Open Sesame: Art, Books and Objects

Tristan Perich: Machine Drawing

Open Sesame and the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound are pleased to present Tristan Perich's Machine Drawings from May 26 to June 4, 2016.

The Machine Drawings—pen on paper or wall drawings executed by a machine that I designed and built—employ randomness and order as raw materials within a visual composition. I see randomness and order as occupying opposite ends of a continuous spectrum, and I use them to dictate the immediate motion of the pen. Varying the level of randomness—the probability the pen will change direction—produces the difference between straight lines or dense frenetic motion. While the motors' movements are the result of code precisely executed by machine, the final drawings come from the motion of pen on surface, and are wedded to effects from the physical world: the ripple of the string connecting pen to motor, the gradual depletion of ink, the texture of the paper. It is this balance between code and physics that excites me most, since the drawings couldn't be made without the code, and the code needs to be realized in the physical world in order to be more than a set of instructions.

—Tristan Perich

About the Artist

Tristan Perich is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics, and code. His award-winning work coupling 1-bit electronics with traditional forms in both music (Active Field, Observations) and visual art (Machine Drawings, Microtonal Wall) has been presented around the world, from Barcelona’s Sónar festival and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, to MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and bitforms gallery in New York.

Perich’s 1-Bit Music (2004) was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live. The Wall Street Journal wrote of his 1-Bit Symphony (Cantaloupe, 2010), "Its oscillations have an intense, hypnotic force and a surprising emotional depth." Perich’s compositions for soloist, ensemble, and orchestra have been performed internationally by ensembles including Bang on a Can, Calder Quartet, and Eighth Blackbird.

Based in New York, Perich studied math, music, and computer science at Columbia University and received a master’s degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

get the latest info on sales, exhibits & events