[TISEA 1992] Paper: Stewart Dickson – Automated Fabrication as a Model for Extending the Philosophy of Visual Perception


The author has demonstrated computing tech-niques which allow high-level, mathematical descriptions of geometric structures to directly drive hardcopy devices that produce three-dimensional sculptures. Juxtaposing STEWART DICKSON the resulting objects with their original mathematical descriptions can be philosophically compelling. In this paper we present extensions of this idea in forms of new technology that can be combined with the previous system as well as an expanded philosophical basis for this work. Some current industrial design systems (in support of a design, prototype, evaluate and redesign cycle) include devices that can simultaneously digitise the surface coloration and the three-dimension-al geometry of a prototype. This is an example of a transformation of abstraction into physicality and then back to abstraction. Consider an artificial intelligence system that assigns abstract identities to objects (such as the pat-tern recognition involved in robot vision). Processing high-level mathematical symbols into a geomet-ric representation using substitution rules is another use of a traditional artificial intelligence language. By combining these two systems it may be possible to extend inference rules operating on visual identities to include the philosophical basis of an object’s identity. As an artmaking tool, a three-dimensional colour digitiser coupled with a three-dimensional color out-put device is a system of object facsimile or “photosculpture”. CAD tools exist with which 3D collage may be constructed using the comput-er. This paper will demonstrate a system for combining identity attributes attached to com-positional elements in order to arrive at a cumu-lative philosophical statement describing the completed visual composition. With these new methods, we are not only able to compose three-dimensional structures; we can also express, analyse and develop the reasons they are meaningful to us.

  • Stewart Dickson,┬áThe Post Group Digital Center, USA