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Graphics Computer as a Sculptural Tool
Wile exploring the endless possibilities offered by two-dimensional (2D) graphics, I became deeply interested in the use of three-dimensional (3D) programming in order to create wooden sculptures and, later on, computer-enhanced mixed-media sculptures. Due to the computer's unique capabilities, images can be cut, transposed, reorganized, pasted, scanned and partially blown up; variations can then be compared to the original image, if it was saved in its unaltered form. None of this is possible with hand drawing or painting. The sculptures I will describe would never have come into existence without my use of a computer. Various applications of computer graphics in the sculpting process-designing a model, solving engineering problems, simulating the sculpture and its surroundings, and defining a construction program-have been adopted by artists using computers [1 ]. One may find various impressive approaches to the use of a computer in the sculptural works of Robert Mallary, Nam June Paik, Mike King , William Latham, Donald Lipski, and many other artists. Michael O'Rourke 
Fig. 1. The Speeding, wooden computerplotted sculpture, 47 x 44 x 7 in, 1987. A superposition of many computer-generated 3D images of a running horse was used as a point of departure for constructing this sculpture. The use of multiple images allowed the factor of time to be incorporated into the sculpture, yielding the illusion of movement.
ABSTRACT intended to use the computer to facilitate the design and fabricaThe author describesthree tion of his abstract sculptures, but to computer-generated approaches he also found it helpful in dealing in sculpting: as an inspiration graphics with his aesthetic concerns. In a foradding a factorof timeintoa description of the design program the as a toolfortransforming sculpture, that assisted the development of imageof the subjectandas a toolfor mixed-media The sculptures. creating their environmental sculptural described herewerecreated sculptures form, sculptor Robert N. Fisher Theauthor withthese approaches. and programmer Raymon J. howhercomputer-generated explains Masters stressed "the enhancement plotsandcolorslidesweretransformed intoothergraphic formsinorderto of initiative response and direct andguidesculptural visualize, predict visual observation, shaping both Inaddition, the author development. the medium and its products" . describeshowthe plotsandslides Realistic, precise rendering may be servedas a medium forenhancing her considered by some to be inapprothree-dimensional mixed-media forms. priate for applying "a personal feel for depth, perspective and shadow"  in a work of art. In my particular approach, I did not search for an original use of the currently available software. I enjoy the enhancement of "avision revealing what might never have been seen"  the same way I enjoy hand drawing, having the awareness of the excellent use of a pencil or a brush by previous masters. I believe this approach may encourage artists uninitiated in computer-aided sculpture to search for imaginative solutions to their own artistic problems. The majority of the plots I have created were generated by the use of the Cyber and VAX/VMS mainframes. I wrote my 3D programs in the FORTRAN 77 computer language using Interactive Graphic Library (IGL) to obtain the two options provided by the system: black-and-white plots from the Versatec plotter, and color slides from the program via a Computer Output Microfilmer (COM) recorder. The Cyber and VAX/VMS mainframes were designed for technical but not artistic use. Nevertheless, I found some advantages in using these mainframes, as they allowed me the use of largesized (20-in width, infinite length), precise plots and the possibility of creating numerous kinds and qualities of colors. COM recorders deal with the mixing of light rather than pigment. One can mix colors infinitely using FORTRAN 77 with the IGL, setting color combinations in percentages and thus combining additive (red, green, blue) or subtractive (cyan, magenta, yellow) colors. I did not use a light pen or mouse to
Anna Ursyn (artist, educator), University of Wyoming, 2201 Warren, Laramie, WY82070, U.S.A. E-mail:<email@example.com> Received 21 May 1991.
? 1993 ISAST
Vol. 26, No. 1, pp.
