How did you first develop the Tetrahedron Wings series?


This series of prints are vector drawings that were downloaded from the 3D modeling program Maya and are able to be scaled in size from very tiny to extremely large. The wings are actually 3D models built with individual tetrahedron forms and they can be animated and put in a full range of positions. Some of the images the wings have been layered over each other blended together to create a specific overlap in the middle. This idea was developed over a three month period in the summer of 2013 at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. I was concurrently building actual 3D printed models of wings and the first explorations in Maya, with the help of a brilliant assistant/intern Rui Hu, were to create the individual tetrahedron file to be printed on a MakerBot. We tested the options of printing out sections of wings, but it became clear that the assembly was best left after the objects had been printed. These prints were exploring how to blend together the form of tetrahedrons with wings. In Maya, Rui built bones and animated a full set of wings that can be projected and exhibited along with the prints.

What’s the process like translating your work by hand to 3D printing?


The evolution of the series began with carbon paper, pencil, paper, triangle stencil, and a few images of wings printed out from nature sites on the internet. I traced directly on to the wings and underneath was carbon paper that left just the outline of the triangle with on paper beneath. Then I photographed these stencil images and gave them to Rui to upload into Maya. He then placed a 3D tetrahedron on each place there was a triangle and he did some adjusting to create a fulling aligned and workable wing. There were many iterations and attempts before we found the current form. Then he took vector images of one of the wings in many different positions. I chose three to begin with: horizontal spreading open, lifted halfway-up, and fully lifted. I then took the vector files into Adobe Illustrator and made a mirror image of each and began aligning them and finding the best overlap. I adjusted the gradient of the colors and placed multiple images in layers of different colors to finalize the Amazing Grace, Ascension print.

What is the concept behind this series of works?


The concept being explored with the prints has multiple layers. Firstly, they are representing the empty form of a crystallized structure that is exploring the non-physical energetic circulations that begin in the heart, similar to the nadis of Ayurvedic Medicine and the meridians in Chinese medicine. These circulations around the human body and field are part of a subtle body system that Rudolf Steiner calls the Four Fold Model. I am researching how to help human physiology transition to living in the extreme environment of space stations and during space travel. This is just the beginning of the next 20+ years of work around this topic. I believe that we will need angelic help in this transition of human living in space. These wings symbolize the transition of becoming lighter, more free and yet more structured at same time. The nano and molecular structure that underlies much of the mineral realm is made of the platonic solid of the tetrahedron and so the wings mimic the mineral structure in an abstracted way.