Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rex Brodie - FDM Studies

This piece, Creative Synapse, is an off shoot of the Life Force sculptures. The more representational biology imagery was in part inspired by a TED video by Drew Berry. Berry creates scientifically accurate animations of the microscopic cells inside our bodies. Like scientist, artists can play a role in developing our understanding of the world by representing the intangible.

In her article, Image as Insight :Visual Images in Practice-Based Research, artist and art educator Julia Marshall talks about the connection between art and science through an analogy between the artmaking process and developing a scientific theory. Like a scientific hypothesis, the “art image” illustrates the artist “theory of reality.” Moreover she goes on to say: 
“artist are theorist; they question, observe, analyze, synthesize, and hypothesize as scientist do and shape thought into conceptual images, which are often metaphorical…art images manifest an individual artist’s hypothesis or interpretations of reality that resonate with others.” 
Part of my MFA thesis will explore Edward Hall’s concept of “extentions” and how human evolution has been accelerated by them. In his book, The Hidden Dimension he explains that : 
“By developing his extensions, man has been able to improve or specialize various functions. The computer is an extension of our brain, the telephone extends the voice, and the wheel extends the legs and feet.  Language extends experience in time and space while writing extends language.” 

He goes on to describe how humans have advanced these “extensions” to the point that they are “rapidly replacing nature” in our development.  Hall believes that we have created a “biotope,” a uniform environment that is “actually determining what kind of an organism we will be.” 

In Creative Synapse the digitally fabricated neurons are intended to represent computer technologies influence on our creativity and evolution. 

I started my sculpture by downloading an accurate 3D model of a neuron from the TurboSquid website. Like any object, existing 3d models are there for the taking to be appropriated for artistic proposes.

Using Maya, I then modified the size of some of the parts to increase their strength for the FDM printing … I became thoroughly acquainted with the insert edge tool.    

Through the creative use of the duplicate with transform tool (Shift+D), I created the composition for my sculpture.   

Since I plan to use the FDM parts in a sculpture, I separated the individual parts and suspended them in a 6x6x8 cage for printing. Hopefully the cage will help the delicate parts survive process. 

Although the plastic material for the neurons works conceptually with my current piece, I could definitely see this in a much larger cast version.

Update: 3/9/2012

3D printed part of sculpture.

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