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Lead Pencil Studio Uses Laser Scanning to Create an Eerie Other World

Lead Pencil Studio Uses Laser Scanning to Create an Eerie Other World

Lead Pencil Studio, the wildly talented Seattle archi-art pair who gave the world a billboard that advertises nothing but clean air, unveiled an intriguing solo show in Philadelphia recently. They’ve take the notion of laser scanning and gone one really cool step further.

Laser scanning, for the uninitiated, is a popular technique in architectural restoration. It involves running a laser over a building to create spectacularly detailed digital “scans” that help preservationists determine exactly how to rebuild a facade, say, or fix some decapitated gargoyle.

Lead Pencil Studio gave the process an arty twist. First, they laser-scanned a slew of random objects –from pipes and fire hydrants to a desk and a toilet plunger — then they used the scans as a guide to hand-craft augmented aluminum models of the objects at a 1:1 scale. What results is a series of eerily fragmented sculptures that look like they were either dipped in a vat of acid or recovered from a crumbly old building (or both). The artists call it “architecture in reverse…our projects are everything about architecture with none of its function…spaces with no greater purpose than to be perceived and question the certainty posited by the man?made world.”

Which sounds like an awfully lofty explanation for a bunch of junk. Except this junk is awesome. Lead Pencil Studio’s plunger resembles a half-finished Death Star, whereas yours resembles, well, a plunger.

Surface Deposit is on view at the Temple Gallery at Temple University through February 26. Stop reading, and go… now! SL