Co-author: Sam Calder- Day
I recently attended the Digital Futures event at London’s BL-NK in Shoreditch which showcased an interesting variety of work by students, researchers and creative practitioners working with digital media, interactive art, digital design, science and more. The event engaged visitors of all ages promoting innovative digital art and design practices as well as showing the endless potential for future collaboration.
Google Glass was something I was particularly excited to see and Fine art oil painter Gretchen Andrus Andrew was there to help me understand some of its potential. Gretchen creates film visualisations by using Google Glass to record her artistic process. Her video demonstration showed how the wearable technology is able to enhance her ability, final outcome and future work.
Joachim Weinhold talked us through his collection of 3D printed objects and the benefits of 3D printing. Focusing mainly on replicated exhibits from collections of several museums in Berlin, objects such as fossilized bones and a mammoth based on CT-scans were displayed. Another example was a model of the moon which was created using NASA data taken 2k above the surface and 16 million points of reference. Using the 3D printing technology Weinhold was also able to scan and replicate the skull, brain, and face to help identify the cause of death of Knut, the famous German polar bear.
I was particularly interested in the case study ‘Experiencing Van Gogh’s heritage’ which by means of the Oculus Rift we were able to explore the garden as it might have been in mid-nineteenth century Holland, in the town where Van Gogh grew up. I was lucky enough to try out the Oculus headset which was a fantastic, weirdly realistic experience. It’s an amazing piece of technology, a new futurist level of virtual reality revolutionizing the way people experience video games. I can’t wait to have another go!
Lee Wagstaff demonstrated how he turns photographs into a sculpture by scanning a person using digital photogrammetry which utilises multiple still photographs to create a 3D 360 degree image. With this information a Life size 3D printed model can be created.
There was a section for new independent inventions currently being released on the market. One Company called Sugru had developed an easy to use, self setting rubber that moulds like play-dough, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight. Some examples shown included using Sugru to repair a boot and form a hand moulded handle grip.