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for transforming images and for creating mixed-media sculptures.Fig. I begin my work on a sculpture by computer-generating images for visualizing concepts. ADDING A FACTOR OF TIME INTO SCULPTURE The unpredictable versatility and variety of possible transformations of an image can serve as a rationale for the use of computer graphics for creating sculptures. as a guide in constructing sculptures. so 2D drawings gain a 3D look. perspective. giving the images different and size. as well as moire effects.61. 1). I applied the same kind of I multiplied a 3D transformation: design of a running horse and rider many times. I took advantage of the visibility of the back plane. Ursyn. in paintings by Polish mathematician Leon Chwistek. in works of Italian Futurists Balla. I could modify them. Although it is possible to walk around the sculpture and look at it from different angles. aspen. but not the design I was creating. A 3D image of the rotational ellipsoid was transformed by changing the size. We can notice such an attempt in some drawings made by the Cubists (Pablo Picasso. The new images were then repeated and shown together with the first one. within a 2D work. I found that transforming electronically generated pictures can be useful for adding more dimensions to the image of the conceived sculpture. In my figurative wooden sculpture titled The Speeding (Fig. I could see my program in FORTRAN on a screen. Some attempts have been made in the history of art to approach the problem of presenting. I also changed the center of direction of projection (the point of view). viewpoint Through the superposition of images. I wanted to achieve a representation of the fourth dimension. A Bird Cage. Sometimes computer-enhanced sculpture. 2. giving the viewer the illusion of movement. I transformed the plane of the ellipsoid 30 and Art Planks. Once I had those.13. This effect has something in common with a motion picture when a long sequence of events is compressed into a short viewing time-within 2 hours one can follow someone's whole life. Another sculpture titled Confusionresulted from this work. so the design of the object could be seen from numerous directions at the same time. ideas and ways of thinking. a Dome. perspective and direction of projection and cutting out some of its parts (back or front clipping plane). so objects looked as if they were made out of glass or like a wire sculpture. Two years later I worked on the images of horses again. As King has mentioned. My programs resulted in 3D drawings with the back plane (z axis) visible (I had no access to a hidden-line package). This time similar forms were covered with color photosilkscreened prints made from blackand-white plots. TRANSFORMATION OF GEOMETRICAL GRAPHICS TO SOLID MATERIAL I used computer-generated representations of masses in a vector mode to create a wireframe design. I initialized my wooden sculpture. 1987. simultaneous views of a subject from different vantage points while incorporating the factor of time. Gino (Giacomo Severini). Another kind of exploration of the use of several possible viewpoints in one scene resulted in Mike King's  expressive graphics. Programs This content downloaded from 148. He used differentiated perspective settings of his graphics to give some elements more importance then others. create my graphics. Thus I incorporated the factor of time into the sculpture. the early religious painters were also thinking that way. Sometimes a Dome (Fig.133 on Fri. The gradation of the intensity of color gives the effect of 3D space through the use of shading. I duplicated and then changed each image by assigning vari- ous perspectives to each representation. 32 x 22 x 22 in. 20 Sep 2013 22:40:07 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . I found it inspiring to have no insight into the developing artwork before my prints or slides were done. and in studies made by the photographer Eadweard Muybridge and the American painter Thomas Eakins as well. 2) resulted from a 3D wireframe design of a rotational ellipsoid. One can obtain a gradation of light intensity on the surfaces using reiterating lines. My wooden sculpture called A Bird Cage. Georges Braque). grid patterns and some chiaroscuro effects. as I began to superimpose the transformed images through the use of perspective from different positions. I have used three approaches to creating computer-generated graphics to aid sculpting: for adding a factor of time into sculpture. similar to hand drawing.
photolithographs or photosilkscreened prints on canvas and paper. some traits of a dome-shaped edifice can also be recognized when the piece is viewed from different directions. I covered most of the planes with patterns-each plane with a different one. The Warrior. so I found it necessary to transform plots and slides into some other graphic form. however._-.-. This nonfigurative wooden sculpture resulted from reworking the series of geometrical graphics. the horse as a link between natural surroundings and human nature. In the sculpture Hero Horse.133 on Fri. This image has served as my logo since that time. -- Ursyn. The general outline of the shape resulted from reworking a 3D design of a male manikin. grain and hung them in a vertical plane. 3.13.. which I constructed with the use of computer graphics. the mixed-media painting Warriors.. and the wooden sculpture The Warrior (Fig. (right) Face two. The most colorful and unified output from the computer is the color slide from the COM recorder. . such as color or black-and-white photographic prints. Other examples of my mixed-media sculptural forms are HeroHorse  and A Brick for a House. but with different projection and perspective. Then I enhanced the surface of the sculpture with photosilkscreened images printed on burlap and plots made of a similar image of a man.Planks.61. The general outline of the shape followed the outline of the computer plot. and the surface of the sculpture was enhanced with photosilkscreened prints on burlap. The surfaces of the wooden sculptures The Warriorand Confusion have been covered in this way. The planks were drilled across the grain. 4). 1990. I then repeated it many times with various directions of projection (points of view). It can be recognized as a bird cage. with computer-generated graphic forms such as photosilkscreened prints and photolithographs and photocopies. 3).I wanted to show the horse as a heroic symbol of the human struggle for survival. a Housefor a Town. to form 3D mixedmedia compositions and to unify computer-generated and painted images. 86 x 44 x 11 in. I started to combine my sculptures. after some transformations. Programs and Art 31 This content downloaded from 148. My figurative 3D design of a male manikin served. as I did not have a hidden-line software package. as a point of departure for my series of plots and graphics entitled Man.Enterthe City(Fig. The patterns on the planes overlapped partially. Slides can only be presented in a slide show. for creating mixed-media-enhanced sculptures.by cutting out some of its parts (back and front clipping plane). COMPUTER MIXED-MEDIA SCULPTURES I find the computer-graphic technique to be the instrument of choice for conveying the order and regularity of natural forms and for depicting graphic patterns in nature. In the case of my sculpture The I drilled planks across the wood Warrior. 20 Sep 2013 22:40:07 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. Rhythmic drawings done on a computer show a Fig. (left) Face one.computer mixed-media sculpture.
