Jan 24th 2014

Tom Burtonwood & Holly Holmes: Dialogues on the New Plastic

@ Firecat Projects

2124 N. Damen, Chicago IL

Opening Friday, January 24th, from 7PM - 10PM

On view through Saturday, February 22nd

Artists Talk and 3D Scanning event February 16th
Copy Shop open Thursday and Fridays 1pm – 4pm

Desktop 3D printing represents a remarkable new way of making and distributing objects. With the click of a mouse it is possible to create complex forms, email them around the globe and see them reproduced many times in many variants and materials. Artists Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes have been exploring and experimenting with this “new” technique of making for just under two years. This is their first solo exhibition of works produced almost entirely in this medium.

Working from a variety of sources Burtonwood and Holmes present a series of 3D printed modular works that borrow from natural systems of organization. The artists utilize simple mechanical connections to create novel and unique juxtapositions of forms and meanings.

A huge driver in the desktop 3D printing revolution is access. A great example of this is the explosion in affordable 3D scanning applications and hardware. “Dialogues on the New Plastic” features a significant number of works whose source material has been 3D scanned and remixed digitally prior to being 3D printed, including “Orihon” the worlds first entirely 3D printed book previously exhibited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art at World Maker Faire this year in New York and on display in their Media Lab.

For the duration of the exhibition the artists will be operating “Copy Shop” a novel take on the photocopying businesses that helped to pioneer the desktop publishing revolution of the late 90’s. Members of the public are invited to bring small objects to Firecat and have them 3D scanned, 3D printed and added to the exhibition. Participants in “Copy Shop” will receive a limited edition 3D printed sculpture in recognition of their help in this project.

Sharing and crowd sourcing are also important forces in the 3D printing community. Websites such as “Thingiverse” are file repositories where members of the public share their designs for other people to download, print out, remix, improve upon and re-publish. This collaborative prototyping process helps to solve problems quickly and allows for a rapid dissemination of cultural goods and useful objects. Burtonwood and Holmes plan to make an archive of all the works from “Dialogues on the New Plastic” available to download and reproduce from “Thingiverse”. Limited edition USB flash drives with exhibition archive and custom 3D printed cases will be available for sale from Firecat.

On Sunday February 16th from 1pm – 4pm Burtonwood and Holmes will give a short talk about their work and offer an opportunity for members of the public to have their portraits 3D scanned and printed.

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