Roxy Paine

Auto Sculpture Maker, 1998

A close cousin to the artist's 1997 painting machine 'Paint Dipper' , this automated production-line fabricates blob-like sculptures that are carried along on the slowly-moving conveyor belt until they unceremoniously fall off onto the floor. Extruded thermoplastic is programmed to be alternately heated and cooled until it achieves a specific height. Then, it shlumps as gravity would have it. So much for control...

Judging from 'Auto Sculpture Maker' and 'Paint Dipper', the viability of gestural self-expression is in question here. The 'hand' is abandoned in preference for objects that are remote from self-identification. This distance also obtains to the artist's natural tableaux: their convincing realism shows craft and concept, but little trace of the individual.