Listing of the wonderful supporters of Ascent

ASCENT:

the evolution of analog man to digital man.


The relentless process of evolution from simple amoebas to complex human beings continues onward. We know that man’s forbears were apes, and before that other less likely creatures. Man continues to evolve, transforming into unknown future creatures more able to thrive in today’s digital world.

Ascent explores this evolution from today’s analog man to tomorrow’s digital man. As today’s environment of digital interrelationships evolves from history’s analog world man continues to change and adapt.

In my Ascent project, I utilize historic analog photographic processes and cutting edge digital modeling technologies to create 3 dimensional digital sculptures from 2 dimensional analog photograms. The technologies evolve similarly to the evolution of man.

The human hand is captured as a series of thirty six 2D photograms created at 10 degree intervals as the hand is rotated. Those photogram shadows of the hand are digitized and then converted into a 3D digital model. That digital model is output using rapid prototyping technology. The resulting resin sculpture of a hand is one evolutionary step away from the original hand to a digital hand.

This rapid prototype sculpture of the evolved hand is then used to create 36 more analog 2D photograms, which are scanned, then synthesized into a new digital 3D model, and again output as a rapid prototype The new sculpture has progressed one more step on the evolutionary path to digital man. Ascent includes 5 steps of evolution to show the transformation from an organic hand to the future digital creature.

The process includes 21 sculptures each roughly 15” high representing the evolutionary steps from the original analog man to create the hand of Digital Man. Each plastic rapid prototype sculpture is mounted on a base of honed white Danby marble. The original analog man hand sculpture is a bronze casting.

The sculptures are to be arranged on a platform about 1 foot above the floor of the gallery in an area of about 6 feet in diameter with the analog hand in the center and a spiral of the evolved resin sculptures extending around it.

–Bill Westheimer