Digitaterial Gestures: Action Driven Stererolithography


Session Title:

  • Computer Graphics and Remediation

Presentation Title:

  • Digitaterial Gestures: Action Driven Stererolithography




  • Attempting to reconcile a digital sensiblity with suclptural materiality steeped in the modenist legacy of “truth to materials” we can conceive of a form that is generated outward from its central core. At the center of which, the artist’s body is acknowledged as the performative instrument for production in a manner akin to action art of the 1960s and 70s in which “sculpture is recontextualised within an action” (McEvilley. 99).

    This paper explores the theoretical and technical implications of the MORST funded interdisciplinary collaboration between artist James Charlton and engineers Olaf Deigle and Sarat Singamneni to produce a close to real time 3D printer. Integrating motion capture software with real time 3D printing the colaboration is realising a system through which the perfromative gestures of the artist are taransalated into concerete form.

    The prototype system capable of produceing 1m2 forms is significant in that it effectively allows the artist to work hands-on with the mateirial digital, providing a sense of materiality central to other sculptural processes and eliminating the latency of conventianal 3D modeling that estranges the artist’s action and material output.

    Effectively this allows the artist/perfromer to “draw” a digital/material sculpture. The resulting non-representational forms should be seen as manifestations of the artist’s actions over time. Organic in their appearance, they hold the expressive intent of gesture mediated by technology that renders an embodiment of the artist, freed by technology from the constraints of physical materials.

    Central to this project is not simply the the development of a system capable of integrating of several contributory technologies – (4 axis CNC technology, FDM deposition, and CAD software)  but development of a system to capable of curved layer deposition. Conventional rapid prototyping technologies print in flat layers necessitating that two materials be printed to resolve overhanging features. The curved layer deposition process also demands a fast setting thermoplastic print medium that sets almost as soon as it exits the heated deposition head.

    The paper, co-presented by Charlton and Diegel will adress both the conceptual framwork and technical resolution of the process as well as discussing approaches to collaborative methodology taken.

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