The Reverse Turing Test
24” by 31.5” Hard ground etching, aquatint, CNC cut copper. Edition of 10
As a 15th-century art form, intaglio has gone pretty much unaffected by digital technological advancement. Many artists still use the same tools as Rembrandt and Blake. Some even fear futility in their efforts with machines that can engrave the same line long the domain of the Burin.
I wanted to make a piece around these concerns by using the CNC robotic router at Cornell. It can make engravings much cleaner and faster than a human hand. In staging a pseudo competition between human and machine, I created a complimentary etching done solely by hand. Juxtaposing early computer art of the 50s - 70s (primarily vector based, geometries and symmetry) with earlier Mesopotamian figurines subverts the viewer's expectations.
The final project has two plates (untraditionally) printed together so they can be understood in the same space and compete for the viewer's eye.