I got to visit the Out of Hand exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in Manhattan this past weekend, and stumbled upon the corner where they were doing Shapeways body scans. The set up is actually quite simple: a rotating stand that spins you around as you keep a still pose, with a Microsoft Kinect hooked up to a vertical track that the technician operates by hand, almost like a weaving loom pulling up and down for full coverage as you spin around.
The guy running the set up had just finished his last scan of the day, but I begged to be scanned as research for the book. He conceded, and suggested to keep my bright red coat on for the scan, since it was more visually interesting. I struck my pose, which was deemed appropriate and functional—in order for the figure to be easily printed certain limb placements work better than others. It took all of one minute from start to finish. I gave them my email, and went on to the rest of the exhibit. Now here’s little me, which I can order for about $40 bucks in full color.
It’s a novelty self portrait in this instance, but it demonstrates how easy it’s getting to scan things in the physical world, turn them into data, and spit them back out into the world as printed objects. I have been “materialized as the postdigital!”
I recommend checking out the rest of the exhibit, full of interesting 3D printing, computer generated design, and digital weaving works that play with this relationship between the digital and the material.
UPDATE: Here it is!