Groan – the hazards of art preview shows; all that free beer – my head. But it’s not all treachery and danger; there are positives and rewards too. There are the hyper-nerdy debates about whether stereolithography or 3D laser printing would be capable of creating a coiled spring loaded with potential energy or if there would be technical limitations due to the way energy is stored as mass (because as you should know e=mc2). There are the rambling discussions with artists about why certain things work, and other things could be improved upon. There are the breakdancers flying in, twizzling around on a piece of lino, and then flying out again. There’s the beer – did I mention that? Have I missed anything? Oh yeah, there’s the art too.
I’ve already mentioned the stereolithography and 3D laser printing; but what is it? It’s this, obviously:
It’s a super-smart method of printing successive wafer-thin slices of plastic to build up a complete solid physical replica of a digital 3D model. That’s the medium-length way of saying it’s something awesome. You can read the full-length way of saying it here (U.S. patent 4675330). Eurocultured X Manchester marks the debut of work created using this technique being exhibited in BLANKSPACE. The exhibition, as well as including a wide range of graffiti and street art styles, also includes the technical marvel of Ananta by the talent-splat that is Sumit Sarkar (I don’t know what a talent-splat is, but it’s probably a good thing).
At last year’s Eurocultured Sumit’s Kerstcar had pride of place in the food court; a stunning display of glimmering (evanescent, scintillating, gleaming, etcetera, etc, &c) distorted steel jagging out from a gutted car husk. Looking like a freeze-frame of a transforming robot, it somehow forms a digital-era wildstyle tag. And it’s big; in fact it’s the size of a car no less.
Now exhibiting Anata, Sumit’s touring exhibition of work inspired by Hindu gods, anime/manga, and Transformers/Gundam; hauntingly simple animations of Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha and friends set in smooth black monoliths, and a frantic sped-up video showing the process of creating digital animation. Star of the show however are the three large stereolithographic prints of a reared up viper, a robotic beast with two backs, and a scorpion-tailed cow.
Rumours spread quickly around the gallery: these are printed, no way! How? That’s awesome! My god, the things they can do nowadays, eh? And it gets me aching for the future history of Star Trek when 3D printing has become the replicator, and I can say “tea, Earl Grey, hot” and immediately the microwave in the corner of the room prints me a China cup full of fine tea, Earl Grey, hot.
|Shiva, the Destroyer, by Sumit Sarkar|
Sad, angry end
Today, after the great fun of last night’s exhibition preview, it turns out that during the fun dark things were afoot. Blank Media Collective and Spearfish welcomed the public into BLANKSPACE for Eurocultured X Manchester, and one member of the public didn’t see fit to repay our hospitality. No, there was a theft. So I say this directly to you, the person who stole a laptop from the staff kitchen: you dirty little piece of shit. The police have been called. Return it now, undamaged, and apologise, then cooperate with the police. Alternatively your fingertips could burn and melt as your thieving fingers tap away on the stolen keyboard; your eyes can pop and fizzle as you stare at the screen that is not yours. Fucking prick.
Expect posts 304, 306 and 307 on Saturday.