Human Motions
August 5, 2009 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Human Movement Sculptures
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:39 PM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not really a new idea
posted by allelopath at 2:52 PM on August 5, 2009

These don't work for me. The concept is obvious and uninspired; the sculptures add weight and mass to the human form rather than conveying fluid motion, if that is what the artist was trying to do. They're actually kind of monstrous.

IANAAC (I am now an art critic)
posted by longsleeves at 2:53 PM on August 5, 2009

>>They're actually kind of monstrous.
Which may be intentional. As you say they don't really convey fluid motion and as such I would think that is not the artists intent. But still ... they don't work for me either.
posted by allelopath at 3:01 PM on August 5, 2009

Good god, we're HIDEOUS!
posted by nosila at 3:03 PM on August 5, 2009

I could find out what the artist's intent is, I know the guy. We talked about his Human Motions series and it had something to do with the precise study of human movement. Étienne-Jules Marey (think French Muybridge) was mentioned and so was Duchamp although beer and Calvados were also involved in the discussion therefore all is not clear.
posted by surrendering monkey at 3:21 PM on August 5, 2009

Not really a new idea

I think the artist knows that.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:39 PM on August 5, 2009

Pfft - sculpt THIS!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:41 PM on August 5, 2009

I kind of like 'em.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:41 PM on August 5, 2009

I like them as well.
posted by claudius at 6:15 PM on August 5, 2009

I like them.

That's all. Sorry; I have no fancy aesthetic justification for liking them. I just do.
posted by ixohoxi at 6:30 PM on August 5, 2009

it seems silly to give them all that detail; multiple fingers and toes, but the genitals are just smoothed over.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:48 PM on August 5, 2009

I like them.

That's all. Sorry; I have no fancy aesthetic justification for liking them. I just do.

I like them too, and I think they hold up a mirror to the hypocrisy of SOCIETY, MAN. (And also something about apartheid and power structures.)
posted by The Tensor at 7:51 PM on August 5, 2009

I gave it a six-foot power cord so it can't chase us.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:03 PM on August 5, 2009

It probably won't surprise anyone to learn that the polyamide models are made using rapid-prototyping, which is to say, are created by a machine from 3D computer models. So if they were just that, just the computer models, would he still be a sculptor? Does the fact that a machine turns the data into a physical object change his title as an artist?

It's really interesting to me, given how much the polyamide sclptures look like untextured models.

This guy is also responsible for Strange Attractors, which I honestly like a little better, and also contains an explanation of the creation process:

SLS is a technique by which parts are built layer by layer with a layer thickness about 0,1 mm.
The basic material consists of polyamide powder with particle sizes in the order of magnitude of 50 µm.
Successive powder layers are spread on top of each other. After deposition, a computer controlled CO2 laser beam scans the surface and selectively binds together the powder particles of the corresponding cross section of the product. During laser exposure, the powder temperature rises above the glass transition point after which adjacent particles flow together. This process is called selective laser sintering.

For bronze casting each object is printed with a support material by a 3d printer in a resin. Due to the
shape of most strange attractors it is impossible to work with a mould.
After removing the support, the object is put into a cuvette and filled up with a ceramic-plaster mixture.
The cuvette is put into a oven where the plastic object incinerates.
In a vacuum environment the cuvette is casted up with bronze. Because of the vacuum environment
it is possible to cast objects with a very thin wallthickness of about 1,5 mm.

posted by Nomiconic at 8:21 PM on August 5, 2009

I wouldn't describe microfab'd Poser models as sculpture, any more than I'd call the preponderance of crappy HDR pictures on flickr photography.
posted by unmake at 2:40 AM on August 6, 2009

(I can't help but compare this to what Bathsheba Grossman has accomplished with similar tools.)
posted by unmake at 2:49 AM on August 6, 2009

I was about to comment that the amount of work that went into these was amazing. Can you imagine sculpting that same hand over and over in each new position? I obviously don't have that kind of patience. Then I read Nomiconic's comment, and I'm pretty disappointed. I mean, the creative/artistic merit my still be there, but I'm not sure if you can still call this sculpture. I can model up any number of interesting shapes and ideas on my computer, but letting the computer actually sculpt it for you seems...oddly inauthentic.

They do look very much like a fully physically-realized version of something I play with on my computer every day, which is interesting in itself. Also, they have a fascinating dynamic to them, which could be the end result he was attempting to achieve after all, despite all my hand-wringing about "artistic merit" and "authenticity." If so, kudos.
posted by This Guy at 4:54 AM on August 6, 2009

The computer is a tool, just like a chisel. Where do you draw the line between authentic tools (or authentic uses of tools) and "inauthentic" ones? Unless the artist is claiming that he sculpted these by hand (and I don't think he is), does the problem here lie in the art itself, or with your own expectations and assumptions?

I've never understood the kind of art appreciation that is more concerned with the virtuosity of the artist than the art object itself. What matters is whether an object is interesting or useful or beautiful—the details of its creation are peripheral.

To put it differently: I don't look at art to judge the technical abilities of the artist; I look at art for an aesthetic experience.

I guess that in some cases, knowing the method of creation is part of the aesthetic experience, but still. I think this obsession with "oh, the artist took 'shortcuts' with modern tools and didn't spend decades learning a painstaking craft, so the artwork can't possibly have aesthetic value" is goofy. Heck, there's good reason to suspect that Vermeer used a camera obscura. Does that diminish the value of Vermeer's paintings?

If a chef produces a fine meal, does it really matter whether a microwave was involved? Does a Slap Chop cut onions in an inherently less authentic manner than a chef's knife?

On a slightly different tack: isn't it possible that these tools free the artist from the need to worry about the technical minutiae, and allow him to be more thoughtful and adventurous with the aesthetic issues—the concept and presentation of the work? After all, you note yourself that these sculptures would take an incredible amount of work to create if done by hand. Well, this guy didn't do them by hand, but he did them. They wouldn't exist without his efforts. Perhaps someone else would have come along and realized the same concept using traditional, manual methods, but...

Then again, I spent years as an electronic musician, playing not infrequently for listeners who blithely informed me that the machines were "playing the music for [me]", or innocently asked me whether I played any "real" instruments. Thinking about that still makes my fists clench involuntarily a little bit.
posted by ixohoxi at 6:46 AM on August 6, 2009

ixohoxi, I think the phenomenon you're talking about comes from one or both of two things:

1) The lack of tradition attached to powerful "modern" tools - early photography vs. "it's not Art because it isn't painting", power tools vs. hammer and chisel, electric instruments vs. acoustic (ex. bass guitar / upright bass), the electronic instruments you mention, in this case computer get the idea. It takes a while for a new tool to "earn" its value as part of a tradition - or to break away and become its own separate creative form.

2) "Shortcut" additionally carries the negative connotations of "sloppy/amateurish results" and "lowering the skill-set bar." Auto-exposure point-and-shoot digital SLRs: lookit me, I'm the next Ansel Adams! Electronic equipment: you mean I don't have to bother learning how to play music? Computer modeling: any average Joe who can afford a Dell or Mac and some store-bought software can be an Artist (or home-studio Record Producer)! If there's no perceived learning curve or "true artistic skill" involved, why should we honor or admire the result as Art with a capital A?

Unfortunately, there are enough people who aren't truly artists but by virtue of fancy modern technology manage to pass themselves off as such, and folks who play around with the tech and become "mere dilettantes" - someone above mentioned HDR photography, or think of all the half-ass chainsaw sculpture you've come across - to "justify" applying the above attitudes toward any and all use of such tools, whether or not it's merited.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:48 PM on August 6, 2009

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