[Image: Rémi Chauvin]
While Mat Collishaw may not be completely comfortable with 3D printing, it would seem that he is happily dependent on it—as seen in one of his latest works featuring an enormous zoetrope accentuated with 3D printed birds and flowers. Titled Centrifugal Soul, the zoetrope will be on display until May 27 at Blain|Southern in London.
“The only way of getting that animation millimeter-accurate is to 3D print it,” said Collishaw in a recent interview.
This certainly isn’t the first zoetrope we’ve seen to employ (and again, rely on) 3D printing, but all that we’ve seen have an almost magical, hypnotic quality—from those creating the illusion of a dance performance to the exploration of physical form via spinning sculptures. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen work from Collishaw either, following his first solo show last year as he introduced Seria Ludo, featuring numerous tiny 3D printed characters engaged in many a debaucherous activity.
The zoetrope hails from the work of artists in the 19th century, using light and spinning mechanisms to make the pieces look as if they are moving. In Centrifugal Soul, visitors to the exhibit are treated to 18 frames spinning at 60 rpm in a one-second loop. Check out the video below to see how Collishaw used strobe lights above the artwork to create movement, with the birds and flowers moving together in a stunning choreography of illusion.
“I’m not really a tech person at all,” says Collishaw. “I’m fumbling my way through in the dark, so I need a lot of advice.”
The artist will also be showing off his first venture into virtual reality with Thresholds, meant to recreate the first photography exhibition by William Fox Talbot.
“That was the moment everything changed,” says Collishaw of Talbot’s show.
[Image: Rémi Chauvin]
As visitors ‘walk through’ the exhibit, they will have the illusion of being in lavish surroundings with photography contained in glass vitrines. While virtual reality does its job, the visitors are actually in a whitewashed room simply filled with props. Thresholds will be on exhibit at Somerset House in London from May 18 to June 11, and then will be moving to the following cities: Birmingham, Chippenham, Bradford and Oxford.
“When a visitor is looking at an oil painting of an old scientist on the wall, they’re actually looking at a moulded frame with a piece of glass in it,” he says. “And the guys outside queuing to get in will be able to see you.”
It’s obvious that Collishaw enjoys the disruptive qualities of 3D printing as well as the potential virtual reality will offer in the future. As many artists have hoped to do throughout the ages, he wants to make people think.
“VR is great, but where is this digital revolution taking us to?” he says. “There will be big social problems because of advancements in technology. I want that to be in there.”