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Drawing - P-18 (random walk)

P-18 (random walk)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1969/1970 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mohr, Manfred, born 1938 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plotter drawing on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd, London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3H, shelf 24

This plotter drawing was created using a computer program written by the artist. A plotter is a mechanical device that holds a pen or brush and is linked to a computer that controls its movements. Plotters were one of the few available output devices for computers in the late 1960s. Mohr began using computers in his art in 1968, and this is one of his earliest plotter drawings. The 'P-18' of the title refers to the particular computer program used to generate this drawing. From one program Mohr could produce a series of drawings. The V&A holds two other drawing that were also created from this same program (see V&A museum numbers E.115-2008 and E.200-2008).

In 1969, access to computers was difficult owing to their size and cost. Mohr applied to the Paris Institut Météorologique for permission to use their computer and plotter. It is likely that he created this drawing whilst at the Institute.

Mohr began life as an expressionist painter and jazz musician but in the 1960s began exploring geometric forms and moved towards a more objective, systematic way of working that anticipated his use of the computer. Mohr underpins his computer programs, or algorithms, with precise mathematical logic. The computer enables Mohr to create very complex algorithms which would otherwise be too difficult and time consuming for humans to process.

Physical description

Black and white plotter drawing on paper, mounted on board.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1969/1970 (made)


Mohr, Manfred, born 1938 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Plotter drawing on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Small black sticker with the number 21, attached to lower right side. Probably an exhibition reference number.


Height: 60.9 cm, Width: 54.6 cm

Descriptive line

Plotter drawing on paper, mounted on board, 'P-18 (random walk)', 1969/70, by Manfred Mohr.


Paper (fiber product); Ink


Plotter drawing


Drawings; Computer Art


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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