Over the past month I have begun to work on a number of projects as both artifacts and documents of the Salt March reenactment. As a 2008 Commissioned Resident Artist here at Eyebeam, part of the residency is a two person show here at Eyebeam that opens on June 21st, 2008. I will be featuring a number of new works in this exhibition, including the creation of a large scale, perhaps 15-20′ tall Gandhi statue created from the 3-D model of my MGandhi avatar as extracted from Second Life. The image above left shows my Gandhi figure after some basic processing in Blender (a great, free, open source 3-D modeling program). We then imported the object file into another program called Pepakura Designer, which is a wonderful software application from Japan (free to play with, $35 to use fully). Pepakura takes any 3-D file and unfolds it to create a flattened version that one prints out and assembles – something between working with paper dolls and building a model airplane. Take a look at their site, particularly the Gallery to see some amazing things made by the users of this program. Also note this link for a gallery page of “papercraft” work.
My plan is to translate the Pepakura information to large sheets of cardboard to assemble a large, monumental papercraft version of my Gandhi avatar. The image above right is my first test with the Gandhi model, printed on standard 8.5X11″ paper and assembled using an x-acto knife and tacky glue. The final version will have likely double the number of polygons used for this prototype in order to allow for further detail. This is the tricky part of translating the complex Second Life 3-D model to Pepakura as without first lowering the polygon count of the model we had several thousands of polygons to make the figure. At this time finding a balance between effectively representing the figure and having the lowest possible number of polygons to allow for the successful physical completion of this piece with the material at hand and in the short time frame before the show.
Very excited about this work and others that I will be creating for my final showing opportunity here at Eyebeam. More details on other works soon.