June 24, 2014, by Matt Davies

Introducing DHC Leonardo Fellow, James E Smith

Model by James E Smith

Model by James E Smith

I work mostly with photography and moving image but have recently been researching 3D scanners as a tool for generating images and objects. I knew of the DHC’s 3D scanner and after a conversation with Matt Davies the DHC manager I was invited to take up the position of Artist in Residence / Leonardo Fellow. This has enabled me access to all kinds of wonderful technology that I wouldn’t normally get to use, as well as research material and a whole network of staff and students with whom I can share ideas- I am also looking forward to working with the 2014-15 DHC volunteers on other projects from September. So far, it has allowed me full access and training with the 3D scanner and the opportunity to realize a project I had been nurturing for quite some time.

I had tried out the DHC’s Faro Quantum Arm scanner at an open day a few years back. At that time I knew little about 3D scanning and additive manufacturing (3D printing), but over the last year or so these technologies have rapidly developed and media attentions around them has grown massively. This is an interesting moment in 3D modelling as this technology has moved away from being used exclusively in engineering and product design, and taken up by more creative industries like the Arts and Humanities –as in the case of this particular 3D scanner. It is even becoming a more consumer technology; some ASDA supermarkets for instance, now offer the opportunity to have oneself scanned, and customers are able to take home a mini 3D printed version of themselves when they’ve finished their shopping!

Anyway, I proposed to the DHC that I would like to use the scanner to do some research into scanning the human body and they were keen to assist me, so I set about advertising for someone willing to pose nude while I scanned their entire body. More details about the work itself can be found here and in my next post I’ll go into more detail about how I made the video and sculpture that make up the piece ‘Model’. I will be blogging my developments over the coming months, sharing some images, videos and general musing on what else I have been working on during my residency and some questions and thoughts that have come up through my continuing work at the DHC.

‘Model’ is on display at ‘Opem 3’, The Collection in Lincoln, 31st May to 7th September 2014. The exhibition includes painting, print, photography, film, sculpture and installation and for the first time all chosen artists received a bursary to produce a new piece of work.

Posted in Leonardo Fellow/DTH Resident Artist