Darwin taught us that the environment influences how creatures evolve. As the digital age overwhelmed the world I thought that man’s evolution would be altered. I created my Ascent project to imagine how that might happen. Analog man would evolve into digital man. In our digital future we would need our hands (and digits) less. We increasingly interact using devices that respond to our voices and less with our hands. Our hands would evolve and change over that evolutionary time frame. I created an iterative process with both analog and digital processes to illustrate this.
Beginning with analog photograms of hands that were scanned and manipulated to create an imperfect 3D digital model which was output in a life sized translucent sculpture. I photogrammed that sculpture, scanned and output as another less human hand sculpture. That process was repeated a few times until I had created 180 black and white 14×11” photograms and 21 3D sculptures. Jumping back and forth from analog photograms to digital 3D sculptures I created my Ascent (of man) series of sculptures and prints. The initial 3D sculpture files were produced with help from Jon Lash and John Rannou of The Digital Atelier at the Grounds for Sculpture. I learned how to do CAD modeling and 3D printing so I could print the sculptures using an early Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer and later a larger Craftbot Idex XL printer for full size 3D printed sculptures of the evolved hands.