Robert Lansden


My drawings are created using algorithms, a set of rules that govern how each mark is made.  Drawing free hand, the marks are made in a specific order as I work rigorously to follow the rules for each piece.  The natural tendency in hand-made objects for irregularity makes every execution of an algorithm slightly different.  Repetition provides the opportunity for compound error, which happens exponentially over time.  Consequently, with every drawing something new is experienced, learned, and expressed.

The use of algorithms grew out of an almost obsessive sketchbook practice - there is always one within arms reach.  The drawings start small, usually around four inches.  While repeating the marks at this scale, a natural rhythm and efficiency slowly refines the algorithm.  This process of development hones the technique particular to each algorithm and is what allows me to make the drawings larger.

I prefer this task oriented method of drawing because I never know exactly what will happen.  The repetition is meditative and the challenge to adhere to the algorithm keeps me in the moment and allows for spontaneity.  This makes the act of drawing more exciting because I am focused on experiencing how it feels to make each piece and not on how the drawing will look in the end.  I am developing a practice, like yoga or a martial art.  Each drawing is another opportunity to go deeper and see what can be experienced and expressed as I surrender to both the medium and the process.