It has begun: an artist has given a robot a taste of human blood.
Brooklyn-based Ted Lawson (website NSFW) has created Ghost in the Machine (blood robot selfie), a robotic printer that uses human blood as ink. Presumably any human blood would do, but for the purpose of his artwork, Lawson has used his own, hooking himself intravenously to the print head so it can draw blood from the source while it prints a picture. This also prevents the blood from coagulating.
The image itself is a life-sized, nude portrait of the artist, not drawn from life via camera (which would be pretty cool), but pre-programmed -- meaning the CNC printer could possibly be adapted to create other images in its dot-matrix style.
The video of the printer in action (below, NSFW from 1:43) shows Lawson sipping juice to replenish his blood sugar -- the process seems to take quite a while.
"I'm generally not into doing selfies, particularly nude ones, but when I came up with the idea to connect my blood directly to the robot (CNC machine), it just made too much sense to not try one as a full nude self-portrait," he told AP.
"In this series I'm really just trying to make a good drawing, which requires a lot of process and spontaneity to achieve. I do consider these works to be drawings and not prints, in that I allow the robot to make certain mistakes or leave in certain glitches on purpose."
The finished print will be on display as part of Lawson's solo exhibition "The Map is not the Territory" at the Joseph Gross Gallery in New York City from September 11 to October 4.