What’s the Latest Development?
Cosmo Wenman has spent the last year or so visiting some of the world’s great museums and taking pictures of well-known sculptures from as many different angles as possible. Averaging over 200 snaps per artwork, he admits that security guards “think I look like just a really enthusiastic photographer.” However, his goal is far greater: He is converting the images into files that can be used with a 3D printer to create at-home copies, and plans to make the files publicly available. Currently he’s using Kickstarter to raise money for a trip to Switzerland’s Skulpturhalle Basel Museum, which has invited him to scan their artworks.
What’s the Big Idea?
Once the exclusive work of archivists, famous sculptures can now be replicated by anyone with access to a 3D printer, and as printer prices drop, more people will follow in Wenman’s footsteps. To sidestep copyrights, he is only offering files of antiquities, but he looks forward to seeing where creative people might take his data. “[I]t seems very analogous to the potential behind the Napster-like free-for-all of unauthorized reproduction and sharing and remixing of music…If there’s a possibility for there to be…a new sort of energy level in sculptural art, that is very interesting to me.”
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