Billy Friebele: Drawing the Temporal

Current Recorder

Time is difficult to see. It is constantly flowing around us, yet barely visible. I am interested in highlighting subtle temporal events that occur at the periphery of perception because they allow me to see my surroundings in a more dynamic way.

I am currently developing a series of drawing machines that respond to ephemeral changes in our environment such as human movement and wind currents. I collect antiquated or discarded objects and repurpose them as kinetic sculptures. They are triggered by digital sensors to make marks on paper in response to external stimuli. These drawings evolve in time with us, before our eyes, but only if we slow down and allow ourselves to be in the current moment.

Concurrently, I explore these themes through an interactive project entitled Walking as Drawing. Participants are given maps and asked to walk in the same area for a given length of time, thinking of their path as a drawing. I collect these traces and combine them into digital animations, prints and 3D models. I am developing an archive of contingent paths chosen in cities around the world, including Cuzco, Peru; Jatiwangi, Indonesia; Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; New York, NY among others.

Capturing ephemeral motion highlights the difficulty of a direct translation of temporal events into static form. Making the invisible rhythms around me visible gives an appreciation for the fluid nature of our interactions and the fragility of our existence.

Watch videos of drawings @:

Floating World:

Ice Drawing:
Current Recorder:
Walking as Drawing: 

Ice Drawing

Ice Drawing

Billy Friebele is an Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Loyola University Maryland. His artwork examines expanded notions of drawing utilizing digital tools such as GPS, microcontrollers, animation and kinetic sculpture. He received a Masters of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy from St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Past exhibitions include the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Katzen Arts Center at American University, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC. He has also exhibited internationally in Sarajevo, Bosnia; Jatiwangi, Indonesia; and Amsterdam, Netherlands, among other places. He is the recipient of the two-year Hamiltonian Fellowship for emerging artists, and is a current Maker-in-Residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC.