I am Robert Balke and work as a designer and artist.
Besides many events and exhibitions I am planning the construction of two new drawing machines. This will be great! I will present them here soon.
the scaled Drawingmachine
This machine generates abstract drawings at 70 * 70cm by combination of four rotating swinging motions. Three motors control the pen via an aluminium arm construction and another motor rotates the paper. Depending on how these speeds harmonize with each other, different patterns or chaos arise. Each drawing is unique.
the traveled Drawingmachine
Together with Christoph we came up with the idea to build a drawing machine which we take with us on a bicycle trip through Italy. In 2016 this idea grew into a reality. A machine powered by the electricity we collect while cycling over hub dynamos. And which we then build up in the cities on the street and on market places and draw pictures together with tourists and locals. We financed this trip by selling the pictures and collecting donations.
Six weeks we drove from Sicily to the Alps with bicycle and drawing machine through Italy and got to know country and people.
Time-lapse video of the creation of a drawing
Short explanation of the drawing machine in an interview
Since mid 2018 I have started to go with this machine to art and design markets to show my work to the people and especially to draw with them.
the origin Drawingmachine
During my communication design studies at the FH Aachen I started to deal with the topic of mechanical drawing. In a course by Prof. Oliver Wrede it was about transferring the possibilities of physical computing into design in an individual way.
first tests with Arduino – result was a fun drawing device
first tests with mechanical arm constructions
After some tests and many prototypes I built my first drawing machine at the end of this course. I also exhibited it here and there at the university.
I did a lot of very cool projects at that time but this one was much more interesting than the others. It has moved a lot in me and opened up new spaces of thought. I also found it special how the people at exhibitions confronted my creation.