The story of how the Alter Piece figure was developed, from an initial sketch to the finished form, continues.
From the start I wanted to realise it in as interesting a way as possible and, being a bit geeky, the moment 3D printing technology came along, I was into it.
There's something amazing to me about being able to render a line on a page as an upright, self-supporting, neon-coloured piece of plastic. Using a 3Doodler pen, I drew over a slightly more finessed 2D version of the original illustration to render the shape for the first time as an upright figure.
It was a fun time. Modelling the form roughly out of air-dried clay and working with the 3D Doodle pen in combination let me explore how lines made shapes, and how they then felt to hold in the hand.
Back and forth I went for a while, from sketches to 3D versions, using these cutting-edge and craft-based techniques together.
I wanted the shape to be soft and engaging, with 'baby shoulders' that had small indentations in them to give them character. I also envisaged a simple and precise form, so sideways on it's very streamlined, like a torpedo, reflecting the hint of the figure as an intentional tool and something ergonomically good to hold, with a stance that had a sense of movement as well as perhaps defying gravity and expectation.
The clay version enabled me to experiment with all that. Doodling multi-dimensionally gave me the option to explore scale as well, thinking about proportions and what felt right, in ways that 2D rendered designs can't do.
The finished version's not too different at all from that 3Doodler pen sketch, as you can see. As stepping stones in a journey of making and discovery, they look good together.
The technology in this process gave me the option to take an idea off a page and bring it to life in ways that would have been impossible previously.
My making process was guided by emerging technology, just as I think we are being guided by it as digital humans. So these Alter Piece forms are a metaphor to me about how technology enables new levels of actualisation, and how we can use them however we want.
The question of who we want to be today has never been more wide open, nor more adventurous or full of potential. It's an odyssey and a quest, because each and every person is individual and creative. The learning from my experience is you can take any idea that's flat on a page or in your mind and make it multi-dimensional and real.
As humans with technology like this - and more - at our fingertips, there are many ways in which we're able to explore altered, augmented states for better futures, new dimensions of human existence, and the creation of new, contemporary totems that can inspire.
Individual, personal expression is, I hope, entering an exciting new era.