"Sculpting with Computer 32 Ursyn. No. Groningen.133 on Fri. Programs and Art This content downloaded from 148.61. a Housefor a Town. This led to my creation of A Brick (1988) by Manfred Mohr  serve as examples of this approach. photolithograph-a print made through a process in which an ink-receptive image is applied by photographic means to a stone or metal plate. Dehlinger (Germany). Second International Symposium on Electronic Art.SIGGRAPH '90 Art Show Catalog. led me to the construction of this sculpture. 20 Sep 2013 22:40:07 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . HeroHorse. The computer was the perfect Acknowledgments tool for finding this connectivity. that the order of My presumption repeated simple forms is the essence of aesthetic sensations one experiences while entering a city motivated me to develop computer graphics based on a cube. . FORTRAN 77 is the official industry standard of the language. character and logical data types. A host-independent library of routines for graphic and text interaction. Cube(1987) by Hans Dehlinger . link between nature and human influence. 133-143 (1985) p. Manfred Mohr (Germany). green and blue). See Fisher and Masters  p. 134. in a series of 6." and Statement. 4. and P-411-A 3. 1. SIGSupplemental Issue of Leonardo. 4. 1987. Address VAX/VMS Operating System-Virtual eXtension (VAX) cluster controlled by the Virtual Memory System (VMS) operating system. CONCLUSION I feel that computer-generated artworkis able to convey the correctness of lines. 343-350 (1988). Golden Nica. 1986) p. also.Enterthe City. Holland. 91. Fisher and Raymoin J. For an illustration of it. 383.13. Consists of a camera focused on a monitor that is addressed with 65. der Prix Ars Electronica '90. a Housefor a Town. 1. "Electronic Art: SISEA Slide Series." Leonardo 18. paper or other material. patterns. 5. My development of my computer-enhanced sculpawareness of the common occurrence of The tures was supported in part by funds from the regular geometric forms. 11.>. 8 x 8 in each. No. IGL-Interactive Graphic Library package (Tektronix 4010C01 PLOT 10). 133. 1990. Masters. Supplemental Issue of Leonardo (1990) p. moire-an optical pattern caused by the interference of waves. photolithographs and photoand rouning prints. I feel that computer artwork can aid viewers coping with the impact of technology upon our surroundings and can become a link between the beauty of human-made technical products and the aesthetics of art. George Nees in the 1960s. P-417-E. 6. GRAPH '89 Art Show Catalog (1989) p. Graphics in 3D space can be constructed with the IGL 3D Graphics Support. 1988." Leonardo24. A high-level computer language. both in nature Kuehn Award (1987). 1991. Hans E. 217.Supermedium. The effects of distortion created by transformations of the image reflect the regularity that makes up the city: the structure of each separate building as well as the relationships between each of them. prints.Planks. 9. I would like to express my gratitude to Carl Niederer for his care. painting or sculpting is more than just identification of natural objects because. 383-387 (1991). Plots and slides were transformed into color or black-and-white I<~ . which was made out of simple.-'silkscreened J: and the surfaces of the sculpture were covered with computer-generated and painted images. symmetries. This is evident in the works of Projection: The Requirements of a Computer-Based the Cubists. 1988. Mike King. 387. COM-the Computer Optical Microfilm recorder (model FR80/A). 3-16 (1990). See King  p. 3. erated graphics and sculptures based 2. a sculpture that resulted from my study of the cube in a 3D wireframe program. The sculpture was initialized by 3D programs for a cube. well suited for arithmetic manipulations. The works of Computer Sculpting System. followed by computer-gen. as Umberto Eco put it. criticism and and in the human-made environment.536 points in each axis. SISEA Book of Abstracts. see Digital Image-Digital Cinema. Fig. "Computer-Aided Sculpture: Visual and Technical Considerations. Color recording is done via the additive system of color (red.ink on paper (plotter drawing). Glossary chiaroscuro-contrasting arrangement of light and shade in a work of art. It permits the use of variables and "descriptivesymbolic names" and provides numeric. See King  p. 1989. FORTRAN-FORmula TRANslation. Umberto Eco. 78." Leonardo 21." Leonardo 23. Computer Art in Context. "Sculptor: A Three-Dimensional on geometric forms. No. Robert N. Images can be created as vector plots via the IGL package and then recorded on the COM.Graphics: An Approach to the Design and Fabrication of Abstract Sculpture. No. light and colors. photosilkscreen-a screen created through photographic methods to be used for printing on fabric. Travelsin Hyper Reality(San Diego: Harcourt BraceJovanovich. Cube 4. P-411-A. Enter the City. 30 x 27 x 20 in. 20 x 20 x 20 in. 4. 7. For me. References and Notes repeating. for a House. 10. Michael O'Rourke. computer mixedmedia sculpture. It is possible to construct a picture from lines and symbols depicting a pattern with the degree of shading determined by the density of symbols printed in a given area. The effect can be observed by layering two screens that are slightly offset. An extensive discussion of various approaches to Simple geometric forms have often computer-generated sculpting can be found in been used for depicting the natural Art through 3D Robert Mallary. P-453 AD/4. 8. I found it intriguing to consider the visual aspects of the structure of a city as a combination of intertwined elements. 4. "mirror images are not signs and signs are not mirror images" [ 11]. geometric forms. "Spatial-Synesthetic order.3D computer sculpture enhanced with computer plots and photosilkscreening based on computer plots. 12-17 Nov. A Brick for a House. comments. 1990.