a Harper's Bazaar cover model, Sylvia, and then an art patron, Christophe de Menil.  Enrique Castro-Cid formed and broke relationships.  Forming and breaking are two sides of the same coin.  The human form is as it looks, until of course you change the perspective, the coordinates plotted onto a graph in space, change your way of seeing.  Welcome to a look inside the world of Enrique Castro-Cid.

He was born in Santiago, Chile in 1937.  Art studies at the Escuela de Bellas Artes at the Universidad de Chile would commence some 20 years later.  Shortly after his studies came to a close, he found his way to New York City.  His loft was something artists dreamt about, huge and full of potential.  That was Enrique Castro-Cid.  He was a larger than life figure whose ideas about art could not be confined to a mere three dimensions.  He wanted more.  Four, five, six.  Why did there have to be limits on the imagination?

He pioneered the relationship of computers, geometry and art.  His vision was one of space-time.  His limitless imagination and command of the computer in the 1960's and 1970's allowed him to create art that would be conceivable in the computer, but difficult to represent – five dimensional space being one of those ideas.  He would come to be considered an avant-garde psychologist of perception.  He experimented with pictorial space and with geometric transformations.  He took his art and way of understanding to another level.  Or two…

Castro-Cid drew our attention to many questions.  How do we perceive a deformation?  How do we perceive a face?  Is a face a face whether it is smiling, frowning or impassive?  How do we know that expression, if we have never seen the face before?  His art explored these concepts.  He would draw the human nude form and the outline of that form would be plotted carefully on a graph.  As he changed the formula and the equations, the outline of the form would seem to distort.  The equations were then changed to such a degree that the form, once known to us, now seemed almost unrecognizable.  Or, were we looking at the process backwards?  Were we looking into other dimensions?

But perhaps, he as an artist was only experimenting with these ideas and never meant to delve so deeply into such questions.  But that is the nature of art.  It beckons you close, then pulls you in.  You are asked to understand something that may never be understandable.

Castro-Cid's time in New York City had come to a close, he headed for warmer climes and arrived in Miami in the 1980's.  Of course, once again he was a celebrated figure on the art scene and was once again given many awards and exhibitions.  He lived a fast paced life in Miami, a roller coaster ride for all those who dared to climb on board.  He was a Latin American artist living the American dream.  Following his desires, his dreams and his own path into space.  He created art for a select few who cared enough to see his vision.

The technology of Computer Aided Design and such new programs as are used today, can see their ancestry in his art.  Certainly a branch of the family tree.  He was the root.  He helped to create a movement that exists to this day.  His work has long lived past him.  He died of a heart attack in 1992.  54 years.   A lifetime of ideas.  A vision that will last the test of space-time.


Trivia

It has been claimed elsewhere that Castro-Cid constructed the hound for the movie "Fahrenheit 451" .  If he did, it was never used.

Fahrenheit 451 (first screened 1966)
The Making of Fahrenheit 451 (as per DVD bonus) – Reference to "The Mechanical Hound"

Ray Bradbury: One of the flaws of the film, for me, is the absence of the Mechanical Hound, because he's a feature that helps tell you about the future.

Producer Jay Presson Allen: I thought the robotic dogs and so on would be very, very difficult and really not what he [RB] was trying to do and , I mean, it would be very distracting, in fact, from the simple story of the books, which is really what he was interested in most of all so I think he was quite proper to avoid, the more or less conventional science fiction. there were so many coming out at that point, and I think they made the right decision to withdraw from that and not make that the overwhelming aspect of the film.


 

1957 – Remote-Controlled Painting Machine – Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

akira Kanayama Remote control painting 1955 x640 1957   Remote Controlled Painting Machine   Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

Akira Kanayama’s painting machine from 1957 was a four-wheeled device that Kanayama could remote-control to create paintings approximately 180 by 280 cm. The canvas lay on the floor and the machine dripped and poured paint on the picture pane.

The painting machine is an early example of the machine/robot in the role of artist. Kanayama’s remote-controlled painting machine mimics Jackson Pollock’s drips painting –a technique he developed in the 1940’ties.

At the same time the machine follows Pollock’s ideas of automation and physical detachment between artist and painting, bringing it to a new level, but at the same time it makes fun of role of the artist – no longer an inspired and gesturing artist, but a homemade machine spilling paint. [See comments about Pollock by Dr. Prof. Machiko Kusahara below.]

