On impulse I sent a last minute entry to the Lumen Prize 2016. See lumenprize.com. This will also be my first year MA exhibition piece this July.
Sample Touch Narrative (extract)
METAMORPHOSIS: Artists Terence Quinn & Vanessa Abreu (life model)
Look, Touch and Listen and you will be entranced by the humanity in this digitally created touch narrative physical artwork.
The underlying concept of ‘Metamorphosis’ is ‘Giving the Model a Voice’, an artwork of a life model that is substantially influenced by the artist’s muse as well as the artist, and includes the model Vanessa’s narrative in her own voice. This is in stark contrast to the usually silent life model setting and resultant work. Vanessa is a Laban MA trained contemporary dancer and choreographer, who started life modelling after she damaged her knee. She now models for the Royal Academy (the Royal Drawing School). The work tells Vanessa’s story in two linked contrasting sculptures that play her narrative when either is physically touched. The ‘concept of the gaze’ is thus confronted by the viewer interacting with the work, which humanises Vanessa’s nude images resulting in her quiet and emotionally evocative voice dominating the viewer’s attention rather than the visual. Their focus is now listening to her story unfold – “I started modelling because I was stressed”. The technology used is invisible to the audience as it is hidden within the sculptures which will be mounted on two transparent plinths set side by side.
The very latest digital methods (accessible to a UAL first year Fine Art Digital MA student) were used to make a full body 3D scan of Vanessa in a nude dance pose in traditional (Rodin) style and then 3D printed to make a 75cm tall plaster sculpture. The 3D print also became the starting point for the contrasting 5000 year old lost wax casting process, to make a very different hollow bronze bust of Vanessa as though she was an ancient industrial artifact recovered from the sea – representing her ‘distress’ and ‘stress’ over the period when her career suddenly changed through force of circumstance.
3D Scan (part)
Tidying up and Re-topologising the scan to 1M Polygons using ZBrush – Thank you to my friend Nick for the much needed assistance with ZBrush
3D Print preparation – Thank you to Bill Nicholson at CSM for your much needed assistance with a tool that only £8000 can buy!
3D Print (Sintering) in four parts – Thanks Bill Nicholson at CSM for letting me use your Digital Fabrication Department’s facilities
Mold made from 3D printed bust – Thanks Becky for all your help in the Plaster Room and the Foundry at Camberwell
Resultant Hollow Wax Model
Wax model shortly before making mold for Bronze casting
Into the furnace to make the mold for the Bronze Sculpture using the lost wax method (the wax model will be no more – leaving a void in its place into which the Bronze will be poured) – Thank you Becky
After Pouring the Bronze into the Mold
A Sculpture Student breaking his Bronze out of the mold (as I was at the same time)
Cleaning up the freed Bronze casting – cutting off runners (used to channel the molten bronze into the mold) and riders (used to release the air when the bronze is poured)
An Undignified End – After Jet Hosing
Making Voice Recordings
Editing the Narratives in Audacity (thank you Ed for the group lesson)
Programming the Bare Conductive Arduino Touch Board – Thanks CCW Digital for Collaborative Education and in particular Grzesiek Sedek at UAL Wimbledon for your patience and advice
The Touch Board and attachments hidden in the Sculptures – Thank you Grace Atlee MA Illustration for introducing me to BareConductive which gave me the idea in the first place
Clear Transparent Acrylic Plinths – Thanks Jake Biernat for the presentation which showed his work displayed in the same way – obviously I liked it
The End Result
HARDWARE & SOFTWARE USED
Occipital Structure Sensor attached to a mini iPad with retina Display with the cloud based App ItSeez3D
ZBrush to tidy up the 3D scan to increase the 3D image quality (re-topologise) from 200,000 to 1 Million polygons
3D Laser Sintering to 3D print the full body sculpture in 4 pieces which were then glued together and hand finished (because of part shrinkage during the printing process)
Lost wax casting to make the bronze sculpture from the 3D printed bust. The bronze alloy used was first tested to ensure that it was sufficiently electrically conductive.
H1 Zoom recorder to make two hours of recordings in WAV format on a micro SD card
Audacity software on MacBook Pro to edit the recordings to short narratives and convert to MP3 on micro SD cards for the Touch Booard below
BareConductive Touch Board (a derivative of the Arduino Leonardo) to provide the proximity sensing (without external sensors to the sculptures), Bluetooth capability to transmit the recordings wirelessly, with rechargeable Lipo battery and an overall size that would fit within the sculptures
Conductive paint brushed inside the 3D printed sculpture
Arduino Sketches adapted from Open Source options to increase the proximity sensitivy so that random narratives would be triggered by touching the external surface of the 3D printed sculpture (rather than the conductive paint itself which is inside an over 3mm thick non conductive plaster sculpture)
Two transparent acrylic plinths to confound the viewer as to how the artwork operates technically