David Van Ness
Coordinator of Foundations, Northern Arizona University
In working with 3D printing since 2005 I have examined the medium as a new form and not as a replacement for the handmade. In my teaching I have structured my projects to both critically examine the magical qualities of 3D printing and the threats the data presents as art.
By interrogating where I have been as an artist I hope to show where I am taking my students. I was trained as a sculptor. When I discovered this technology I was lured by its ability to make anything and as such, I used it to do so, in many ways as a surrogate for my hand. I see this as a missed opportunity. Being trained by artists who taught about the meaning of materials, I was confused by a medium that didn’t exist and until the ‘print’ button was pressed.
Since 2005 technology has changed and so too has the public knowledge of 3D printing. Now websites like thingiverse.com and services such as Shapeways allow almost instantaneous gratification of our desires. As a teacher and artist I strive to encourage a critical dialogue with the medium itself and an examination of the meaning of the intangible data.
David Van Ness is an artist and educator from Flagstaff, AZ, and is currently the Coordinator of Foundations for Northern Arizona University where has been working to incorporate 3D printing and digital design into the 100 level Foundation level courses. He has been working with digital fabrication and design since 2005. Van Ness’ work has been part of many different exhibitions including the 3D Printshow in London and New York, as well as being shown in many commercial galleries nationally and internationally. Van Ness has been invited to speak at several different conferences on 3D printing concerning its potential for art and artists.