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Artist 3D-Prints Visualizations Of Crazy Microscopic Structures

Glimpse into a Shane Hope's "post-nanotech" transhumanist art future with "Upon Graphene."
April 4, 2014, 6:30pm

Shane Hope is a scientist-painter-poet creating art that he hopes will prepare us for a frightening and beautiful post-nanotech future. In this past, he's made map-like collages out of thousands of 3D-printed plastic models, but for his latest exhibition, Upon Graphene, the artist visualizes a myriad of microscopic structures, extrapolates upon them with a host of modeling software, and then actualizes them with a team of jerry-rigged 3D printers. The results are gorgeous, and his explanations of the work are, well, unique (to say the least).


"It’s one thing to algorithmically push pixels around, or even molten plastic and such for that matter," Hope writes on his website. "But it’ll be quite another thing altogether when it’s atoms."

With this in mind, Hope uses an array of state-of-the-art modeling, tweaking, and printing tools to make multi-colored, chaotic Qubit-Built Quilts based on nanoscaled structures, Protein Data Bank files, nanomolecular machine components, junk DNA, sheets of graphene, bucky-balls, and carbon nanotubes. If you're starting to get lost, hang on tight, because Hope's transhumanist, H+, singulatarian brain is just getting started.

Hope sees the future as a mishmash of infinitely mutating human and technology hybrids, and his work reflects such a future, down to his endlessly evolving creation process. He intentionally allows his 3D printing rig to misprint and create things unintentionally, just like a human. The results are beautiful microbial maps, combining the surprising structure and eerie chaos of the microscopic world.

Last year, we saw the seed of this project in his other Qubit-Built Quilts, the Nano-Nonobjective Oriented-Ontographs, and Upon Graphene follows the same futurist train of thought. To get a glimpse into Hope's precise-yet-abstract vision of the future, again check out his website. Every block of text summons images of fantastical, unimaginable futures. His sentences are littered with alliteration, and the crazy ideas he describes perfectly complement his unique artistic style.


Hope's site has a 14-line stream of consciousness poetic explanation of his work entitled Things-Making-Things. It begins: "Nano-nonobjective-ontographic scribblin’ on scriptable-scalable species-tool-beings quacker-castin’ computronium-clouds of kilo-IQ’d collablobject-oriented co-op-corporeal commons-clusters playborin’ with post-scarcity percept-pus and…"

Read the whole thing, get lost in his 3D printed paintings, and then let us know when you discover the secret to life, the universe, and everything else hidden in this mad-hatter's striking creativity.