Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital

Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital
Museum of Art and Design
October 15, 2013 – July 6, 2014

Brain Wave Sofa
Exploring the latest trends in digital fabrication, Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital at the Museum of Arts and Design is the first in-depth survey dedicated to exploring the impact of computer-asisted methods of production on contemporary art, architecture, and design. On view October 15, 2013, through July 6, 2014, this landmark exhibition brings together more than 120 works of sculpture, jewelry, fashion, and furniture by 85 artists, architects, and designers from 20 countries to examine how new technologies are pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and creation. The cutting-edge works highlighted in the exhibition demonstrate the reciprocal relationship between art and technological innovation as well as materials and new techniques—an area of exploration that has long been at the core of MAD’s mission and curatorial program.

Organized by Ronald T. Labaco, MAD’s Marcia Docter Curator, the exhibition features works created from 2005 to the present by both established and emerging artists, architects, and designers, including Barry X Ball, Bespoke Innovations, Wim Delvoye, Richard Dupont, Zaha Hadid, Anish Kapoor, Joris Laarman, Janne Kyttanen, Daniel Libeskind, Maya Lin, Greg Lynn, Lucas Maassen, Jurgen Mayer-H., Achim Menges, Marc Newson, Alan McCollum, Roxy Paine, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Dries Verbruggen, among many others. To provide audiences with the full sweep of innovation in this rapidly growing field, the exhibition includes works created through purely digital fabrication techniques alongside works that combine traditional handcrafted processes with these new methods.

“The compelling new works in Out of Hand expand audience understanding of the ways artists and designers from around the world are utilizing these new technologies to extend their artistic practice, revealing how these innovations are also transforming practices in manufacturing, healthcare, and other fields not readily associated with the contemporary art world,” said David McFadden, MAD’s William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator. “By examining these groundbreaking trends through the lens of artistic expression, MAD is opening up a dialogue on the significance of digital technologies to our larger culture and global society.”

Building on MAD’s practice of making the artistic process accessible in the gallery spaces, audience participation will play a central role in the exhibition. One section will be equipped with 3D printers, 3D scanners, and computer monitors, allowing visitors to experiment with the technologies explored in the show. Also integrated into the installation are video clips that explain individual artistic practices and the divergent approaches toward incorporating digital fabrication in the creative process. Additionally, a number of the featured works include interactive components.

The exhibition is conceptually organized around six themes, which provide a framework for navigating the diverse range of artwork on view and reflect aesthetic trends and artistic approaches:

In Modeling Nature biological and ecological phenomena serve as a point of departure for artistic creativity;
New Geometries explores how mathematical formulae are applied to create intricate three-dimensional patterns and geometric forms large and small;
Rebooting Revivals reveals how creators use computer-assisted production to reference or appropriate notable historical art works and decorative styles;
Digital manipulation is also used to reconceptualize human figuration and the body in Remixing the Figure;
Works in Pattern as Structure incorporate movement, sound, light, and other sensory elements to create immersive art forms that activate the gallery space;
Processuality documents how the act of making plays a vital role in the creation and presentation of works that reveal the limitless possibilities of these emerging technologies.

“From sculptural fantasy to functional beauty to conceptual idiosyncrasies, the works of art in Out of Hand, all created in the past decade, demonstrate an explosive, unprecedented scope of artistic expression,” said Curator Ronald T. Labaco. “The cross-disciplinary nature of the work and the exploration of seemingly disparate themes and concepts allows for boundless creativity. The exhibition puts these pioneering works in dialogue, highlighting at once their vast diversity and the trends and ideas that connect them.”