“One of those two Zippo lighters was in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pocket when he was assassinated. And one wasn’t. One has historicity, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object ever had. And one has nothing. Can you feel it? … You can’t. You can’t tell which is which. There’s no ‘mystical plasmic presence,’ no ‘aura’ around it.” —Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle
I’ve put together this Pinterest board collecting photos people have posted online of their 3D prints of the 3D scans I’ve published online. Over 100,000 downloads to date, and countless prints all over the world. I’d venture to guess that the 2,500-year-old Acropolis Kore 678, for example, has only ever taken physical form in Japan as a 3D print of my scan.
“Although he is now a god, he is still the same lovable young man we’ve always known. I can attest to that. And to enable his relationships with all of us to continue exactly as they were, he has decided, for convenience, to retain his mortal form. Oh and by the way his sister Drusilla’s become a godess. Any questions?” —Macro, in the BBC’s I, Claudius
In early 2014, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) opened its new Art + Technology Lab, and invited me to give its very first presentation. My talk was to a diverse cross section of 50 or so LACMA staff members and was on the topic of 3D printing, 3D capture, and opportunities for museums to use these new technologies to bring art to a wider audience.
I’ve published an online adaptation of my presentation here: 3D Printing, 3D Capture, and Opportunities for Design Custodians
My client asked for a life-sized 3D printed portrait of his colleague, venture capitalist Brad Feld. Because the portrait was to be a surprise gift to Feld, there was no opportunity to scan the subject. The piece had to be modeled from photos of him culled from the web.
I proposed a bust, roughly from the shoulders up, with classical allusions, but I was vague about the details beyond that. The final design references the Artemision Bronze, Leighton’s An Athlete Wrestling with a Python and a few other sources.
I took a risk and bet that they’d like something other than a standard chairman-of-the-board type treatment. And what’s the point of having rock & roll hair if you aren’t going to do the whole heroic barbarian-warrior-champion-god thing when you have your life-size 3D printed portrait done?
This is the result.
This kind of remixing is just one small reason the world’s back catalog of public domain sculptural artwork should be digitized and published, freely, and without restriction. More on that front soon…
LACMA hired me to give their new Art + Technology Lab its very first presentation, on February 3, 2014. It was a private presentation to approximately fifty of LACMA’s staff, including curators, asset managers, and fundraisers, though at my request they allowed me to invite a journalist.
My talk was billed as a “3D Printing Demo,” but I went for more.