03/02 – 09/02

Project Proposal V2.0

Abstract/ Summary

Throughout my time at Art School I have had a fascination with representation and reproduction of reality and the intangible. This has been done through alternate methods both digital and physical. I have explored how things can be reproduced and reshaped into something much more fantastical. This comes from constantly seeing this in the world around me as we use computers to simplify every day tasks, and the drive to further use them to replicate the world around us. I want to focus on the idea of reproduction and how digital manifestation of physical and metaphysical objects or concepts can subvert their purpose or comment on their existence. Space is flowing between all elements, mental, physical and digital, and the relations these facets have is something which I want to open up within my own mind, and present as artwork. This clarification is where my work will exist and grow from. Where do objects belong? Does materialism extend beyond physical space? What are the prejudices of each facet of space?


Artists who influenced my thoughts and outputs are…

Daniel Rozin, Artist and Professor, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU, makes mechanical “mirrors” out of uncommon objects that mimic the viewer’s movements and form: http://www.smoothware.com/danny/

Nam June Paik – Korean American Artist. Considered founder of video art, electronic and computing pioneer in an artistic sense.

Michael Eden redesigning every day and historical objects through digital means to reprise them and glorify them: www.michael-eden.com/

Dries Depoorter mocks existing design, playing upon the futility of existence in many ways. Using existing technology, but subverting it to make it question the values it originally held: https://driesdepoorter.be/

Tom White, exploring how computers understand in different ways to ourselves. https://aiartists.org/tom-white Looking at tricking the machine due to its inability to detect the uncanny valley of objects which perplex us.

Critical Positioning

Everything within our world is part of reproduction and the re-making of itself. Evolution is the definition of this very process. Revolution also fits within this process, with ideas and physical things being reformed constantly and improved to fit the needs of our environment. Animals are a natural example of this with the entire history of life being a slow evolution of organisms. However evolution also happens rapidly in the way we create things in a man made rush for use within our modern society. Many of the constructed objects we created over the history of humankind have been reworked rapidly into the digital realm. I think this evolution is what fascinates me the most. 

I want to focus on this digital replication and how it has shaped us. Looking at recent things which have been digital replicated such as image and video generation, text processing and location mapping just to name a few. The artists I have referenced all recreate concepts within their own methods, and exploring their methods will develop my own. I want to explore digital reproductions which fit within our lives and consider if these are essential or not to modern living. Parody concepts within a digital environment playing upon the idea of unification of all things in our lives into digital form. Mental space also bewilders me and will be explored within these spacial experiments, with my own mind forming much of this inspiration. This is because out of everyones deepest thoughts, I have most contact with my own, in their ‘raw file formats’. Once thoughts are tangibly drawn out, they lose their essential fluidity, locked within their new found understanding. Escaping from this entrapment and representing intangibility in the rawest form possible is of extreme interest to me. Exploring bridges between space and how this alters and mocks reproductive tendencies, alongside attempting to tangibly reproduce metaphysical ideas will form the groundwork of my exploration. 


I want to explore a variety of methods of replication mainly focusing around digital ones, however also looking heavily into physical ones too. Processes such as casting, scanning, photogrammetry and 3D printing seem focal to the idea of replication in both physical and digital forms. Looking at the way we can shift through mediums and even though spacial facets, from physicality and digital even into the mental area of space. Methods which draw these spaces together (such as drawing from mentality). I may also explore machine learning using software such as runway to experiment within a kind of mental space. Getting a machine to tangibly and visibly think about images you provide to it is extremely fascinating both in a visual and conceptual way. 

Looking at recordings of sound and object and subverting or manipulating the way they are replicated or replayed is of extreme interest to me. I feel the work will be artistic in style aimed at a conceptually minded audience who want to question their own understanding of reproduction. I will try to uncover new methods using computers which I have not yet explored potentially developing my own completely original processes from the ground up. Physicality plays a large part in peoples respect for objects and their understanding of reproduction, so playing within this physical space people understand gains more traction in tangibly representing my ideas. I want to use 3D modelling heavily, alongside code and other digital media techniques, but not lose track of physical or analogue drawing and crafting methods as they are the origins of digital construction. The methods revolve around the liminal space between each facet that we currently regard, and reproducing items between these spaces to subvert and reconstitute them in uncanny ways.


What am I exploring at this moment:

What Reproduction does to the object?

What materialism means and what is it?

What creates attachment to object?

Why is the uncanny so intriguing?

Why is reproduction associated with flow and progression?

Ideas to continue exploring:

Cremating Objects and pouring them into vessels (to preserve their atoms)

(FURTHER) Negative space of objects (inspired by Rachel Whiteread)

Illusionary Forms of Nostalgia (akin to resonance home)

(FURTHER) Objects Blurred Together (like teapot head)

Looking through other animals senses (as reproduced space live, eg cuttlefish)

As I have been working a lot with 3D printing, I decided that I really wanted to both try and push the limits of the printing I have available to me, and explore the ideas of illusionary nostalgia, attachment to object and what reproduction does to an object.

