Thursday, March 22, 2007

Art 300 Metaproject

I have been working with Elona Van Gent's Advanced Studio Art students at The University of Michigan's School of Art & Design.

We have been exploring what ‘sophistication’ might be when applied to the use of 3D computer technologies. As a starting point I presented some results of a survey of practitioners I conducted which suggested that the folowing are important:

• The cognitive and technical exploitation of the software, hardware and processes of 3D computer technologies to ends which are not obtainable (or could not be done as effectively) by other means.

• ‘Sophisticated’ objects produced in this way have new aesthetic qualities that transcend the conventional applications of straight modelling and production, moving beyond mere, gestural form-making.

• Use of these technologies becomes ‘sophisticated’ when there is a fluid engagement of ideas, model and output - beyond merely employing the technology for its own sake.

The group was asked to develop a new, three-dimensional object from the creative combination of ‘found’ 3D objects downloaded from the Internet. This was not a modelling project - inventiveness in finding and using combining techniques were the main concerns. The objective was to combine objects, into a new, visually interesting and ‘sophisticated’ object. This was conducted over only 2 class periods. Creative play was definately encouraged. Each member of the group had 3 minutes to ‘pitch’ why their object was an example of ‘sophistication’.

I think we ended up with more questions than answers (always a good thing in my book) and a lot of new ideas that hopefully will help fuel future projects. The objects presented and the discussions that resulted made for some very astute observations and contrasting approaches and points of view. I hope that some of the objects get developed further.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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