Marcel Schwittlick is a Berlin-based artist who creates artworks exploring the cybernetic aspects of generative systems and modern technology. His multidisciplinary practice combines digital and analog media to examine the intersection of art, technology, and philosophy.
Marcel’s works often incorporate generative art, a form of art created using algorithms and computer code. His algorithmic methods and machines generate intricate, geometric patterns that explore the boundaries between chance and intention, control and randomness.
Another area of Marcel’s practice is plotter art, which involves using vintage plotters to create precise and intricate drawings. In his plotter art, Marcel uses the machine’s limitations and quirks to his advantage, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and creating unique works highlighting the interplay between machine and artist.
Schwittlick’s fascination with plotter art began during his teenage years when he learned about Frieder Nake and Manfred Mohr and started learning Processing, mainly working with lines. Next, he studied computer science and art and media, which helped him build his own algorithmic methods and machines, leading to a DIY plotter.
In a recent interview with Mimi Nguyen, he shared his approach to art-making, including his preference for the physicality of paper and his use of plotters in his practice. His latest series, Composition #83, is a departure from his previous works with plotters, with 512 by 512 dots and 262,144 pen plotter hits. The unpredictability of the plotting process adds a unique aspect to the works, even when the artist strives for accuracy.
Schwittlick’s approach to using randomness in his work has roots in generative art. He uses different aspects of lines he has recorded over the years and filters them based on parameters like entropy or travel distance. He wrote the code in Python, and it’s capable of rendering on various machines and papers. The lines are different depending on the mouse used and are hand-drawn but digitally sampled, recorded with enough detail on a 4k screen, and then transformed back onto paper.
Schwittlick’s plotters are more than just tools for his art, they are an integral part of his creative process. The machines produce unique sounds as they draw, providing a distinctive and enchanting auditory experience that is integral to his work.
Marcel’s ongoing exploration of digital culture and its impact on society is a vital aspect of his creative vision. He seeks to create alternative means of communication and expression by forging connections between traditional and modern approaches.
In 2014, Marcel earned his B.Sc. in Media Computing from HTW Berlin, where he conducted extensive research into the technical properties of digital media. He continues to expand his knowledge and skills as he pursues Art & Media studies at the University of Arts, Berlin.