 1957   Remote Controlled Painting Machine   Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

Text and Pic Source: Electrifying Painting, Ming Tiampo

Kanayama began making his Machine Drawings (fig. 24) in 1957, which were a critique of automatism and the value it placed on self-expression through gestural painting. Kanayama’s Machine Drawings were made by attaching a can of quick-drying paint to an automatic toy car that created paintings whether or not the artist was even in the room…… Both Kanayama and Tanaka used technology as a markmaking instrument. By using a vocabulary of form that had technological rather than psychological origins, Kanayama and Tanaka launched a conceptual attack on the Informel and Abstract Expressionist idea that art could or should be an expression of the soul, poured out and worked on a canvas.

kanayama 1 1957   Remote Controlled Painting Machine   Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

kanayama 2 1957   Remote Controlled Painting Machine   Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

Kanayama Gutai 57 x640 1957   Remote Controlled Painting Machine   Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

Kanayama hanging his painting done with a remote control mechanical car on vinyl (1957). See Note at bottom.

Source: The Avant-Garde in Exhibition, Altshuler 1994. Photograph – Sinichiro Osaki, Hyogo Prefecture Museum of Modern Art, Kobe, Kyoto Municipal Museum, 1957.


Akira Kanayama was the secretary of the Gutai group. He jokingly said that the position involved so much work that he had no time to paint and instead let a remote-controlled toy car paint for him. The resulting Work (1957) can be seen as a critique against Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, with which they have some resemblance. In Kanayama, the male genius who expresses his feelings with paint is supplanted by a toy car that randomly zooms around the paper, leaving a trail of paint. Kanayama thus challenged the artist's personal relevance to the quality and ingenuity of the work.

groupe expo 56 1 1957   Remote Controlled Painting Machine   Akira Kanayama (Japanese)

Group photo: Yamazaki, Shiraga, Shimamoto, Murakami, Kanayama, Motonaga,
Tanaka, Ukita.

Pic Source: here.

Both Tanaka (1932 – 2005) and Kanayama (1924 – 2006), two of Japan’s best-known artists, were members of the Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai (Gutai Art Association), an avant-garde art group founded in 1954 in Osaka with the mission to create “an art which has never existed before.”  As members of the group, they became famous for seminal pieces with which they remain associated today: Tanaka’s Electric Dress (1956), a jumble of electric cables and lit-up colored lightbulbs which she wore like a garment; and Kanayama’s four-wheel remote control device which enabled him to create automatic Remote-Control Paintings (1957).  The artists married and left the group in the mid-1960s, and continued their artistic careers (at a steady pace in Tanaka’s case, in Kanayama’s case more intermittently) through the beginning of the 2000s.


Origins of Japanese Media Art – Artists Embracing Technology from 1950s to Early 1970s

Author: Dr. Prof. Machiko Kusahara

Painting by Machine
The Gutai artist Akira Kanayama is less known compared to his partner Atsuko Tanaka, the artist known for her “Electric Dress (1956), although the original use of technology and interest in materials that had not been traditionally used in art were shared among them. Kanayama helped Tanaka in realizing her ideas that involved technology such as her piece “Work (Bell)” (1955). Kanayama’s “Work” series produced mostly around 1957 involved a remote-controlled car with paint tanks he built himself, modifying a toy car. Kanayama tested a variety of crayons, markers, black and color ink with which the car scribbled or dripped while moving on large pieces of paper and later on white vinyl sheets, which he found the most appropriate for his purpose. While the artist operated the car on a sheet laid on the floor, its trajectory and the resulting traces of ink were never under the perfect control of the artist. Instead of directly employing one’s own body, as in case of other Gutai artists such as Kazuo Shiraga and Saburo Murakami, Kanayama used a mechanical medium and chance operation to drawn lines. His use of plastic inflatables and footsteps on vinyl sheets in other works also suggest his positive interest in new materials, and mediated representation of body. However, when Gutai was “discovered” by the French critic / art dealer Michel Tapié and internationally introduced, these features of Kanayama’s works were disregarded. It is said that his “Work” series was interpreted as alike of Jackson Pollock’s “all-over” style in the art world outside Japan, neglecting the interesting questions that arose about originality and the role of technology in art.

Eventually Gutai artists including Tanaka shifted to “paintings” rather than three-dimensional works involving unusual medium. By the time when Gutai was invited to participate the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka, Kanayama and Tanaka left the group.


