too soon, too much, too good

The works of the Berlin artist Marco Reichert are abstract and yet still have a figurative character. One might suspect an abstracted face or a fingerprint behind the forms consisting of many individual lines in the center of the picture. This phenomenon is called pareidolia and results from unconscious or conscious misinterpretations of the human brain, which try to complete seemingly incomplete structures and assimilate them to familiar forms. The effect can be perceived by several people at the same time. However, Marco Reichert is not interested in the figurative image, but focuses on the construction of different surfaces. The origin of his works is not exclusively painterly, as there is a technical aspect, especially the field of computer science. In this way, the artist creates a link between different focal points, since Marco Reichert began studying computer science in 2001, but switched to art studies in 2004. Reichert uses the LIDAR technology of his smartphone to scan surfaces, such as that of a forest floor, to capture its organic structures. The scanner emits light beams that are invisible to the human eye in a grid of points and simultaneously records the reflections, making it possible to create a 3D model with depth information. With the help of a self-programmed computer program, the artist creates from the graphic a map with hundreds of thousands of points in coordinates, which a robot can traverse in two axes. The program has no artificial intelligence, but only calculates the path that the machine should follow. The paint is applied to a canvas already painted by Reichert by means of a painting tool constructed by the artist. In contrast to the drawing machines of Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), which were first created in 1955, in Marco Reichert’s work the actual work is not the apparatus, but the painting created by it. Through the process of transferring several layers onto the painting surface, different structures are created on the surface which build on each other, this leads to the machine making mistakes when drawing the lines. Gaps appear or the diameter of the contour is irregular. These errors are intended by Marco Reichert, as the machine process thereby appears more natural and the overall picture more organic. The machine is meant to surprise the artist – failure is seen as an opportunity for further development. If the result were perfect once, there would be no reason to repeat the process or even create a series from it. Even with the intention of duplicating a map, the result would be different, since the variable of the error quotient always leads to deviations in the lines, thus creating a unique character. However, Reichert deletes all digital information of a work after its completion, so that no duplicate can be created. The individual lines do not take up much surface area on the canvas, but that is precisely why the optical impression as a whole unit is all the greater. Marco Reichert also refers to these as Destroylines, a term from the graffiti scene referring to the destruction of a picture by long drawn-through lines. In fact, a destructive process also takes place on the canvas via the machine. In the rare case, the artist must intervene and work calmly against the chaos. Finally, Reichert paints over the work with coarse and expressive brushstrokes or with fine strokes specifically in some places with a contrasting color, so that above the machine product still stands the artist’s handwriting.