Last update: 09 September 2016
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Space Geodes

Geodes and fossils serve as physical evidence and traces of lives beyond our time. The space geode is a digital fossil, an inversion of interior into exterior, fossilising a moment in space and time.


I have been digging through obscure databases of automatically uploaded cloud galleries, where file-sharing networks carry along and facilitate the distribution of the .OBJs, .3DPs, and .STLs of countless non-manifold 3D models.

Hundreds of poorly scanned domestic interiors have been semi-anonymously converted into incomplete surfaces, afflicted with too little information or impossible geometries that prevent them from being understood by machines and rendered into real objects that can exist and be manufactured into the physical world.
In particular, domestic interior spaces can be thought of as “inverted objects”: all of the other objects we experience in the real world have their surfaces on the outside, but the home is a space we live within rather than without. The interior domestic space can be thought of as the one “object” in which we experience the surface on the inside.
WORKFLOW
  FIX MANUALLY
  DIMENSIONS
  REDUCE 50%
  SOLID SolidType Fast Solid, Accuracy 248 Mesh, Density 360
  DELETE DUPLICATE LAYER
  REDUCE 50%
  HOLLOW Offset 2, Solid Accuracy 128, Mesh 128
  REDUCE 70%
  EXPORT STL
The 3D printed object as rapid, iterative prototype is not so different from a kind of fossil in reverse. Fossils are turned into fuel, which can be used to produce energy and electricity which has powered our drive for technological innovations and the growth of networks and infrastructure; fossils become the material for the production of plastics which dominate the products we come into contact with on a daily basis today; and geological deposits and fossils serve as physical evidence and traces of lives that have come before us, sparking our imagination of our position within a larger timeline before and beyond human civilisation.

Unable to dig for material remains for clues of the recent human past in my highly urbanised environment, as digital archaeologist I excavate the remains of human spaces. I have fixed the gaps in the models and then plane-cut them into new forms, like a geode being cut open for our voyeuristic examination. I prepare the 3D data to be sliced for 3D printing and the "geodes" are produced using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which involves using a high powered laser to fuse plastic powders - synthetic polymers of petrochemical origin, which completes its process of becoming a digital fossil in reverse.
The artist excavates the remains, fixes the models, and prepares the material to be sliced for 3D printing. The precisely structured layers within the resulting gcode/geode reveal the split-second shifts in perspective within the domestic space; the fluctuations in data capture which resulted in the imperfect transfer of physical reality into machine-readable 3D data. This digital fossil is an inversion of interior into exterior, fossilising a moment in space and time.
The 3D printed prototype can be thought of as being a kind of fossil in reverse. Fossils are turned into fuel, which can be used to produce energy and electricity which has powered our drive for technological innovations and the growth of networks and infrastructure; fossils become the material for the production of plastics which dominate the products we come into contact with on a daily basis today; and geological deposits and fossils serve as physical evidence and traces of lives that have come before us, sparking our imagination of our position within a larger timeline before and beyond human civilisation.