Google Drawings

For this series of 80 drawings the artist uses Google to find pictures on the internet. He keys in a word or a combination of words, specifying a colour or a type of picture if necessary.

Results of a Google search are usually straightforward, but they can be weird or seemingly illogical, too. It is this unpredictable aspect of the search that the artist wants to use. From what the computer offers him, he chooses a picture he likes, draws it on paper and writes the search term in the margin. He then keys in a second, third, etc. term, which results in more pictures and images he can choose from, until he feels the drawing is complete.

For Hendrickx the drawings do not need to have any logic or deeper meaning. The final outcome entirely depends on what Google delivers – then ‘the drawing gets drawn’ and it is what it is. Both in the selection of his search terms and of the pictures, the artist reserves the right to be just as (il)logical, associative or impulsive as Google itself. This technique reminds us of the ‘automatisme psychique’ and ‘écriture automatique’ the Dadaists and Surrealists used about a hundred years ago. They wanted to banish the control of reason from their art and let the subconscious take over. As André Breton put it: ‘The Surrealist does not think anything up, he finds everything’. The difference with Hendrickx is that he does not find the material for his drawings in his subconscious mind, but on the internet. (2014 – 2015) (iv)