Celebrating 100 years of On Growth and Form and other news
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Celebrating 100 years since the publication of ‘On Growth and Form’

The initial spark that got me thinking about the relationship between growth processes and the characteristic structures they produce was reading D’Arcy Thompson’s ‘On Growth and Form’ many years ago when I was an undergraduate studying mathematics. The original publication was in 1917, and to celebrate the centenary there are a number of planned events.

The first of these is an exhibition currently running at the Edinburgh City Art Centre called ‘A Sketch of the Universe: Art, Science and the Influence of D’Arcy Thompson’.
The exhibition highlights art collected by the University of Dundee related to ‘On Growth and Form’, including works by artists such as Henry Moore and Daniel Brown as well as from my Aggregation series.

During the course of the coming year I hope to be participating in other events relating to the centenary. I expect to be able to share more details soon.

Experiments with 3D printing

One thing that I’m particularly interested in is the possibility of fabricating physical sculpture using the data that I’ve been creating from simulations. The exhibition earlier this year at Watermans included one of my first tests: a 32cm diameter Cellular Form created from 12 interlocking parts made using my 3D printer.

This is very much an ongoing project, and I’m now working on creating terrain-like forms by unwrapping Cellular Form data using an equal-area spherical projection (to go from approximately spherical shapes to disk shaped height-fields). I recently submitted a part from one of these tests as an entry for ‘The Nature Game’, a competition based on Alan Turing's Imitation Game but to create fabricated objects that are convincingly natural. As they put it: 'Can an object be explicitly designed and fabricated by humans that seems to be naturally grown and/or expresses properties and complexity only found in naturally produced objects?'

I’m very pleased to say that my entry has been selected as one of the ten finalists, with the final at the Inside 3D Printing conference in San Diego.

Work in the collection at the V&A

I am also happy to confirm that the Victoria and Albert Museum has now acquired 12 of the 14 works from the Morphogenetic Creations exhibition held earlier this year at Watermans, including nine large format unique original prints as well as three multi-screen video works. These are now in the V&A's computer art collection, and I’ve been going through the details with them to cover all the necessary legalities and to help with cataloguing. They are now considering ways in which the works could be exhibited.

Emergence by Max Cooper

Max Cooper's second album, Emergence, has now been released. The tracks on this album come from the AV show that Max has been developing over the course of the last year and a half. The album cover features work from my Aggregation series, and there are additional images from Cellular Forms and from an ongoing art-science collaboration with Max and the Babraham Institute in the accompanying booklet.

Max has created an extensive website about the Emergence project including details of a number of works by different visual artists that he has been collaborating with. The live performance from the launch event at Islington Assembly Hall was recorded by Be-At TV, and you can see the recording on Max's Facebook. The section with Cellular Forms starts at around 32:30.

Zaha Hadid exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery

Not strictly Morphogenetic Creations, but I have recently been doing some consultancy work for Zaha Hadid Design to assist them creating a set of VR experiences. These form part of the retrospective exhibition of paintings and drawings by the late Zaha Hadid that has just opened at the Serpentine Gallery in London. It has been a very interesting project to be involved with, using a variety of techniques to explore a number of Zaha’s works in an immersive environment.

‘Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings’ is currently open and running until the 12th February 2017 at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park.

Copyright © 2016 Andy Lomas, All rights reserved.

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