Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Computational Sculpture Before 3D Printing
For my latest submission for rhizomedotorg, a selection of sculptural projects from the mid-60s onwards that employ the computer in the creative process.
As with all fields of the arts, the role of computing in the field of sculpture and form-fabrication is rapidly growing. 3D printing is the most obvious example, with its now familiar method of taking a 3D design file and producing a physical object to match, line upon line from the supporting surface upwards. Also, with the assistance of programmable electronics, installations of arranged matter can be maneuvered into various forms and performances, receptive to local stimuli or external data, all of which is connected to an out-of-range laptop orchestrating the spectacle.
For this submission, though, the aim is to explore some of the earliest examples of computing and sculpture, by artists who were in a position to explore the potential in an at-the-time esoteric field. These artists glimpsed the possibilities and problems that emerge when the object becomes a digital entity, long before the rise of 3d printing.
Artists include Zdeněk Sýkora, Robert Mallary, Nicholas Negroponte, José Luis Alexanco, Ron Resch and Isa Genzken.
You can read the whole submission at Rhizome here