ASCII trace to JHBwwLitaneiwwZirkularwwGrünRauschwwRiemannwwDrahtschafwwSteinbockwwKindler

A (categories)
Pencil on paper
35 x 45 cm, 2015
B (contents)
Pencil on paper
35 x 45 cm, 2015
In 1961 Nuneaton Museum purchased a sculpture by Julian Henry Beck, an artist and engineer. This sculpture has since gone missing and all that remains is the truncated accession record* (see image below). My version of the missing sculpture, ASCII trace to JHB, is based literally on the record text, translated from signs into lines.
Probably Julian Henry Beck (JHB) was watching a lot of growing processes and natural structures in his garden. I assume, that the artist found a walnut trunk there, but it took several years of considering and daydreaming, before he could decide, which kind of rectangular form he might gain from it.
My meandering drawings simulate the artist’s process of imagining his sculpture (before actually creating it). They follow a clear concept: by computer, I convert the accession record picture back to text, and translate the text into ASCII code. Thus, every letter, digit, or control character becomes a specific number, e.g. „A“ 65, „a“ 97, or <Space> 32. I simply use them as values of length (in mm) for the pencil lines. The two parts of the accession record, categories (left side) and content (right side), lead to two drawings.
The general idea of my drawing processes is, that all lines are connected. Here, the first execute statement says, that the first line starts at the midpoint of the paper, and that at its endpoint the second line starts angled at 90°, and so on. The second rule says, that all the lines shall be directed back towards the centre. It turned out though, that all the 599 respectively 371 lines are too long, too short, or too far at the outside to meet the midpoint again. The rectangular lines dance around the centre, and form an equivalent structure to annual rings.
The contrast between precision and haziness of my drawings refers to the accession record and its contrast between given and ungiven informations. Julian Henry Beck seems to exist virtually as the alter ego of all persons participating this project.
* Curator Jo Gane
origin: accession record Intermediate step: conversion text to ASCII (Detail)

If Julian H. Beck was a notional person, I felt free to make up the "true" reasons why his sculpture No.25 disappeared from the museum. If you think, that I should not fantasize about the life of people who did (or still do) exist in reality, please do not read more.