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Flower Tongue, Reflection

Flower Tongue, Reflection

Flower Tongue is a series of robot-aided print works. The series was produced onsite at the WNDR Museum, Chicago in 2021. The project was sparked by an invitation from AppleButter Animated to utilize their robotic painting machines in an installation-based artist residency they dubbed Away From Keyboard


Flower Tongue took advantage of three autonomous robots, painting eight hours, five days a week. Produced simultaneously, side by side, the work confronted a roving audience with a slow motion conversation between two flowers playing out in real time. Evolving facial expressions painted stroke by stroke accumulated on each flower as their words trickled across the central panel. This was not communication at the speed of sound, but at the speed of image. 


This unique work was produced slowly, over the course of several days, as a steady stream of museum visitors percolated and passed by, encapsulating time in its material nature. 


For us, these works question what lies in the spaces between words, and in the millimeters between facial expressions. What is the actual material of communication? What if human communication is purely chemical like in plants, simply fluid in nature? Flower Tongue is an extension of our ongoing exploration of the nature of graphic communication and the graphic impulse. 

  • Specs

    By: Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi
    Date: 2021
    Media: 4-color screen print w/ unique robot-aided additions on coated paper
    Size: 24 x 24 inches
    Edition: 24, signed and numbered
    Technical notes: Robot development and programming by AppleButter Animated

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