A robot arm transcribes the bible.
This calligraphic writing Bionic arm is part of an installation by Artists Matthias Gommel, Martina Haitz, and Jan Zappe for an upcoming exhibition titled “Medium Religion” at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Their project is called “BIOS [Bible]” and you really have to see the video of the robot in action to appreciate how carefully its arm creates each letter form. The completed pages don’t look computer driven or overly symmetrical. If I didn’t know better, I would think this was created by a master calligrapher. There must have been a lot of trial and error to get the writing to look as well as it does. I appreciate the slowness of the moving arm - it retains that careful and methodical feel of a true calligrapher.
The installation ‘bios [bible]’ consists of an industrial robot, which writes down the bible on rolls of paper. The machine draws the calligraphic lines with high precision. Like a monk in the scriptorium it creates step by step the text. Starting with the old testament and the books of Moses ‘bios [bible]’ produces within seven month continuously the whole book. All 66 books of the bible are written on rolls and then retained and presented in the library of the installation.
My apologies to all the calligraphers in the house if I’ve compared a robotic arm to a truly skilled calligraphers hand. We work with a calligrapher to personalize our albums and I have admiration for their skilled work.