With the goal of bringing interdisciplinary, data-driven tools to artists, my first step is to learn the tech myself and to create proof-of-concept artworks as demonstration examples, and then lead workshops for interested artist students about how they can use these tools in their own artistic practice.

Project 1: Agisoft Photoscan

My first tech exploration is the process of 3D photometric scanning using Agisoft Photoscan, and then 3D print a sculpture based on manipulations of that scan. I thought this would be a good transition tech for artists since it is so visual and deals with real-world applications where big-data and similar tech seem abstract and untouchable (at first).

My first artwork will conceptually explore how 3D printing and scanning fit into the art/craft dialectic and how gender roles are defined. Traditionally, “craft” has been assigned primarily to the female gender, especially decorative and soft-material crafts like embroidering or floral arranging. Men have engendered hard craft, using materials like wood and metal that have practical uses. With the advent of at-home production using complex and technical 3D printers, men have traditionally dominated the genre for whatever reason. Now, in a role reversal, 3D printers on the consumer level are overwhelmingly known to create either parts for building and engineering, or decorative trinkets and gadgets.

Using a craftbook from the 1970s written specifically for “housewives with leisure time,” I’ll recreate one of the projects using new technology. Specifically, I’ll 3D scan a foam egg carton, then in the computer attempt to use the virtual modeling tools as if they were real-world tools to follow the steps in the book to create a decorative peacock. The result will be 3D printed and highlight the mutations that occur from multiple role transpositions and translations.

Future posts will outline the process.