IS 2005 / 4th Digital Sculpture Competition / Jury



I am an Associate Professor of Intermedia within the School of Art at Arizona State University and Co-Director of the PRISM lab--an interdisciplinary 3D modeling and rapid prototyping facility. Within the School of Art, I coordinate the foundation program in basic art instruction (artCore) and  teach advanced courses in Intermedia.

My work of the past several years utilizes computer modeling to control the kind and degree of distortion imposed on a given object or data set. Scaling operations, proportional shifts, eccentric vantage points, morphing processes, and 3-D montage are some of the techniques explored by this body of work. Part of the challenge has been how to get forms "out of the box" (the computer) and fully realized in an actual, tangible form. I am interested in the gap between the virtual space of the computer and the tangible, body-felt reality of sculptural objects.

My research has included working with "input" devices such as 3D laser scanners (at Cyberware in Monterey, CA) and various medical diagnostic tools (CT, MRI).  I continue to explore various 3D software modeling programs such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, Rhino, etc. as well as custom, proprietary programs.  I have worked with a broad range of "output" technologies such as CNC milling, stereolithography, laser sintering, and fused deposition modeling. The conceptual thread that connects much of this research is my attempt to better understand problems of representation with respect to the human form. For example, how does our ability to "read" an x-ray of a breast or an MRI image of a heart reveal changing notions of what it means to be human?

I am currently in the midst of working with researchers from across the university on an interdisciplinary 3D visualization project called PRISM (Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling) See PRISM links research in disciplines as diverse as Industrial Technology, Archaeology, Anthropology, Biomechanical Engineering, Bioscience, Computer Science, Architecture, Industrial Design, and Sculpture. It is a strategic research focus project funded in part by the Office of the Vice President for Research. For the past 9 years, PRISM has focused largely on NSF funded research in visualization and 3D data base development. We have recently launched an interface ("Visual Query") for searching a custom database of Native American pottery and are currently involved in creating three full-scale sculptural tableaux of George Washington for a new museum at Mt. Vernon.

For several years I have been involved with SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group Graphics), an arm of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). For the annual conference in the summer of 2001, held in San Antonio, Texas, I was chair of a venue called the STUDIO. The STUDIO is a creative environment that encourages SIGGRAPH attendees to work with the latest technologies for 2D and 3D production, animation, and VR. For the 2004 SIGGRAPH at the convention center in Los Angeles, I led a team that built a 25 foot x 15 foot “sand painting” machine that created huge bitmapped images with ½” pixels comprised of silica sand.

I continue to involve myself in the research and publication of theoretical texts that reflect the larger concerns of my studio practice and my teaching.  I recently co-edited an anthology of essays on the work of Eduardo Kac entitled The Eighth Day:  The Transgenic Art of Eduardo Kac.

Dan COLLINS Web page