Spring 2012 Window Works

In the Window

  • Spring 2012 Window Works
  • Exhibition Dates: Jan 12,2012 - Apr 29,2012
  • About the artist
  • Judith Cottrell at Family Day cropJudith Cottrell

    Judith Cottrell earned her MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006, and has since shown her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, recently including San Antonio Draws: A Survey of Contemporary Drawing, McNay Art MuseumRead more

About the exhibition

Judith Cottrell employs a unique method of drawing technique, moving her hand in repeated looping movements across a surface to achieve her compositions. For her Artpace Window Works installation, In the Window, she has removed her own hand from the process, developing a drawing machine or “drawbot”-with the help of Ottowa-based inventor and programmer Darcy Whyte-to translate her imagery on our Main Avenue windows. Built (and named “Mr. Drew”) by Whyte, the drawbot mimics Cottrell’s intricate, repetitive patterning to realize a large-scale, progressive work that will evolve throughout the duration of the exhibition.

The drawbot aka Mr. Drew is an Arduino-based machine that is driven with an open-source software program called Processing. To translate Cottrell’s image, it uses a dual polar coordinate system, as opposed to a Cartesian system of specifying points in a plane by a pair of numerical coordinates along the x and y axis. Mr. Drew translates a bitmap of the drawing into pixels that the hardware can interpret using shading and movement algorithms.

The overall composition will be completed over the course of Cottrell’s four-month exhibition. To encourage viewer participation and to further employ technology in her work, she has designed a mobile website-which can be accessed by scanning the accompanying QR code or Microsoft Tag-to find out more detailed information about the work as it progresses, and to submit suggestions for future drawbot projects. (Viewers can also access the site at inthewindow.mobi.)