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The rug (the slave)

(Work completed on 19 February 2006)

The rug (slave): a pixel rug drawn line by line bottom-up

About the rug

'The slave' is probably a more adequate title for this utterly inefficient and anal-retentive undertaking. The slave is I, as I work on it. It has taken nearly two years to complete this rug (working on and off, of course—usually, one or several hours on a few evenings a week, with longer gaps of no activity). So it seems an exercise to busy myself while creating the absolute minimum of output. (The noble line of justification would pit this as a critique of efficiency-oriented production, a parody of value-adding.) One line seems to take on average around 20 mins. With 1100 lines planned, the total investment in labour will be around 45 eight-hour working days.

While working on the rug is not boring, it is literally narrow-minded: it forces an extreme focussing on the pattern context which may lead to a trance-like obliteration of anything else. After a few hours, the eyes begin to hurt and it is no longer possible to continue.

The slave-like aspect is the subordination under the masterplan and rules of execution: no going back, no reaching out beyond the current line. (In fact some 'lazy-lining' sometimes happens, as in the rug industry. (google "lazy line" + rug if you want to know about that.) There is the possibility of spontaneous, violent action on the current line (being wilfully disruptive, breaking the pattern, refusing to resonate) but this has little net impact unless it establishes a change of approach, a new pattern of resonance in consequent lines.

Here is the old description: 'The rug' (or 'the slave') is a work reduced to the minimal level of pixels that successively build the image line by line from the bottom up, in analogy to the technique of rug weaving. The rug uses a palette limited to the 3 primary colours C,M,Y—the standard offset print hues except black—and their combinations. The intended output is an offset print the size of 110x90 cm, with pixels rendered a millimetre wide.

During the drawing process, resonance determines the reaction to the already finished lines visible within the magnified (x1600) scrollable electronic drawing space (Photoshop, maximum magnification). The drawing space comprises only a tiny area of the overall image. Resonance negotiates the tension and transitions between noise, patterns and emerging figurative elements that are wilfully injected and often extend far beyond the visible drawing space. Material from the kids (scribbles, self-drawn cards, favoured figures like Diddl mouse) and brief autobiographical hints are worked in over time. The rules of resonance and the currently active generative formula are themselves subject to erratic changes.

And evidently this is about a hole, or a dark object, or something.

There is a page on rugs linking to rug stuff proper.

Create your own print

You can download a TIF file (attention–10MB!) and get the rug printed at any digital print shop handling large paper sizes. You are free to print copies for your own use or for friends under two conditions:

  1. you will not sell prints
  2. you will respect that the output format of this work is 90 x 110 cm (you may add a white margin of whatever width you desire)
Last update: 18 October 2008 | Impressum—Imprint