Neubad Pool, Bireggstr. 36

During Weltformat Graphic Design Festival Neubad Pool will host Otto, Jürg Lehni’s chalk-drawing machine. The robot will be active at the opening ceremony, the symposium, the award ceremony Essence and Grafikbazar.

Otto is a scalable, robotic chalk-drawing machine, designed to work with conventional school chalk. In the quest for the poetic potential of machine gestures and computer-assisted expression, Lehni has conceived a series of machines and contraptions throughout the past 17 years, all based on related geometric principles (Hektor 2002, Rita 2005, Viktor 2008, Otto2015).

They each work with different tools originally conceived for handling by human hands, and deploy them to crate drawings in a sequence of often imperfect gestures with an almost human touch – a gentle and yet mesmerising spectacle. Behind their creation lies the urge to question computer-technology, its mostly standardised palette of tools and their influence on the artistic process and its outcomes.

At the festival Otto draws the series A Taxonomy of Communication, which Lehni originally developed in cooperation with Jenny Hirons for the exhibition Typeface to Interface at SFOMA in 2016.


Jürg Lehni