Glitch Reality II, digital (tangible) interpretations

Glitch Reality II

What happens if we scan a physical object and then restore it to its initial state using 3D technology? In his work Glitch Reality II the British designer Matthew Plummer-Fernandez has experienced the full cycle of scanning a common tea set and then returning it to physical dimensions. Using a laser scanner (a device that is able to scan entire three-dimensional objects), he digitized a cup and saucer, a teapot and a jug of milk. The resulting file (already imperfect) was slightly retouched by Plummer-Fernandez who fed it into modeling software, before printing it with a 3D printer. Transformed back into themselves the cup, teapot and jug have taken on an odd appearance, as if they were future “finds” of a bygone era. Perhaps chosen intentionally, these common objects make reference to the goods found in graves that populate our archaeological museums. But in this case the chipped edges are not caused by use or decay, but by the loss of data occurring during the process of digitization. The bulging shapes and the dents in the ordered lattices immediately refer to the aesthetic conventions of 3D modeling software, making the path of their genesis very tangible and clear. With such imperfect materiality the resurrected tea set seems to (paradoxically) show the limits of the idea of digitizing as a mere tool for conservation. What undoubtedly stands out is a specific and unmistakable style of interpretation.

Chiara Ciociola