The News on Writing & Drawing at ICA London

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July 31, 2008. It may sound ambitious but A Recent History of Writing and Drawing, showing through August 31 at London’s Institute for Contemporary Arts, is an exhibition that explores the evolution of communication technologies and the changing relationship we have with them.

Created by programmer and designer Jürg Lehni and graphic designer Alex Rich, and curated by design historian Emily King, the show features a variety of interactive and non-interactive devices for writing and drawing. Lehni adapted ordinary software and small industrial motors to give life to a machine called Viktor that draws on the walls. Viktor’s illustrations will be made during regular Thursday evening lectures (by designers, artists and musicians who use these technologies to create their work) and remain in the gallery throughout the following week.

Other curiosities include a machine for creating hole-punched posters and a specially-adapted handheld printer. King, Rich and Lehni hope to make the point that, by now, these tools are not just expressive but can even produce the poetic – doing things their makers never imagined. Hal? Is that you?