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Map-making and the process of ‘mapping’ fascinates me: in particular, the relationship between the ‘explorer’ and the ‘recorder’ where, by simultaneously imposing and relinquishing control, rules and boundaries can be broken and crossed.  This hopefully enables the resulting work to escape the confines of its initial deterministic methodology and achieve the unexpected.  I actively encourage the inclusion of chance and random interference in the process, making it possible for me to study the disparity between logical and irrational behaviour.

I often use autonomous drawing machines, created from adapted children’s toys, to explore areas within specified boundaries.  I program these machines with a set of basic rules to determine their behaviour and then leave them to describe the space by moving through it, reporting their route to the ‘recorder’ via Bluetooth technology.  By adopting, in part, a ‘Heath Robinson’ approach in their assembly, I can challenge the notion of the infallibility of machines and add an element of play and humour to the work.

'Mapping: 9 hours, 26 minutes' (detail), ink on paper, 150cm x 185cm

© 2007 debbie locke