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a digital sculpture realized with the help of
The first idea of this digital sculpture came to me in 2006, for 2 reasons. First, because, in my opinion, an artist must look at his time with a lucid mind, and especially an artist who uses the tools of his time. There is an artistic tradition, that is not just in the Western culture, which invites us to contemplate "the spectacle of nature". But since the Industrial Revolution, this spectacle has changed! A Claude MONET today may well find plastic bags or cans of Cola in the flowery scenery! He would decide to remove these incongruous objects on his painting? Not sure!
The art and poetry have much in common. One of them is particularly to highlight what everyone has in front of the eyes, that everyone has got used to not see. In poetry, a word used in a strange place in the verse, restores its consistency that had been forgotten, or gives it another meaning. It's the same when an artist uses familiar images or objects, of which he disrupts the order and presence.
The irresponsibility and the cynicism with which the powerful people of our modern world are playing with our environment and our planet gave me a vision of a crumpled Earth, carelessly thrown into an ashtray - mapped by pictures of polluted sites, pictures that I found on Wikimedia.
I created with the FormZ software the first version of my sculpture, with in mind the idea of a levitating globe above the ashtray, because a friend showed me a new electromanetic levitating device, recently developed by a French inventor. But I was forced to conclude that, for the desired size, this system would be too expensive, and perhaps inefficient because of the weight of the crumpled sphere. Anyway, I called this work TERRORDURE / RUBBISHEARTH, using a word game that works equally well in English and French : TERRE + ORDURE <=> EARTH + RUBBISH .
I never abandoned the project, and a few years later, being always vigilant with respect to new 3D printing machines, I discovered the existence of the Mcor IRIS process. So I decided in 2012 to change the 3D model of the sculpture, and now using Rhino software, I added 4 feet to the "ashtray". These feet provide an intellectual precision at the work: they are mapped with the symbols of the major international currencies. The picture is clear: it is an outspoken criticism of the international financial system.
I must precise that the second version of TERRORDURE / RUBBISHEARTH has been specially created for the Mcor IRIS machine. First, simply because, as a digital sculptor, I want to see the possibilities of the new devices. Then, deeper, because this machine is more environmentally friendly than most other 3D printers, insofar as it uses paper for building the parts. I think the technology is not incompatible with ecology, but it is unreasonable to defend respect for the humankind and its environment... with methods and materials that contribute to the pollution !
I had to wait almost 4 years before I can realize this work, because I could not find a reliable partner who owns the machine and who wants to support an art project. Finally, it is the company Mcor Technologies itself that became interested in this project, and has decided to make the sculpture. This was a great fortunate because the Mcor team did a very thorough job, very faithful to the 3D color file (VRML) of my work. The shapes are obviously correct, the color balance is good. My only criticism is about the density of black, not 100% complete. The ink absorbsion by the (white) paper could cause this slight problem of contrast, but it turns out that it is rather a matter of adjustment of the machine. About my work here, it's not an issue. Only the eye of the artist can detect such subtleties.
In general, one must say that the 3D color printing is confronted with the same problems as conventional printing. Color calibration is a headache! And the situation is not better with computer renderings/images/animations : each monitor or video-projector has its own color temperature, luminosity, contrast, etc. (By the bye, this problem is usually ignored by the promoters of video/digital art, among others). Moreover, specially in the case of a materialized sculpture, lighting conditions also play an important role - even if the work is monochrome. To return to the 3D printing of a color digital sculpture, we must mention one last point: the surface finish, ie, in this case, applying a varnish. Whether matte or glossy, its main quality must be to protect the colors without dulling them.
Here we address a particular point relating to works of art: the designer or the architect usually don't care about the life of models they produce - simply intended to validate a concept. On the contrary, the artist wants a permanent object, not crumbling, not falling apart, not losing its radiance in a few months or years ! This is a true challenge for 3D printing, and we hope that the Mcor IRIS process will be successful in this field.
The special needs of the artist make fruitful collaboration with research and industry. I think we need more artists in the R & D offices ! The process Mcor IRIS, used for my sculpture TERRORDURE / RUBBISHEARTH is satisfactory for me. It may encourage other artists to try it. Some will say this is a marginal use of industrial machines: big mistake! Race cars, haute couture creations, innovations elitist, they all ends up to generate or to improve the usual objects of our everyday environment.
Christian LAVIGNE, March 2016.
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