Anton Alvarez and His Machines for Making Art
In an exercise that both re-examines the methodology of making and also challenges the definitions of craft and design in their traditional sense, Swedish-Chilean artist Anton Alvarez has unveiled a new ceramics project titled Alphabet Aerobics, transforming the main gallery of the National Centre for Craft and Design in Lincolnshire, UK, into a working ceramics factory in the process. With Alphabet Aerobics, Alvarez, whose work has always been characterized by incorporating inventive systems, tools and processes for producing objects, takes a step further by introducing a new machine capable of creating ceramic sculptures without any intervention from the sculptor.
With Alphabet Aerobics, Alvarez continues to build upon the previous three years of his work that began at the Royal College of Art. The concept that started as a way to create a piece of work every day over 120 days has evolved into Alvarez’ Thread Wrapping Architecture project and the current Alphabet Aerobics exhibition. Using clay as a medium for the first time in Alphabet Aerobics, Alvarez questions the role of the artist in the creative process and allows his machine to take artistic control. Through the exhibition, Alvarez’ machine will produce one new sculpture every day and offer a dual opportunity to witness the creation and exhibition of works at the same time.