CUBUS ET OCTAEDRUM I – A 3D Study in Platonic Solids

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uv cured inkjet on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum and cut out on cnc router


(orthographic view looking from the top)
uv cured inkjet on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum and cut out on cnc router

(orthographic view looking from the side)
uv cured inkjet on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum and cut out on cnc router

CUBUS ET OCTAEDRUM is a study of platonic solids, in this instance, the cube and the octahedron. We all know what a cube is and for those who might not know, an octahedron is an 8 faced polyhedron. A polyhedron is simply a solid figure with multiple faces typically with more than 6.

I’ve been going back to my roots as an architect, thinking about the basics of geometry. I loved geometry as a child and knew by the time I was in high school that what I wanted to be was an architect. So working in 3D again, I’m revisiting the platonic solids that so fascinated me early in life.

With CUBUS ET OCTAEDRUM, I started with the thought of turning the square pyramids I’ve been creating made from stepped cubes into an Octahedron which is simply two square pyramids back to back. On a side note, a square pyramid like the Great Pyramid of Giza is not a platonic solid but that’s too complicated to get into here without boring you to tears. Then I wanted to up the stakes and add another platonic solid, the cube that resulted in this intervention of the cube expanding out of the octahedron or it could be looked at as the octahedron growing around the cube. I also sculpted the blocks, carving into them to accept the sloping fins instead of sitting on top of the blocks. The fins connected together form triangles. I also split the octahedron up into 8 individual triangular sections further accentuating these sloping triangles. The views here are; a view from the side in perspective, a view looking looking down directly overhead and an orthographic view from the side.

This has been over a 2 months project, really challenging me and being great therapy to escape from pain. There will be more from this series to come changing up the color schemes. Thanks for indulging me in explaining this.

ESCAPE HASH – Appropriating the symbol of our times.

The idea for this piece first began when I started creating artwork with the hash symbol. We all know this symbol from the earliest age when we start using the phone and where it resides in the lower left hand corner of the keypad. On the phone we refer to it as the pound sign. We also see this symbol when referencing a model number, case number etc. and is thus known in this context as the number sign. But now in our digital revolution, the symbol being used in the context of social media and platforms, the hash symbol, has been appropriated for use in hash tagging. In 2007, Chris Messina had the idea to start using hashtags on Twitter. They are now used by millions around the world.

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Paleoanthropologist Genevieve Von Petzinger studies the origins of graphic communications of early humans and in her TED Talk Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe?, she explains the early human origins of symbols which include what we know today as the pound/number/hash symbols (see illustration above, top row third from the right).

Back to the artwork. After working in 2d with the hash symbol, I was asked if I wanted to make a 3d printed tactile sculpture for the visually impaired for the exhibition W/O Limits at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve. What I created is a sculpture of the hash symbol comprised of 72 blocks each with a hash symbol carved into it in alternating negative and positive relief. To visualize it, I did multiple renders of the 3d model and I noticed the beauty of the variables at play; the different perspective angles it could be viewed from; the variation of lighting I could apply to get just the right shadows to reveal the forms. It occurred to me that I could capture the 3d form from these renders and turn it into a digital print. So from 3d, I’ve brought it into the realm of 2d as a bold print on acrylic, cut out on a router. Deeply cast shadows reveal the forms of the blocks while its perspective angle creates the optical illusion of it projecting off the wall.

click on images to enlarge (except mobile devices)

uv cured inkjet on cnc cut acrylic and composite aluminum
dimensions variable – 47.5″h x 39.25″w overall, edition of 3