I think I’ve decided that whatever project I do, it will indeed be based on some sort of data source, and I’m thinking I want the output to be a sculptural artifact.

Given my current skill set, and what I think is possible to achieve within the bounds of this semester, I will probably be looking to pull data from Twitter. Why? Well, Twitter offers a really unfiltered access to a huge section of the population (though that section definitely has a bias towards younger individuals), and the API is pretty extensive allowing me to analyze the data a bit better/easier. My Processing workshop last year dealt with pulling data from Twitter so I have a pretty good feel for how to get everything set up. The real question when it comes to the Twitter data: What are my metrics?

As for form… One thing that I haven’t really explored at all is 3D printing. I’ve laser cut in the past, and I’ve utilized a CNC router before. I’ve only 3D printed something once, but I was quite removed from the whole affair so I’d like to take a more detailed look into the technique and process.

At MICA we can 3D print plastic and the powder, but there are a few other types of 3D printing that would lend itself to creating a final product with a greater potential lifespan: direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and of all things, ceramic. Ceramic, I think, interests me the most as it’s such an old medium when it comes to art. Not to mention that the possible juxtaposition of creating something in such an old medium with such an advanced technology/process gives me the biggest grin.

While I can appreciate art objects for being art objects I’m very much a utilitarian, and as such I think the object that I create in the end would have to be useful for something. Now, combine ceramics and usefulness and something that comes to mind is a vase. Could I create a data-shaped, 3D-printed, ceramic vase? I think so.

Looking at Shapeways, there are a whole host of constraints to getting your model printed in ceramics. It’s certainly helpful to have constraints to work within, though the max size is a bit limiting, the object must be ≤400mm in X+Y+Z. Maybe this means I might create a vase made from interlocking/stacking segments? What would that look like? Would each segment have a different color glaze, or maybe a different surface texture… things to mull on. The one constraint that I must keep to the forefront is that their lead time for printing and shipping an object is 21 days, a considerable amount of time in a semester.

Lastly, some inspiration:

NIVO pendant, by MOAK Studio

NIVO pendant, by MOAK Studio

Voroni vase, by Sander Mulder

Voroni vase, by Sander Mulder


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