Note: Some references give 1955 as the date for Kanayama's Remote-Controlled Painting Machine.  The first of the Gutai expositions were in 1955, but I've only been able to trace the machine to the 3rd expositiion held in a Museum in 1957. The 1955 exposition was an outdoor one.

The book Avant-Guard is also confused over these aspects, saying on the one hand the remote drawing machines were new for the 1957 Museum exposition, but also suggesting they were made earlier, but no proof is offered for the 1955 date. 

So claims such as ", prefiguring the Métamatic painting machines that the Swiss artist, Jean Tinguely, began to build in 1959."  are not correct from two fronts. Tinguely's MetaMatic Drawing Machine No.1 is from 1959, but two earlier drawing machines were built in 1955, the first, called "Machine à Dessiner No. 1"exhibited in the Le Movement exhibition in 1955


1971 – “COSME” – Le Chevalier de L’Espace – Jeanne Renucci-Convers (French)

cosme les automates 1 x640 1971   COSME   Le Chevalier de LEspace   Jeanne Renucci Convers (French)

Cosme, le chevalier de lumière… est le dernier né et le géant des automates.           
Nous voilà bien loin des premières poupées articulées. Cosme n'est pas seulement colossal (5 m. de haut, 1.350 kg), il a de l'ambition et veut synthétiser en lui l'humanité présente et future dans le contexte technique qui est le nôtre.                                           
Animé par un ordinateur, sa démonstration est un spectacle audiovisuel impressionnant. Avec ses 2.000 lampes, ses 25 km de câble, Cosme nous transporte pendant 28 minutes dans une sorte de monde interplanétaire où la couleur et la lumière sont reines…
Cosme n'a pas de domicile fixe car il est extrêmement demandé, il circule beaucoup, malgré ses orgueilleuses proportions, et on peut le voir au hasard d'une exposition, d'une manifestation en France ou à l'étranger. Il s'est produit récemment à Orly, lors d'une exposition d'automates.
Entièrement conçu par Mme Jeanne Renucci-Convers, Cosme a été réalisé par PHILIPS.

Translation by Google

Cosme, the knight of light … is the latest and giant robots.
We are far from the first jointed dolls. Cosme is not only huge (5 m. High, 1350 kg), it has ambition and wants him to synthesize the present and future humanity in the context technique that is ours.
Powered by a computer, it is an audiovisual demonstration impressive. With its 2,000 lights, 25 km of cable, Cosme transports us for 28 minutes in a sort of interplanetary world where color and light are queens …
Cosme has no fixed abode because it is extremely required, it runs a lot, despite its proud proportions, and can be seen at random an exhibition, an event in France or abroad. He has recently Orly, during an exhibition of automata.
Entirely designed by Jeanne Renucci-Convers, Cosme was made by PHILIPS.

cosme chevalier 001 1971   COSME   Le Chevalier de LEspace   Jeanne Renucci Convers (French)

Exhibition Brochure

ROBOT COSME LE CHEVALIER DE L ESPACE press 1 1971   COSME   Le Chevalier de LEspace   Jeanne Renucci Convers (French)

COSME Press photo

2000 LAMPES POUR LE "CHEVALIER DE L'ESPACE". L'OEUVRE DU SCULPTEUR JEANNE RENUCCI-CONVERS, "COSME", SYMBOLISANT LE CHEVALIER DE L'ESPACE, EST  COMPOSES DE 2000 LAMPES DE PRES DE TROIS CENT SORTES. 
HAUT DE CINQ METRES, CE MONSTRE DE LUMIÈRE PESE 1350 KG ET SA REALISATION A DEMANDE UN AN DE FABRICATION APRES TROIS MOIS DE CONCEPTION. 25 KM DE FILS ONT ETE NECESSAIRES POUR ASSURER L'ALIMENTATION EN COURANT ELECTRIQUE DE CETTE OEUVRE GIGANTESQUE EXPOSEE ACTUELLEMENT DANS LA VITRINE PHILIPS. A PARIS.

