Written in collaboration with Bella Green of 1click3dprint.com
“Life in general, science, art, humans; everything is a source of inspiration. It’s the craving for creating something unique that stands out from the rest.”
– Ricardo Cañedo Mondragón
Often artists think of a composition, form, or a concept that’s fleeting and then quickly lost because they don’t have the tools to easily put the idea into the physical expression that belongs to it–like paints to a portrait or notes on a piano. With the coupling of digital design and 3D printing, however, it seems nearly anything is possible. And for the world of the contemporary artist or designer, these new tools give them the space to dream big–and create big.
Today, as artists are able to take the fabrication of large-scale pieces and installations into their own hands at the 3D printer, we are able to see a whole new generation of intellectual art emerge. While we’ve reported on novelties like songs being converted to 3D printed sculptures as well as fractals, and mathematical patterns, Chicago’s Ricardo Cañedo Mondragón has entered on to the scene and created a smart art genre all to himself.
While we often enjoy art as a respite from processes like calculations and math, Cañedo combines them, as well as adding in music, sight, and high-tech tools. This special blend is exactly what makes Cañedo’s art.
While he has always considered himself to be primarily an artist, his love for the musical note is evident as he brings together his compositions in 3D print for what he calls Sound Sculpture.
“I kind of fell into it,” says the artist, “I studied music composition which lead me to deeper experimentation with waveforms, tonality and textures. But just sound wasn’t enough; I needed more, something tangible.”
The resulting sculptures, stunning in their fluidity and organic aesthetic, are the product of Cañedo’s process with begins with input of an algorithm into a digital design program that creates a shape which he then works his next piece of art around. From there he transforms it from the 2D world into 3D.
“Visualizing sound has always been enticing to me and now it has turned into a physical matter,” says Cañedo. “I have been studying art since I was a little kid, actually, I consider myself more of an artist than a musician. So fusing the two together seemed like the right choice.”
Not only is his work in tune with the world of music and sound, thus pointed to with titles such as ‘Ash Desert Frequency’ and ‘Frequency of No Man’s Land,’ it’s combined with a feel for the earth, natural landscapes, and the stark beauty and arid isolation of places far away from the noise and clutter of the city.
With the aid of modern technology, Cañedo has latitude in his work that just wasn’t possible for artists previously–and especially on their own without a middleman and a lot of headaches to help with larger-scale works. Making the art he is interested in can be done from the desktop, with as many edits–and 3D prints–as he needs to get it right. Creating is easy, as are experimentation and re-designing.
“Computational design helped me envision my sculptures and models. Without the technology, it would have been very challenging to see the models three-dimensionally. I feel truly fortunate to live in an era where anyone can create something of his or her own with 3D printing. Also, digitizing the images is helpful to experiment with the models before they become a reality,” explains Cañedo.
The fact that his art is now able to become a reality is something Cañedo is obviously grateful for, as he has been able to add the use of invaluable new tools to his craft. This allows him to translate what he sees and hears into a tangible form that everyone can enjoy, reminding one of larger pieces of artwork that might be seen in an outdoor garden or in a park with viewers gathered around to get a closer look.
“I use sound to do sculpture. I use sculpture to express sound,” says the artist. “I’ve always been curious about waveforms and sound. I’ve always imagined sound, but I knew there was something more. Now it is a reality.”
Have you thought about using 3D printing to express music or something you’ve heard into physical form? Discuss in the 3D Printed Sound Sculpture forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Also be sure to visit 1click3dprint.com and Ricardo’s Instagram Profile.