Project 4 Proposal

Meet Joe.

Joe is my skull. I got him for sale--he was $10 at Blicks. Well, skulls don't come cheaper than that (maybe they do, I wouldn't really know).

For my final project for Digital Fabrication for Sculptors, I am proposing a scan/print/mold/cast of Joe. My artwork has always started with nature and I am beginning to see that my work has also begun to converge.

Outside of class I am an undergraduate researcher for a medical modeling lab and have been working with a CT scan, editing it so that it can be 3D printed. The implications for the product is definitely exciting--some prints are used for patient explanation, some used by doctors to practice procedures on. The realities of my own work has been less glamorous--most days I just stare at the computer clicking triangles in netfab or smoothing the model in Meshmixer.

I am excited to cast Joe because creating a model of a skull in the name of art, as I continue my work in the lab, raises so many questions. Where does science end and art begin? If my 3D model in the lab goes unused, is that just as art as my cast of Joe? Or can I bring the cast of Joe into the lab?

It'll be an interesting process because I will be using the same programs to create this cast of Joe but for an entirely different purpose. Ultimately, with this project, I hope to remind the viewer and myself that we walk a tricky line. I'm fascinated with medical modeling but I have to remember that these scans are people, that there was a real-life Joe out there walking around until they got the CT scans. Creating a model in the name of art does that. I believe art is a way of paying respect. So this is me paying my respect to Joe and all the future medical models I will work with.

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