If you have ever had the pleasure or the opportunity to work with handmade papers then this short documentary on the papermaker Gangolf Ulbricht will hit right at home. There is nothing like it. In contrast to so much around us that is easily disposable, the experience of handmade paper is transformative. It brings back memories of hours spent at the paper store, combing through hundreds of paper samples to find the right combinations of papers that evoked the experience I was hoping to create went felt in hand.
One of the beauties of 3d printing has been the opportunity to connect the digital with the physical world. With multilateral and soft material 3d printing, the digital made physical can move beyond the early ridged industrial physicality and into more organic and lifelike forms. Soft robotics is one example of this evolution in material and form. This micmacry and recreation of biological forms and movements creates a fascinting world of posibilites, such as Harvard’s biohybrid robotic stingray . Nicole Hone’s Hydrophytes is a series of soft bodies, multilateral 3d printed organisms that inhabit an imaginary aquatic world. Using Stratasys PolyJet printers Hone is able to create complex forms that incorporate materials of different stiffness, movable parts, and air chambers that, when animated in water, move and transform in realistic and lifelike ways.
I first came across Michael Flomen’s photograms and camera-less photography in the book “Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph” by Geoffrey Batchen. Of all the camera-less works Flomen’s large scale abstract images captured my attention. The quality and role of light has the same immediacy that a lot of photograms have but without the objective subject matter of most sun prints. The abstraction in his work, coupled with the scale of the prints ( 48 inches or more ), leaves fertile ground for imagination. The images are a direct result of the environment around him, water, snow, dirt and bugs. But that landscape can’t be fully resolved. So your mind is left interpreting the shadows.
Photography, as a medium, is often definitive. The camera reflects most often what we see, or think we see. With camera-less photography and Michael Flomen’s work in particular, the image reflects the mediums ability to capture light and reelect shadow, but demonstrates that the subject matter those shadows and light make up is anything but a clear reflection.
“Under The Cover Of Darkness”, produced by UMA, La Maison de l’image et de la photographie de Montréal
A short but wonderful video from Yosemite National Park on the experience of the parks soundscapes. As part of the park’s Yosemite Nature Notes ( Episode 29 ), park ranger Karyn O’Hearn and bio-acoustician Dr. Bernie Krause help us and other park visitors begin to hear again. I love the reminder that it is not silence you hear in nature, it is a symphony of sound, and part of listening is understanding and identifying those sounds.
Every time i turn on my recorder and go into the field, it doesn’t matter what the habitat is I discover something new… It’s all magical and informative and engaging and life affirming, and it gives us a sense of connection to our living world. Every study that’s been done indicates that even when we are unconscious of it, even when we deny it, that the stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure are elevated when we are in the presence of noise.
– Dr. Bernie Krause
I particularly loved the distinction between the sources of sound and the definition of noise. Anthropophony is human made sounds, some we control and others we do not. The sounds we don’t have control over that create noise. These are the sounds that often grate on use and wear us down. It’s a nice explanation of why i found soundscapes such a fascinating source of material.
The idea that the soundscape is worth protecting is really a new idea in the park service and how do we do that?… Whats does the soundscape sound like in a healthy Yosemite landscape.
It’s important that visitors have an experance of the soundscape and so it’s great that we are making efforts to protect that experience, thats very valuable to the visitor event though they might not be thinking about it. But if they came and didn’t hear the bird songs, didn’t hear the squirrels, didn’t hear the water, there would be something missing.
– Karyn O’Hearn
My interest in virtual reality has always been based around how the medium can be used artistically. A lot of the early exploration came through some form of interactive and immersive narrative, but the possibility for more has always been there. Today sculpting in virtual reality can take advantage of 3D modeling at a time of increased access to 3D printing options. With Google’s early release of Tilt Brush, free form 3D painting became a reality. As soon as it became available artists started creating with it, but they have also been limited by the inability to easily move those 3D models out of programs in preparation for 3D printing. The translation from model to print rarely being a one to one process.
Process and Medium
Artist and painter Jonathan Yeo has been on a similar path. Virtual reality sculpting through tools like Tilt Brush gave the classically trained artist the ability to explore sculpture in relation to the medium of painting. Using light field scans of his face for reference, Yeo could sculpt in brush strokes to build portraits that resemble his method of painting. Large blocking strokes brought to life in 3D space.
Working in the virtual reality gives a great deal of flexibility in the tools and process of creation. Combining the options available for outputting 3D models and the ability to translate the digital into the physical has opened an even wider arrange of materials and techniques. These process truly exemplify the exploration of process and medium, each allowing another stage of translation. In Jonathan Yeo’s case, the decision was made to render his ephemeral sculpts as 3D prints and then cast into bronze with the help of Pangolin foundry. In bronze, the sculpture finds its final translation in a material that imbues a sense of finality and permanence.
“As someone who has always wanted to work in three dimensions but never learnt how to do it in the traditional way, it is exciting to have helped create a new process which could probably best described as a hybrid of painting and sculpture. The reason to use self- portraiture was to demonstrate how you could employ 3D scanning to look at yourself in a way that hasn’t been possible until now. What’s exciting is that the combination of this, along with the latest virtual reality and 3D printing technologies, is potentially a new way of making sculpture and one that might inspire other artists from a range of disciplines to have a go too. I hope these pieces not only show how artists can make use of new technology in unexpected ways, but also offer a speculative glimpse of how we all might use them in the future”
– Jonathan Yeo
When Albrecht Dürer’s Triumphal Arch was produced between 1515 through 1517 it was one of the largest prints ever produced. The oversized woodblock print glorifying the military achievements of Maximilian I was created with 195 blocks and spanned more than 36 sheets. Combined it was 140.5 inches wide and 116 inches tall. It was one of Dürer’s most ambitious projects and still remains one of the largest woodblocks.
This video from The British Museum, details the painstaking work that went into restring and preserving this monumental work. They also produced some wonderful blog posts on the process it took to restore the work and what will go into eventually reassembling it again. It’s definitely worth the read.
700 copies of the first addition were made. The original print, when complete, was meant to be hand colored. While the version at the British Museum is uncolored it’s an imposing work none the less.