Google  translation
2000 LAMPS FOR "KNIGHT OF SPACE." THE WORK OF SCULPTOR JEANNE RENUCCI-CONVERS, "Cosme" SYMBOLIZING THE KNIGHT OF SPACE IS THE COMPOUNDS OF LIGHTS 2000 NEARLY THREE HUNDRED AND KIND.
TOP FIVE METERS THIS MONSTER LIGHT WEIGH AND ITS REALIZATION 1350 KG ASKED ONE YEAR AFTER THREE MONTHS OF MANUFACTURING DESIGN. 25 KM FROM SON WAS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THE ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY THIS WORK CURRENTLY FACING HUGE IN DISPLAY PHILIPS. PARIS.

cosme chevalier 1971   COSME   Le Chevalier de LEspace   Jeanne Renucci Convers (French)

COSME , LE CHEVALIER DE L'ESPACE

http://www.sculpteurs-plasticiens.org/oeuvre-245-1265.html
par Jeanne Renucci-Convers
Matière : Lumiere & structure acier inox

Dimensions : 1200-1000-1000 cm

Poids : 1350 kg

Année : 1968 / 1971

Photographe : BLAISE-LELONG-ROY

Adresse d'exposition : Conservée depuis 1981 au Centre International du Futur, Salines Royale d'ARC-EN-SENANS .
Patrimoine mondial depuis 1982

Collection : publique

" Pionnière et théoricienne, elle invente cette première sculpture de lumière fonctionnant avec ordinateur, possédant sentiments, sensations, verbe et mémoire. Elle ouvre une voie nouvelle et certaine dans les domaines artistiques et poétiques en transposant sur le plan créatif de l'Art l'équation Energie / Matière". Citation de la médaille de Vermeil du progrès. Promotion Cdt J.Y COUSTEAU 1973. Dédiée à la conquête spatiale, aux citoyens du monde, microcosmes humains. Maillons des civilisations dans un condensé de notre humanisme

English translation by Google

COSME, THE KNIGHT OF SPACE

http://www.sculpteurs-plasticiens.org/oeuvre-245-1265.html
by Jeanne-Renucci Convers
Material: Lumiere & stainless steel structure

Dimensions: 1200-1000-1000 cm

Weight: 1350 kg

Year: 1968/1971

Photographer: BLAISE-Lelong-ROY

Exhibition address: Preserved since 1981 at the International Centre of the Future, Royal Saltworks RAINBOW SENANS.
World Heritage since 1982

Collection: Public

"A pioneer and theorist, she invented the first light sculpture running computer, with emotions, sensations, and word memory. It opens a new way and some in the artistic and poetic transposition of the creative art of the equation Energy / matter ". Quote of the Vermeil medal of progress. Promotion Cdt Cousteau J.Y 1973. Dedicated to the conquest of space, citizens of the world, human microcosms. Links of civilizations in our condensed humanism.


Philips Electronics worldwide has a history of supporting electronics in art.  A similar idea to Cosme is PETE (Philips Electronics Telecommunications Equipment), built one year later in Australia by Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski .

Ostoja Kotowski Pete 77 x640 1971   COSME   Le Chevalier de LEspace   Jeanne Renucci Convers (French)

Source: Electronics Today International, January 1973 .


1978 – “Mechanimals” Illustrations – Murray Tinkelmann (American)

Murray Tinkelman mechanimals ulc x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

U&lc.
Illustrated by Murray Tinkelman, December 1979

I love machinery. I love drawings, photographs and diagrams of machinery, particularly diagrams. They look important, they demand respect, and they inspire confidence. How dare anyone doubt that those dotted lines, those beautiful arrows, and the mystically placed little uppercase letters indicate something of great but obscure significance? The blueprint also is a form of visual tyranny. It is yet another kind of icon to be revered by the mechanically sophisticated and looked upon with awe by the mechanically illiterate, such as myself. These drawings are my semi-respectful homage to all the model airplanes that I almost completed, and every printed-in-Japan set of instructions that led me astray. However, most of all, to those passionately sterile drawings and engravings that graced the pages of the dictionaries and encyclopedias of my youth. As far as I am concerned, a Steam-Driven Chameleon, A Tractor-Treaded Rhinoceros, a Diesel-Driven Guppy, and a Propeller-Powered Bass are at least as valid as all that other stuff. These too, are real.

"In this age of depressing social, political and economic events, it is a welcome pleasure to be exposed to the delightful wit of Murray Tinkelman and to sense the love he has for his subject matter. In this case, his subject matter is his Mechanimals, those superbly inventive inventions of his fertile imagination. Tinkelman's mechanical animals are the combined accomplishment of a creative mind and a dexterous hand, two characteristics so often missed in today's so-called 'art' in America. Murray Tinkelman's contributions to the graphic arts lend considerable luster to an already illustrious profession. More power to Murray Tinkelman and his pseudo-technological revolution. Enjoy!"

