Hektor is a portable Spray-paint Output Device for laptop computers. It was created in close collaboration with engineer Uli Franke for Jürg Lehni’s diploma project at ecal (ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne) in 2002.
Hektor’s light and fragile installation consists only of two motors, toothed belts and a can holder that handles regular spray cans. The can is moved along drawing paths just as the human hand or old plotters would. During operation, the mechanism sometimes trembles and wobbles, and the paint often drips. The contrasts between these low-tech aspects and the high-tech touch of the construction hold ambiguous and poetic qualities and make Hektor enjoyable to watch in action
Hektor was created with a certain attitude towards design and the use of tools. Intuition played an important role in the search for a new output device that goes beyond the limitations of today’s clean computer, screen and vector-graphic based design and conveys the abstract geometries contained in these graphics in a different way than normal printers do.
The aim was to make a statement about design by providing a new tool to other designers and artists to experiment with, a tool with an inherently particular and distinctive aesthetic.
In this frame of mind, Hektor was used for many projects in different contexts over the past years, often in collaboration with other designers and artists. Making the technology available to others made Hektor a very lively project