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Drawings of the Machine Spine Corporation

I started making these drawings in my sketchbook around 1998 as I sat on the windowsill in the long narrow hallway of our first Brooklyn apartment. Seated next to the airshaft, I would draw interconnected parts down the right side of a page. One night I noticed the machine I was drawing reflected in the dark window, and it seemed to come alive. The drawings came together to form the Machinespine Corporation.

I draw in ink without corrections because I want the drawing to have an organic beginning. No rulers, templates or computers. I draw from my intuition, which seems to lie somewhere between technical illustration and cartoons. A lot of drawings sputter out or never make the final cut.

The finished drawings are scanned and reflected in the computer. The resulting bilateral symmetry begins to anthropomorphize them, and at this point they acquire a gender. I then project these images and trace them by hand on large sheets of heavy paper. At human scale they develop separate and distinct personalities, and after consideration of their qualities, I assign them to positions in the corporation. Over time, these positions might shift as new entities are incorporated and different qualities emerge.

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