This Instructable is a documentation of the process of creating "NAAG XY" by Gabriel Dunne and Vishal K Dar. The sculpture is roughly 14' x 8' x 4', and has a generative skin created by light projections, resulting in an illusion that the form is moving and alive.
We refer to NAAG XY as a neo-sculpture because it sits directly at the intersection of classical sculpting methods within the context of contemporary digital fabrication and optical projection mapping technology.
Vishal and I have been collaborating on ideas that challenge the notion of sculpture as static objects. Over the last 4 years, between Vishals studio in India and my studio in the Bay Area, we've honed a process of across the world communication and collaboration to create works that satisfies these concepts.
For NAAG, it's organic form has its roots in digital software process and classical sculptural techniques, including wax and clay and digital scanning experiments. Later, it is skinned with projection mapped interference patterns. Various parts of the sculpture are illuminated dynamically and appear to move independently as if a form had coiled onto itself.
NAAG XY is featured in the exhibition "NEAT" : New Experiments with Art and Technology, an exhibition that is open at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, from Oct 15th 2015 to Jan 17th, 2016.
Interview with Vishal and I about the installation in the CJM:
The form was the result of 3-months of work with Vishal and I in his studio on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. We installed the work in a small, abandoned factory space in Mehrauli in late 2011 (supported by Outset India) and then again during the India Art Fair 2012.
We used 2 channels of projection on a 12' form that wrapped itself around a vertical column. On the fringe of the community’s development, the children of this neighborhood had immediately made up their minds about the creature's true nature and the reasons for its appearance. To them it was a wish fulfilling sea-serpent, silent and evocative, which had found abode in this unused space to hibernate during the cold winter months of Delhi. It was the local children of the neighborhood that inspired the name "NAAG", referring to the mythical Hindu serpent deity. We were interested in experiences that trigger dialogue in communities that are untouched by contemporary art and technology. Their chancing upon an object that is beyond comprehension, allows them to put their faith in notions of folk-lore and myth making.
Later, a free-standing 16' version, NAAG Z, was designed to use 4x projectors for a full 360 degree experience, which made its debut in 2015 at the National Performing Arts Center in Mumbai.