Brainstorm: Figment DC 2015 Proposal

Saw a tweet today from a local makerspace linking to Figment DC, a participatory and interactive art show. As a teacher advocating for maker education in schools, I often present at conferences, workshops and maker events. In my work to engage audiences in exploring learning by making, I am drawn to the intersection of digital fabrication and art. I enjoy creating interactive experiences that are replicable and remixable. 

3D Gumball Gallery &

Interactive Art Synthesizer and

3D Printing for the Art Classroom

Looking at the Figment DC submission guidelines, I realized that my existing works don’t fit the spirit of the event. The lack of power on-site, quick setup times, self carry and setup are limitation as well as creating something that is scalable for large crowds. I want an installation where participants can take something with them and also contribute to the work. The work should be in format that can be replicated and remixed by others with digital fabrication tools such as laser cutters, CNC machines or 3D printers. The other thought that has been floating around in the back of my head recently is that I don’t see many digital fabrication or maker works that address issues of identity or diversity. So here is my idea.

I AM – Self-Identity & Digital Fabrication

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 5.20.37 PM

Installation consists of pairs of wood panels hinged on top to create triangular display and work surfaces. Installation is placed on ground level for ease of access. At the top of each panel, the words I AM are prominently displayed. Across the panel words and symbols in varied colors, fonts and materials embracing a range of self-identity concepts are mounted. The initial range of self-identity concepts are solicited from the global community and include themes such as race, gender, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality and other self concepts. Hand drawn words and symbols will be converted to digital files and digitally fabricated for the installation.

During the installation showing, participants will be invited to make crayon and chalk rubbings using recycled paper to create their own unique expressions of self identity. Participants finding that their own expression of self-identity is missing will be invited to contribute a hand drawing for later digitization and fabrication. Participant/Artists can also contribute physical elements for addition to the installation.

The files for replicating and remixing the I AM installation, including contributions by participants, will be made available online after the event.

I don’t know if the proposal fits the spirit of Figment DC but is my first thought after reading the proposal criteria.