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Artist Matthew Angelo Harrison Uses 3D Printing for Abstract Ancestry: Machine Works on Paper

All3DP reports on a new time-based performance at the University of Michigan Institute for Humanities’ gallery featuring 3D printing.

Matthew Angelo Harrison is the 2018 Efroymson Emerging Artist in Residence at the University of Michigan.  Harrison has chosen “to utilize 3D printing to reinterpret African tribal symbols into sculptures.”  Harrison has called this performance “Abstract Ancestry: Machine Works on Paper.”

Harrison’s “exhibit focuses on the cultural expressions of Africanism that have been consumed by the tourism industry.  To bring this concept to the art world, Harrison designed and built his own large-scale clay 3D printer to produce his sculptures directly onto a canvas hanging on the gallery wall.”

In order to see his vision through, Harrison used textile design programming.  His specially constructed 3D printer “extrudes the sculpture in thick lines of clay directly onto a heavily gessoed canvas…by building up layers in a dubious and unrecognizable manner, Harrison is able to symbolize the impact tourism and commerce have had on the ritualistic traditions in Africa.”

“The objects used in Harrison’s artwork are all purchased online, rather than sourced directly from regions in Africa. He notes that the relics he acquires are oftentimes sold by colonizer countries rather than their countries of origin, which plays into his concept of commercialized tribal patterns.”

In Harrison’s own words: “a lot of these patterns have had religious or ritual context, but what has happened over time is that they’ve become just part of commerce.  The tourist market is super interesting to me.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Matthew Angelo Harrison, The University of Michigan, and All3DP

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