In my first year at university in 2016, I took a very unclean scan of my flat which I have had since then. I have wanted to print this for a long time but have been unsuccessful in cleaning the scan enough to be able to print it. I decided to use this scan and attempt to print it as small and detailed as possible, using supports and perfect settings.

Above is the model after all the lose fragments and overly intricate pieces were removed from the scan. I then put this into makerbot software as seen and began to 3D print it.

The wheelchair and table came out extremely cleanly. I also managed to remove all the support material from under the table which I didn’t think I would be able to achieve. In the end I really think the eroded nature of the print works strongly in an aesthetic sense. It feels like a slice of a memory of a moment in time, especially due to all the specific objects which have significance to me included in the scan. Also the person sitting on one of the couches which really makes this model feel more momentary rather than just a simple model of a house detached from the space of time. This reproduced space has been held in digital form for 4 years and finally has been able to resume its position within physical space. A moment trapped in time perhaps, unacknowledged in digital form, but not in physicality.

Here you can see the casts of the future fossils which I was working on last week and th week before, photographed in the way which I planned. I wanted them to look like they had been found rather than produced. I think to some extent this worked. However they also are too light in colour to some extent, looking more like terracotta than rocks which have formed into fossils over time. also the crispness of the 3D printing texture while nice, takes away from this effect as well to some extent. I may use these casts to create a second set of the objects but try putting lots of extra pigment and dirt into the plaster. Overall the photographs convey the effect I was trying to create really well, but they are slightly too perfect in their uniformness which I didn’t intend for.

Image result for hieronymus bosch fish head
Image result for hieronymus bosch fish head
Image result for hieronymus bosch fish head

Hieronymus Bosch’s work is of extreme fascination to me. The surreal nature of the depictions is baffling, especially considering the time when they were created. They feel devoid of time, and have a message which has probably only become more accepted since their conception. In the 1400s when most of his work was created, it was so surreal and crazy that many people wouldn’t have accepted it at all. I enjoy it and link it to my own practice right now due to the uncanny nature of many of the depictions. They don’t maintain a specific tangible form, with many of the creates and objects merging between many different species or forms. They almost feel like some kind of runway machine learning feed in where animals in paintings have been given to a machine and it has tried to interpret them within its own understanding.

After my previous castings coming out quite terracotta in colour, I decided that I wanted to attempt to recast these. I added too much pigment this time, along with alot of dirt and gravel. This lead the plaster to not set properly, and the pigments to begin to separate within the plaster. Although this felt disastrous at first, after waiting for them to set, I took them out of the moulds, and they actually came out really stone like, although still overly dark because of how wet they are. The unmixed pigment provided the stone texture I was looking for, and the poor composition of the plaster lead the fossils to crack which added to the worn and aged feeling that I was aiming to convey, in a future reality where object culture has transcended the physical realm.

Continuing my explorations with 3D printing, I have been attempting to downsize prints which I have created before. Thinking about how I could make these into metal or even other materials. Testing the intricacy and detail which can be achieved with our studio printer is helpful in order to realise what I can actually print from it.

Here is a piece of code I created before christmas which was focused around this elevated status we give to materialistic tendencies and physical objects as a whole over digital ones. The code was already created to some extent and with some setup as shown above and some minor tweaks, the presentation works as shown in the video. This could work really well within a dark space for an exhibition. The projector shines through the bottom, with a camera capturing the colour from the side along with a light shining to allow the camera to detect colour. With some further alterations, such as a surface where the camera could actually be placed underneath the setup, allowing the light of the projector to actually illuminate the object could make this work completely finished so it could be presented in exhibition.

Face Detected by Dries Depoorter uses computers to recognise faces then gets the person modelling the head sculpture to stop as soon as a face is recognised. I like the idea of this, and want reverse engineer it in a way in order to attempt to make the head image from machine learning as shown above into a 3D sculpture. The fact that the face doesn’t exist, and a computer is again the factor that determines what is a face makes them conceptually similar, but I feel that the physical outcome could be very freakish.

Luncheon in Fur by Meret Oppenheim created in 1936 features one of the most humble objects, a simple teacup and spoon. However the texture applied, or material subverts the entire object completely. unusable and somehow feeling very high class, the objects purpose is ruined and highlighted at the same time.

Phyllida Barlow’s works possess a sense of extreme weight and an overpowering nature which is extremely intimidating to look at. However the actual forms are made of completely different materials to what you are being tricked into believing they are. I enjoy the way she subverts expectations within physical space, as I am trying to do. She uses deception, whereas I am using digital methods to employ my illusionary imagery.

Christian Boltanski creates work which are often vast in scale. I feel the way he has mass amounts of objects links heavily to the data structures we are so used to on our computers, but attempt to visualise this within the real world. This in some ways is similar to the Heidelberg Project I saw in december but his pieces are set out in forms much more similar to computer file structures but within the real world.