3D Printing, 3D Capture, and Opportunities for Design Custodians

Venus de Milo 3D capture by Cosmo Wenman (blue_medium)

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

Rejected LACMA Art + Technology Lab Grant Application

LACMA - The_Archetypes_Burst_In_x2_Cosmo_Wenman

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 LACMA staff members and was on the topic of 3D printing, 3D scanning, and opportunities for museums to use these new technologies to bring art to wider audiences.

The Lab has also recently revived LACMA’s Art + Technology grant program, which from 1967 to 1971 funded projects by artists such as Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol. The grant program’s goal is “to help artists take purposeful risks in order to explore new boundaries in both art and science” by supporting projects that, as LACMA puts it, “address issues at the intersection of culture and technology, provide opportunities for public engagement, and produce data, methods of models that might be of interest to other artists and technology developers.”

A few days prior to my presentation, I submitted a grant application for my project, The Archetypes Burst In, which would have put the concepts in my presentation into action. It would have, in my opinion, put LACMA on the bleeding edge of art digitization and publishing–as well patronage of 3D digitization of the arts–and would have had important, long-lasting effects.

My proposal was rejected along with around 450 others’. You can read about the five winning proposals here.

My proposal, submitted January 27, 2014:

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The Archetypes Burst In, Illustrated

LACMA - The_Archetypes_Burst_In_Cosmo_Wenman3D Prints by Cosmo Wenman at the LACMA Art + Technology Lab

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.

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Response to Original Venus de Milo vs. 3D Printed Copy

More noodling around with ideas and images for possible presentation at LACMA. This is a comparison of people’s response to the original Venus de Milo in the Louvre to their response to my 3D captured, 3D printed copy at the 2013 Paris 3D Printshow. The show was in the Louvre expo space, so my print was just a couple hundred feet away from the original.

I’m thinking that the fact that so many people are viewing the original through screens and taking photos undercuts the argument that there’s some essential, ineffable, supernatural awe involved in seeing the original, when really what people want is interaction, touch, control, and possession, all of which they get by mediating their experience with cell phones and cameras (for now).

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