Invited Distinguished Professor:
Gabriel Esquivel, Studio Professor
Stephen Caffey, Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture History and Theory Texas A&M University
Team: Adam Wells, Christian Stiles, Luis Fernando Muňoz, Kendall Slaughter.
Our process begins with a collective of objects created from models downloaded off the internet for free, (You can see some of the models in these images on either side, which include characters, animals, architectural objects and other miscellaneous pieces.)
These objects were used in a subtractive Boolean process that we term “data weathering” on a set of six initial blocks.
That is to say the structure of a digital mesh model is composed of a series of polygons, the Boolean process deteriorates the original data structure of the model leaving in its place a new polygon system creating variations in texture, voids, and abstracted architectural space.
These new objects are translated to the physical world via 3d printing, where again the model must restructure its data system by translating polygons into layers of gypsum powder.
This re-structuring results in breaks, softer edges, and an overall loss in articulation.
Although we recognize the disparities between both models as an act of ruination, we also see this moment as an act of creation and edification of a new object.
These prints were then taken through a sequence of mechanical deterioration, physically chipping away reducing the material.
Converting these pieces back to the digital through photogrammetry resulted in an exponential growth of polygon data.
Both previous processes of 3d printing and mechanical deterioration resulted in a loss of physical material, but the photogram program could no longer read any hard edges or large flat surfaces, forcing the software to compensate by constructing an object with a dense polygon structure.
These photogrammed models were then moved and reorganized to form a larger object and additional polygon data was added making physical connections between each block.
This new object was CNCed out of Styrofoam, again switching the data structure and material.
Because of the machine restrictions on the 3 axis CNC, each block was forced to be cut into multiple pieces and reconstructed.
It is necessary to outline the entire process as each step represents the creation of new objects that can be viewed as a collective, which Adam will talk about further.
We also began to borrow ideas from Object Oriented Onticology. We define pivotal moments in the process as translation from the digital world to the physical world and from the physical world to the digital. (As Luis mentioned, these moments would include the initial digital model being 3d printed, the 3d print photogrammed back to the digital, and going back to the physical world through the CNC. These translations are not merely previous iterations of the former object or representations, they mark the creation of a new object through a restructuring of data, material, and formal qualities. Thus the typical notion of a linear process as well as representation is ruined, leading to a collective of objects, each able to stand as its own autonomous entity. (We’ve displayed this in these images here and here, showing the initial figures we gathered from the internet, pieces of the CNC model, as well as entire blocks at different phases during the process, all objects equal and on the same plane).
The final drawings and images displayed follow this logic, using a process that we’ve termed the decollective, using a digital tear to create a new object formed from the collective. (looking at the 3 images on either side, they are composed of the initial data structure of the first model, images of the 3d print and CNC, as well as the data structure of the photogrammed model and the final render. The Exterior views, close ups and sections argue this same point using this digital tear to display multiple objects from the collective. Through all of this we’ve created a procedural post digital scenario. The final images are all different variations of the collective becoming objects themselves. They assert no sense of origin, context, or orientation. The CNC model displayed attempts to argue this point as it populated with figures varying in scale moving unrestricted by gravity or other physical forces.