Erica Seccombe, Collective Unconscious 2013, 3D print edition 5, installation size20 x 23 x 5cm 

Erica Seccombe, Collective Unconscious 2013, 3D print edition 5, installation size20 x 23 x 5cm

Collective Unconscious

3D prints 2013


• Think it, make it share it
RiAus, The Science Exhange.
Adelaide |  SALA Festival | 2-30 August 2013

• Fremantle Print Award  
Exhibition, Fremantle Art Centre, WA | 21 September - 17 November 2013

Collective unconscious features four objects that replicate the very tip of a garden slater’s leg printed in various sizes. Slaters are a terrestrial crustacean or Isopoda and only grow up to 17mm in length so their legs are tiny. Imagine how big the creature would become if the whole body was printed to the scale of each tip.
I've created this work on a ZPrinter 650 which prints like a colour inkjet over thin layers of powder that are very slowly built up and bound together. These 3D objects are the enlarged virtual volumetric data of an actual garden slater, so the inside of the leg tip is printed as well. The volumetric data is acquired with a 3D Micro-CT X-ray of a real-life slater then visualised in Drishti, a scientific visualisation program. This work is part of a project I'm undertaking in the ANU Department of Applied Mathematics and in VizLab to investigate computer microscopy as an extension of vision.

The 3D printing technology allows me to replicate this object as many times and in as many sizes and colours as I like. However, the organic form becomes increasingly voxelated (3D pixels) as it increases in scale and pushes beyond the capacity of the data and the technology. Collective unconscious pays homage to both the possibilities and the limits of technology in Western culture, but it is also a play on the human drive to visualize and imitate nature in the pursuit to better understand life and, ultimately the meaning of existence.