World's Simplest Drawing Machine

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About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author ...

A few years back I was afforded the opportunity to get my very own art studio. Having my own space to do (more or less) whatever I wanted was a great novelty to me. The first thing I did was make a silly rug. I then proceeded to fill it with ewaste. Finally, I acheived my ultimate goal of making a mildly-violent, dead-simple, drawing machine that encompassed much of the usable space.

The first iteration of the machine involved a computer fan hung from the ceiling by its own power cord. Suspended from the fan was a long piece of string with a marker on the end. As the fan blew itself around, it dragged the marker across a large white sheet of paper I laid on the floor. Occasionally the marker would violently bounce off of people or things. When the machine ran, I typically sat out in the hallway on a folding chair with my laptop and waited patiently. A typical drawing took about 30 minutes to an hour (even with a couple of marker changes).

I mounted and hung drawings from the first round in my studio space's art gallery without permission. A silly sign was created.

The second iteration involved two fans. There was the original fan and then a few feet away was a second smaller fan that was hung closer to the ceiling (hence, with a shorter traveling range). The string was suspended from the new fan through a hole in the old fan and then to the floor. This resulted in the new fan tugging at the old fan and adding a wee bit of randomness to the drawings.

I tried selling the drawings created by the second iteration for $500,000 a piece during one of the studio space's open houses. This did not succeed. I ended up cutting up most of the drawings and using them as wrapping paper.

A few of the remaining drawings were framed. One had a snide cartoon posted on it and was subsequently mounted in my living room.

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    5 Discussions

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    depotdevoid

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Definitely got a laugh out of me! Awesomely fun idea, plus I love the idea of trying to sell these for ridiculously inflated prices.

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    Lindie

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I am laughing. Laughing even more when I saw the rug and know the story behind that. :-)