Maternity and Fabrication

My mother is a polygon wiz.

As a spatial analyst, she spends hours everyday creating geophysical maps for a big oil company, and on weekends and at night she is a stained glass artist. I’d like to think that I inherited some of her geometric tenacity, but more times then not I find myself stumbling on ideas of numbers and lines—wanting to recede and wave a surrender flag. I think I’m allergic to algebra, but wanted to be a DigiFab Resident in part to embrace this fear and build patience and endurance when it comes to digital fabrication. 

Typical geophysical map made of polygons.

I started my residency with two new projects in mind: the first is a large scale two sided public interactive that uses projections of glass and polygonal shapes as a primary language between my mother and myself, and the second is a series of transparent engraved purses. I’m also working to finish The MUM Project, which uses projection mapping, embroidery, and 3d printing to transform LGBTQ coming of age narratives into materialized objects that explore a polyvocal safe space. 


Screenshot from DigiFab Workshop, Week 1

For our first week we learned about different modes of polygonal modeling. I ordered a variety of plexi and acrylic sample packs, began growing crystals, and started working with Fusion 360, Sketch Up, and Illustrator to create a variety of prototypes.  Originally, I was interested in using the software to create specific projection walls and materials, but have found myself departing from this and embracing a more conceptual and sculptural direction (that doesn’t include audio or video at all). Listening to the talents of my fellow resident artists, and working with Kari and Erik, has give me more food for thought than I ever anticipated—and I’m already reimagining my original ideas.


Everyone meeting for the first time from three different time zones. 

My fellow residents encompass a broad range of fabrication in their work, ranging from large-scale sculptures, to computerized digital embroidery, interactive media, and a variety of 3d printed materials. It’s apparent that many of us share similar thematic investigations in our work, and they’ve all got me expanding and questioning what I come to define as New Media as a hybrid art form.

It’s hard to focus on playing with materials when I’m so focused on learning details of software & workflows, but I look forward to seeing how all of our ideas develop over the next few weeks and find malleability in rapid prototyping.  

Upcoming blogs! Project updates (work-in-progress examples), a Q & A between myself and a fellow resident, and reflections on our guest speaker, Adam Ohern.

 Week two inspiration: David Smith, Seeing Backwards.