'Of the means by which the unconscious functionning of the mind can be made visible, line has become so completely normal and acceptable to human beings that its specific character is easily overlooked.
As soon as a reflective anthropoid had seen the trace of his passage in the mud or sand behind him, as soon as he had looked ahead in a direction in which he wanted to go, to send something or someone, the necessity to record the experience or intention in a readable fashion had arisen. And to drag or pull a point over a soft surface in order to repeat the trace of his passage, to drive a point against a hard surface in order to record his intention or project, were immediately available means of doing this.

Of the current methods of rendering visible the content of the unconscious mind and imagination, automatic drawing - without conscious control of the will - is one of the most valuable. Its use is less simple than might appear and involves certain dangers. The artist should familiarize himself with the content of his automatic image, and then forget it.' 8
But he cautions, 'only when the image is forgotten, only when the experience is assimilated by the unconscious process of recognition (and therefore thought), only then can the familiarity with the image that is now establised and as it were, impressed on the unconscious mind, contribute to real expression.---/' 8

'---/These experiments have been some of the most difficult to initiate. To our Western associates who are accustomed to strenuous voluntary action the total muscular decontraction needed is difficult to achieve. Although prepared to do almost anything our people had enormous difficulty with problems of undoing. With many we had very serious habits, prejudice, fear and consequent blocks to contend with.
It has often been necessary to demonstrate complete relaxation by inviting a beginner to take my hand and draw with it. It is then pointed out to him that only when his own hand can move with that same lack of resistance will he become capable of this action. For unconscious drawing (an expression preferred to the 'automatism' of the Surrealists) to have any emotive or affective content it has to be done under certain strict conditions.
Thus even if a fair degree of relaxation has been realized both a rapid action or a slow action, in fact any uniform speed of execution, would clearly defeat our purpose. Only the completely random change of speed, start and stop can permit any underlying unconscious image to appear. For this purpose the famous Ouija board is most valuable as, with a number of people working together, the result is concealed until the action is complete. It would be interesting to demonstrate that in such action one, and one only, of the participants is unconsciously directing the operation./---' 9

It might be even more interesting if those persons employing the Ouija board were considered, not to be surreptiously directed by one but by the collective unconscious, their deviations leading to one meaningful movement.
'---/ To return to the random action it is suggested to the newcomer that he draws as he speaks. While actually unsatisfactory this does have the effect of familiarizing him with discontinuous cyclic motion.' 9


'New Ways of Gravure', f ig 113, p. 230, section 18: 'Experimental drawing', Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1981
Unconscious drawing with filled in intervals at ratio 1:1 in a continuous but wandering line which somewhat distracts from its sheerly linear quality but which has a precise significance which will be developed later. One should notice the far more than random exact intersections of three or more lines indicating that there is an accurate but unconscious control functioning, not mere hazard. Sheer line drawing illustrates better the unconscious drawing unencumbered by filling in the intervals. Notice the number of precise intersections between three or more lines which would be very improbable following the 'laws' of chance.


from whose wandering lines a figure of a gesturing man might be extracted
In these unconscious drawings there lurks the possibilities of interpretation - or finding objects or persons or animals within it. In the unconscious drawing above there might be seen a sitting figure but this is according to one person's imagination. Another person might find other persons or animals which would appear or disappear and can be emphasized or let fade into their linear background. Then it might be this consciously invoked interplay between figurative and linear which could for a moment be changed for another point of view.
Are there forms emerging from the medley of lines which were not immediately present in the preceeding long lines but which result from sections crossing each other giving for example some type of ovals, sine waves or another geometrical possibilities?

In the practice of the Surrealists, figures arise mysteriously from this background. Then it becomes a conscious question of whether or not one wants to extract such evocative figures or whether one wants them to merge in the dynamic background. Thus the unconscious free lines with this specific control on them can become an expression of possibilities of both energetic forms and objects - various miraculous transformations and movements - making it not merely a line but a potential.
'---/(It is interesting to realize that in most languages we employ, unconscious drawing is referred to with a contemptuous diminutive. A psychological view might be that we feel the necessity of defending our ego against the menace of the irrational)./---'9

8 'The Expression of the Unconscious', S.W. Hayter,The Graphics. Emily House Gallery, Hempstead, New York, 1970.
9  'New Ways of Gravure', S.W. Hayter, Watson-Guptill Publications, section 17, 'Les Méthodes d'Enseignement à l'Atelier 17'. New York, 1981