2003 Glass Entanglement III

Nylon (black), 3D print
(Selective Laser Sintering SLS),
glass (blown and cut), 38 x 23 x 20 cm

In quantum physics, quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of particles is generated in such a way that the quantum state of each individual particle cannot be described independently from the other.

The work Glass Entanglement constructs a similar state in which neither its digital nor analog parts could be read individually and where each part could not be described independently from the other. This work consists of the physical separation of the parts of cellular glass volumes from one another and the 3D-printed form interacting with these single objects to form an ecosystem between the glass volumes. The elements are held together by digitally modeled, tendril-like structures, analogous to the biological cell growth when forming multicellular higher-order organisms.

Glass Entanglement is part of a series of 10 blown glass vessels created during my artist’s residency at the Pilchuck Glass School. The shapes of these volumes and their creation follow the notion of primordial mitosis—the splitting of a single cell into two—the beginning of complex forms of life. After their creation at Pilchuck, the blown glass volumes were cut, creating a straight division between the upper and lower parts in the objects. The complete volumes were not 3D scanned before the act of cutting but, once cut, were arranged, held by a series of jigs, and then scanned.

This created a situation of disruption in which the digital augments the actual, through digital construction of their gestalt, adding a void in the form. This void is invisible and performative to challenge the relationship between the digital practice and the craft workshop—between techne and poiesis.

The work investigates the possibility of collaborative making from the glass workshop to the digital environment of my practice and introduces the notion of performance into the amalgamation between the glass and 3D-printed polymer.

The aim of the work Glass Entanglement is to create a larger, organism like construct in which the cut glass vessels can only exist in a 3D scan/3D print—a simultaneous state of digital and actual—simulation and simulacrum taking place at the same time. Glass Entanglement is an amalgamate of methods, skills, and materials, a hybrid phase matter state, where both sublimation (the scanning of a physical object; the transformation of physical to digital) and reification (the reverse: 3D-printed data solidification) form a new organism. Thus, Glass Entanglement is an interplay between glass making, 3D scanning, and 3D printing as choreography in which the scanning of the glass is a performance to construct a form that otherwise would not be possible in either the digital or in the physical space alone.

The work extends the emerging discourse on the qualities of digital craftsmanship as a new discipline where material knowledge, digital tooling and traditional skills are amalgamated and intertwined to form a new understanding and dialogue between practices of making and crafting.