Free Idea

By Benoît Verjat (2014)

I got water felt pens. Since February 2013, I have been drawing my ideas and taking notes in color on more than 3500 loose A4 sheets. Faced with the difficulty of going through this large amount of paper, I followed the advice of a “Paperless Lifestyle Ambassador”: I bought a portable scanner that transfers the scanned drawings into the computer in real time and wirelessly. After developing a filing system, I could find again a digitized drawing easily, but the need to do so actually rarely arose. I wondered what to do with these patterns and wanted to try to create new ideas from these old drawings.

Using a homemade program that manipulates the mouse cursor in an image editing program, it was possible to separate the parts of a drawing by making it observe the white of the page. The computer took two full weeks to transform the 3500 drawings into over 100 000 pieces… In Free Idea, the user delimits an area on the screen that will automatically be filled with a piece of the correct size. If several candidates can fill the space, the piece is drawn by lot. The pieces of drawings can be moved and recomposed, but keep their original scale. Used in conference/performance contexts to illustrate or improvise a speech from drawings, Free Idea plays with the distance between purpose and representation to generate unexpected ideas.


Free idea was developed with the support of ICCA.