Additive Manufacturing Strategies

The Intimacy Installation: 3D Printing and Projection Mapping Project

ST Medical Devices

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imgArtists Jenil Buria, Ana Mickovic, and Mike Alger were interested in exploring ideas of intimacy. As with any group project, this involved hours of planning and brainstorming, itself a somewhat intimate activity if undertaken in the true spirit of collaborative creation. For these three, it was time well spent as the idea they developed was then both born of intimacy and representative of it.

Intimacy is not necessarily about privacy, but rather about comfort and access. For the artists, their vision of the feeling was incorporated (literally: embodied) in a sculptural representation of a couple sitting on a couch. The seated female figure leans comfortably onto the shoulder of her companion as they engage each other through conversation. A blanket covers them, providing an extra feeling of snug security and relaxation.

In order to create the sculpture, the artists used the E-Sense 3D scanner to capture the data for a model of the couple as they sat in that position. Having finished their digitized model, they began the print only to discover, 28 hours later, that there were errors in the model that caused the creation of some very bizarre geometries. After addressing the noise in their model, the team waited another 26 hours to see if the second print would be more successful. As they say: the best things come to those who wait… and that was true in this circumstance.

Then they began to work on the context for the sculpture and the projections that would bring it to life. The first step was to build a matte white stage box upon which the images could be img_20141112_165157projected. They also spray painted the sculpture in the same finish. This way, as the images that the artists chose to accompany the presentation were projected they were completely integrated with the geometry of the surfaces.

In addition to the imagery projected into the box and onto the couple and their surroundings, the artists put together a soundtrack to enhance the feeling of being privy to an intimate moment between two people. The sounds were pulled from movie dialog and a collection of ambient noises such as cell phone rings, each shift in types of sound triggered a concurrent shift in imagery.

The visuals are themselves a projection of the intimacy of the team of artists. They gathered the visual narrative through the act of sharing personal stories with each other. The stories ranged from travel narratives to stories of war, homelessness, and health crises. For each narrative, background images were collected to weave a story of the three personal lives.04

In this way, the artists created a projection of intimacy without bogging the viewer down in detail. The setting contains both the artists’ projection and the understanding of whoever chances to be viewing it at the moment. It distills the feelings in their purest form without losing the connection to a universal understanding of the closest moments between two people.

Check out a video below showing the process, and the projections in process. Let us know what you think about this installation in the Intimacy Project forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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