I shall write my response on rapid prototyping and how it has permeated the artist’s culture.
Prototyping of course is not a new thing. Creativity, invention and the chisel and marble have been around for a long time.
During the 1980s an artistic movement emerged, much like an industrial nation. It not only sought to create, but it sought to create faster. Artists experimented with different materials, Ronald Warunkek created images out of chemicals. Richard Lerman constructed installations from piezoelectric sound transducers (essentially crystals that conduct electricity). Jean-March Philippe sculpted with nickel-titanium shape-memory metals.
While there is nothing particularly unique about their materials the uniqueness lies in the steadfast way by which the artists worked. They pioneered rapid prototyping in such a way that if scaled (properly) could rival industrial factories.
So these artists were able to create a way to rapidly prototype their ideas, so what? We’ve been an industrial nation for close to a century.
The major premise behind these, and many other, artists is the inspiration they bring to the table. These were not artist in a factory with mass producing machinery and their disposal. Rather they were of limited physical resources and thus they perfected their production methods. Often utilizing computer aided design (CAD), artists as such pioneered new technology such as 3D printing.
A different work indicative of the mindset of such artists is Pierre Comte’s Signature Terre. Such a work necessarily required Comte to become familiar with statellite imaging systems at least enough to “devise a scheme that would be visible in the way desired….Comte had to learn technical and scientific information necessary to further the project.” (Wilson 264,266). Such a project as Terre brings satellite imaging to a different arena (say outside of the military) and translates it to new applications. His project could elucidate a hopeful start-up to create a new GPS app a la Google Earth.
The artists themselves may not attain doctorates in the physics of natural phenomena as it may relate to systems of nature, but most seek to learn enough to inform others of such a process. In fact, this is the stronghold of the artists’ work. Their work becomes relational and approachable enough for a total stranger to the system to become interested in the subject. This may lead to information, inspiration or even collaboration.
( Susan Aldworth [ http://susanaldworth.com/ ]
Quantum: an ode to physics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwv4pgNodco )
Arthur Miller and the debate for the third culture (a merging of the arts and science)