Twister (2003)
Polyester resin over CNC cut urethane foam
96" x 30" x 30" (@ 100 lbs. with plywood plinth)
Dan Collins
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona USA
Project Info

My work bridges traditional studio concerns and digital media. I am interested in the gap between the virtual space of the computer and the tangible, body-felt reality of sculptural objects.


An on-going series of sculptural work 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 tangibility of sculptural objects.

Recent advances in 3D digital imaging and rapid prototyping provides the technical basis for this work. My research bridges three domains: data acquisition, visualization/modeling, and form realization (via computer aided manufacturing technologies). With respect to "input" devices, I am interested in gathering data from a full spectrum of scales–-from nano and micro data derived from microscopic imaging technologies, to planetary data derived from systems such as satellite based Synthetic Aperture Radar. Of particular interest are technologies for translating the form of the human body into digital models, such as 3D laser scanners and various medical diagnostic tools.

The conceptual foundation supporting much of this research is my attempt to better understand problems of representation vis-à-vis the vantage point of an observer. For example, how does our ability to "read" an image depend upon our position in space and our willingness to attend to visual cues? I am also interested in how binary coding establishes an event-space that allows for the linkage (perhaps irresponsibly) of diverse experiences, materials, and scales. Future work will explore how the "desiring body," through expanded interfaces, can access/explore databases more intuitively. I am passionate about the potential of art moving the game we play with computers from one of simply accessing information via databases and commercial software to organizing (through intuitive form making and story telling) what might be called knowledge of the world.