My artistic interest is centered on the adventures of generating fine art drawings executed on pen plotters, with the plotted line as a means of artistic expression. Three aspects especially interest me:

  • the mechanically guided pen
  • the simple line
  • the design of the generative code

Mechanical pen plotters are almost extinct. They have been replaced by print technologies in the course of technological advancement. The moving pen in the grip of a machine in action is fascinating to watch and has similarities with a pen held by a human hand. At the same time there are differences. Interesting consequences of artistic concern arise from this observation. Drawings from the hands of artists form an enormously rich domain of art. It is a universe that is complemented by an equally rich universe of machine-generated drawings, which is a universe in its own right.

My drawing experiments with pen plotters belong to the genre of Generative Art. The idea is to invent strategies, code them into computer programs, and submit the results to the pen plotter for processing. The generated drawings are ‘aesthetic events’ in the sense of Max Bense, who coined this phrase to avoid the term ‘art’.
The generated aesthetic events should demonstrate identity and uniqueness, and show with great clarity that they belong to the machine universe.


Hans Dehlinger