There is something fascinating about watching an artist in action, seeing the cogs turning in their mind as they make the connection between some elaborate thought and the blank page they work on. Maybe that is why live art has taken off so successfully in the last decade.
A new exhibition at the Riflemaker Gallery in London by artist Graham Fink is taking the power of the mind to a new level, as Fink creates intricate portraits with no pen, paint or paper, but just his mind and a blank computer screen.
The exhibition, Drawing with my Eyes, uses custom eye-tracking software to transform Fink’s gaze from virtual thoughts to a physical medium. The software shines infrared light into the eye and uses algorithms to translate movements of the eye into lines on screen, creating sketchy imagery. Fink stares at a blank computer screen and out of nowhere lines start to emerge, forming emotive facial characteristics and moody sketched images of faces and figures that exist purely in Fink’s own mind and imagination.
Graham Fink claims he was always preoccupied with the faces you see with your mind’s eye. Those intriguing characteristics you spot in rocks, clouds and objects throughout your life. It seems we always have an urge to humanise inanimate objects, and Fink had always wondered if it would be possible to put these virtual images that follow us everywhere we go down on paper in an interesting way.
Fink claims that the real skill here is to completely clear your mind. The medium requires a lot of trust in your own subconscious to stay focused and a strong belief in yourself that the image will materialise as you let your mind wander. After all, faces are everywhere we go and possibly one of the most lasting and impressionable images we ever encounter, and now the technology is here to enable us to realise these images.