Quote from Herb Lubalin, former Art Director, U & LC.

Sourced from here.


Diesel Driven Guppy x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

Diesel-Driven Guppy

Motorized Rhino x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

Motorized-Rhino

Tinkleman Treaded Armadillo x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

Treaded Armadillo

Murray Tinkelman mechanimals y1 x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

Murray Tinkelman mechanimals y4 x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

tinkelman illust3 x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Murray Tinkelman's Curiously Creepy Mechanimals
In the 1980 book, "The Illustrations of Murray Tinkelman," the author writes that Murray's "Mechanimals" might have been "built by an obscure inventor who fancied himself a cross between Dr. Frankenstein and Henry Ford."

For his part as that "obscure inventor," Murray said, "I draw them strictly for myself, for sheer enjoyment."

"They give me a chance to grow, to experiment, and to make mistakes. Every artist needs to be able to make mistakes, but there's just no room for error when you're working on commercial assignments."

"They also keep me from stagnating. Since an artist is known for his former work, he can get channelled into repeating the same thing over and over. The Mechanimals help keep me flexible."

The fond memories of what Murray often calls his "misspent youth" have proven to be a wellspring of endless inspiration, fuelling a long and colourful career of cross-hatched creativity.

Murray's Mechanimals first appeared in print in 1979 in (legendary typographic designer) Herb Lubalin's "Upper and Lower Case" magazine. In his intro Murray wrote, "These drawings are my semi-respectful homage to all the model airplanes that I almost completed. Every printed-in-Japan set of instructions that led me astray."

"But most of all to those passionately sterile drawings and engravings that graced the pages of the dictionaries and encyclopedias of my youth."

Above sourced from here.


Loco Motoad x640 1978   Mechanimals Illustrations   Murray Tinkelmann (American)
Loco Motoad

Syracuse Scholar made available to readers a limited edition of Murray Tinkelman's "Rail-Rhode Island Red" and " Iron Ram" offset lithographs of the artist's original ink drawings.


1968-9 – “Homo Cyberneticum” (“Cybernetic Man”) series – Paul Van Hoeydonck (Belgian)

Hoeydonck cyb   x640 1968 9   Homo Cyberneticum (Cybernetic Man) series   Paul Van Hoeydonck (Belgian)

CYB Head and Arm - 1969 Plexiglass, aluminium, and wires.

cybernetic man — birth of a new type of man,
adapted to new duties and interplanetary missions.
we known already at this moment that it will be soon possible to adapt man to new environments by adding or replacing parts of his body with cybernetic elements,
this in order to enable him to move more easily in space.
l'homme cybernetique — naissance d'un type nouveau d'homme, adapté aux tâches et missions nouvelles interplanétaires. a present il semble que bientôt il sera possible d'adapter l'homme a de nouveaux conditionnements, en lui ajoutant des organes mécaniques ou en remplacant des parties de son corps par des elements cybernetiques, ceci afin de lui permettre de se mouvoir plus aisément dans le cosmos.
homo cyberneticum — geboorte van een nieuw mensentype, gevormd voor nieuwe taken en opdrachten in de ruimte.
nu reeds weten we dat weldra de mens zal kunnen worden aangepast voor een volledig nieuwe wereld.
door vervangen van of aanvullen met cybernetische elementen, wordt het lichaam in de mogelijkheid gesteld
zich in de cosmos to ontwikkelen. (p. v. h.)

hoeydonck space art 0002 x640 1968 9   Homo Cyberneticum (Cybernetic Man) series   Paul Van Hoeydonck (Belgian)

Paul Van Hoeydonck (born 1925) is a Belgian printmaker and painter. He studied both archeology and art history in Antwerp, Belgium. His first one man exhibition took place in that city in 1952. During the following years van Hoeydonck both lived and worked in Belgium and in the United States. His art is now included in the collections of leading museums in Europe and America.

He also created "Fallen Astronaut", an aluminium statue about 8.5 cm long that is the only piece of art on the Moon.

The Apollo 15 crew had agreed with Van Hoeydonck that no replicas of "Fallen Astronaut" were to be made. After mentioning the statuette during their post-flight press conference, the National Air and Space Museum contacted the crew asking for a replica made for the museum. The crew agreed under the condition that it was to be displayed with good taste and without publicity.


See other Art Robots here.


See Original Cyborg here.