Remixing Classic Art
The heist of a priceless bust of Nefertiti at the Neues Museum in Berlin by means of 3D scanning and 3D printing has been in the new recently and sparked debate and controversy. Articles by 3D printing heroes, Fred Kahl @fredini, http://thegreatfredini.com/2016/03/06/theres-something-fishy-about-the-other-nefertiti/ , http://thegreatfredini.com/2016/03/16/putting-the-nefertitihack-scan-dal-to-bed/ and Cosmo Wenman @CosmoWenman, https://cosmowenman.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/the-nefertiti-3d-scan-heist-is-a-hoax/ go into great details of the Nefertiti case.
What’s great is that this priceless antiquity is now within reach of anyone who cares to experience it and people are interacting with Nefertiti in unique and personal ways they never have been able to before. – Fred Kahl
The REAL 2016 conference presentation by Cosmo Wenman provides a great overview of the stakes involved in 3D scanning art and artifacts.
I believe that as a human being, I have a right to humanity’s shared cultural heritage. I believe that cultural institutions such as museums are custodians of that heritage and not gatekeepers. I believe in the power of remixing and reinventing these shared cultural works to create new meaning and new understandings.
My most recent project takes a 3D print of Athena of Velletri scanned by Cosmo Wenman and remixes it. The file is available on Thingiverse at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:196039.
The print in pearlescent white is beautiful and suggests a marble or plaster version.
My purpose in printing Athena was to transform and reinterpret the model through the application of color. As Fred Kahl states, I was able to interact with the work in a unique and personal way. By holding the model and applying the ink, I was able to explore the minute details of the model and it’s form and proportions. By sharing my remix on Instagram and through this blog post, I am bringing new eyes to the work.
If the Athena of Velletri model was only in a museum, there is little chance that I would have ever seen or experienced this artwork. 3D scanning and 3D printing has given me a beautiful gift and a beautiful canvas to explore this classic artwork.