Drawing Machines and the Representation of Reality – The World Viewed through a Window

In the last two decades, thanks to the proliferation of personal computers and, specially, to the use of digital technolgies in drawing and art, we have been witnessing the publication of a wide number of publications concerning drawing machines. If, on the one hand, Martin Kemp’s Science of Art and  Lino Cabezas’ Las Máquinas de Dibujar can be regarded as the main reference works on the theme, where the connections between art, science and technology are explored, on the other hand, essays such as José Gomez Islas’ Los Ruidos de la Máquina and David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge suggest us, in connection with specific periods, that the use of technological devices had a determinant role in what refers to the way some artists depicted reality.

The present work has as it’s first goal the creation of a chronological data base on the invention and use of drawing machines, through the survey, analysis and classification of the artifacts invented from the fifteenth century up to the outcome of photography. The second goal, which departs from the idea that artists always nourished a special curiosity towards optical phenomena and the associated technology, has the purpose, with respect to the same period, to study the implications of the use of machines in the production of images of reality.

Year 2010
Type Thesis
Institution Universidade do Porto
Degree PhD
Supervisor(s) Vítor Silva
Language Portuguese
Field Drawing