I’m Paul Rickards. When I’m not rescuing and repairing abandoned vintage electronics, I’m spending time writing generative code to create artwork using vintage pen plotters. Drawing on the influence of early pioneers in 1970’s computer artwork such as Nees, Noll, and Molnár, I’ve spent over three years refining software for vintage plotters. I write Python programs that explore algorithmic art in many different styles, ultimately plotting selected works to paper with these obsolete machines. There’s something so absurd and inefficient about a pen plotter, but it’s quite mesmerizing to behold a robot wield a pen to paper. Even though plotters are mechanical devices, variations in ink flow and subtle cumulative errors occur during the printing process, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces of art that resemble imperfect works created by humans. Learn more about where you can see my works in person.
I own over 20 different types of vintage pen plotters. I choose the plotter that suits the design based on the design, paper type, paper size, plotter speed, and pen types. Most of my pen plotter designs are drawn with the HP 7585B and HP DraftPro DXL A0 wide format pen plotters. These two plotters are very flexible in the type of paper and plotting speed which make them ideal for small and large plots alike. Learn more about the plotters and the process.
I hope you find a work that resonates with you. I’d be honored for you to display it in your home.