G53, DMS

G53, DMS
Still Image
Ben Snell
Robotic arms now give us the capability of manipulating matter to the thousandth of an inch and repeating a series of physical actions infinitely many times. This precision and repeatability is common in software, but relatively new to the 'real world.' I programmed one such robot—a DMS CNC router—to draw a simple spiral. Surprisingly, imperfections abound for such a well-built piece of machinery. The gait of the robot as it moves, the substrate on which it sits, how it holds and grips the pen—even the humidity of the air and topology of the paper—contribute to chaotic behaviors that reveal subtle patterns of movement in the marks drawn. These singularities are, in a way, the fingerprint of the robot—its characteristic essence of being and moving in response to an imperfect world. In the robot’s language, ‘G53’ means ‘home.’ Thus, when I ask it to draw a spiral, it wanders closer and closer to home, literally in the sense of approaching G53 and metaphorically in the sense of revealings its character to us. The act of mark making is my attempt to call forth the personality of our companion species, and in such, help us find a home for them in our world and in our hearts. G53, DMS is a collection of these emergent drawings, a few of which are pictured here.