Material and Narrative Explorations with Plotter Art

Angelica Bonilla Fominaya (2021)

In this project, Angelica wanted to explore different facets of plotter art, from human interactions with the plotter to generative comics, video processing, and printmaking. 

Coms’t Thou is a generative comic book that utilizes web scraping, image processing, and Markov chains to construct surreal narratives. 

No Hace Mucho (Not So Long Ago) is a series of plots created through the processing of historical images of 19th-century Colombia. 

Liminal Space is a collection of images created through human interactions with plot drawings created using reaction diffusion. The plot drawings were used as a base to construct evocative illustrations that attempted to see “the drawing that exists behind the plot”. 

The Object (Comic) takes the same ideas Liminal Spaces utilized and translated them into a narrative comic format. 

Un Violador En Tu Camino examines the material expansions of plotter art into printmaking in conjunction with the exploration of social movements and feminist history in Latin America. 

There were two main topics that the artist researched and integrated in the Un Violador En Tu Camino

  1. Examining how movements spread and communicate within the context of Latin American feminism. 
  2. The intimacy of printmaking with its purpose in spreading information, and how it could be integrated with algorithmic processes as a bridge between two languages.

Angelica analyzed hundreds of videos of modern-day protest performances in various Latin American cities, many of these performances utilized simple choreographies and lyrics that allowed for easy transmission of the movement itself. These videos originated as a response to various global issues for women, from femicide and rape to the treatment of women online. The artist found that the transmission of information in each video was evocative in the same way prints and written pieces that kickstarted social movements were evocative. 

 The artist made different types of text generators, from Markov Chains to Tracery grammars and traditional generative text methods. By iterating this process, she began to focus more on the lyrical quality of specific videos, “I kept coming back to ‘Un Violador En Tu Camino’ (A Rapist in Your Path) by Chilean collective Colectivo Las Tesis. This video was incredibly striking to me by the raw power it had in mobilizing people and enacting change, despite being a simple (non-violent) communal performance.” As such, she sourced videos and text from this specific work and moved the project towards an adaptation of this video removing the use of generative text. Using the traditional composition in printmaking, she decided to frame each print as a work of art, with the lyrics presented as a title in an editorial print. These prints then got converted into a gif, recontextualizing them in a digital space. 

This project was made possible by Frank-Ratchye Further Fund Grant #2022-012.