Thursday, November 6, 2014

'Copy Shop' at UIS gives artistic visitors chance to create

Visitors to the reception for the University of Illinois Springfield’s Visual Arts Gallery’s installation “Copy Shop” can interact with the exhibition on more than one level.

Chicago-based artists Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes have created 3D-printed and digitally fabricated objects for the exhibit. But visitors also can bring their own objects to be 3D scanned and 3D printed during the reception to be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the gallery located in Room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on campus.

The exhibition runs through Nov. 27.

Visitors are welcome to bring objects the size of a softball to be 3D scanned and 3D printed. Original and printed objects will become part of the exhibition. “The plan is to display their originals on the left-side shelves (of the exhibit) and the copies on the right.

Visitors can collect their creations on or after the 27th,” Burtonwood said in an email. “The printing process is fairly slow; it would take much longer than the time of the reception to print a single object. Average time is probably 5-6 hours.”

What’s called 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file, according to The creation of a 3D-printed object is achieved using additive processes in which an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created.

Giving visitors the opportunity to have their objects 3D scanned, 3D printed and added to the exhibition at UIS is a reprise of what Burtonwood and Holmes did in January at Firecat Projects gallery in Chicago. People had objects such as stuffed toys, cameras, flowers and keepsakes 3D scanned, 3D printed and added to that exhibition.

“Participants in ‘Copy Shop’ received a limited-edition, 3D-printed sculpture in recognition of their help in this project,” Burtonwood said on his website

Working from a variety of sources, Burtonwood and Holmes create 3D-printed, modular works that borrow from natural systems of organization.

Among creations in “Copy Shop” are “AIC Candy Dispensers, 2014.” There’s also the “Dana Thomas House Frieze Interactive Project.” “These molds, depicting the frieze design created by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Dana Thomas House in Springfield, have been created through the process of scanning and 3D printing,” said an accompanying statement.

“You are welcome to use the available air-drying clay to press into the molds to create your own frieze design. Take the product with you; the clay will harden and serve as a permanent artifact from ‘Copy Shop.’”

Burtonwood said the 3D printer/scanner is to sculpture what the sampler was to music.

“The world is open. It can be copied and pasted at the touch of a button. This is a paradigm shift in terms of how we make objects, and the economies that support their production,” Burtonwood said.

“Artists have always tinkered with the newest technology and have taken the tech places its creators never intended. With 3D printing, I imagine you’ll see the same.”

The article appeared in The State Journal-Register online, November 5, 2014.

Read the article online.