Portents, Catalysts, Barriers and Possibilities in the Development of Digital Sculpture

Hooper, Richard (2017) Portents, Catalysts, Barriers and Possibilities in the Development of Digital Sculpture. TBC. (Accepted for Publication)

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Presented at The Fabrication of Art and Beyond: Making and Inventing in Digital Culture. This paper will trace the development of digital sculpture form its origins in the 1960s to the present day and will relate this development to the contemporary theoretical milieu and how attitudes to technology and work involving technology and the development of technology itself have served to moderate the progression of digital sculpture. Such agentive developments, it will be argued, whilst anticipated by Aristotle, can best be understood by recourse to Rogerian Technological Lag theory and Jenkinsonian convergence theory. In art historical terms, the paper will provide a re-assessment of Duchamp’s Readymades arguing that they can be read as a tacit acknowledgement of the superiority of industrial production where geometric form fabrication is concerned. The paper will also provide a re-reading of Benjamin’s thesis articulated in his paper The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, arguing that his theory’s focus on re-production rather than simply production served to cast the machine in a negative light vis a vis artistic production as it over emphasised the mimetic as opposed to the creative application of technology. The paper will also explore the significance of Dickie and Danto’s institutional theory and the notion of the Artworld in regards to digital sculpture and Dixon’s argument that validation of digital work is often brought about by the late adoption of digital means by established traditional artists rather than by the early adoption by less well known digital artists. The paper will conclude with some examples of recent work by the author exploiting CAD/CAM and CNC mediated sculpture demonstrating that such methodologies can afford the sculptor an extended material vocabulary (e.g. cast acrylic) and enhanced geometric precision amounting a neo- precisionist aesthetic. The paper will argue that such capabilities can permit a resumption of Formalist concerns consistent with Leach’s notion of the Tectonic turn which suffered from mid century analyses such as Burnham’s Beyond Modern Sculpture and his assessment of sculpture having reached a point of exhaustion.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Sculpture, Computers, Fabrication, Minimalism, Cast Acrylic, CNC, Computer Numerically Controlled, CAD, Milling
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Fine and Applied Art (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Richard Hooper
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 15:12
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2017 10:50
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2095

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