With Namir Ahmed, Tiffany Cheung, and Jordan Scott
PLA and ABS plastic filament, printed on a Lulzbot TAZ 3D Printer and a Printerbot 3D Printer
“Loss Sets” translates poems co-written by Jordan Scott and Aaron Tucker into sculptures printed by 3D printers. If language is the material from which poetry is built, what becomes of poetry when it sheds language for pure form? What, if anything, is reconciled? What is reimagined? What is lost? Within this nexus of translation and sculptural poetics, the project thus aims to respond to the multiples of contemporary loss (physical, environmental, artistic, personal). The poetic form allows Scott and Tucker to explore the dirge, lament and elegy as means to grapple with loss and, ultimately, the failure of language to adequately represent trauma. The poems, written in collaboration, therefore bring two consciousnesses to the task of what can only be the failed task of reclamation. It is hoped that when joined with the algorithm and, finally, the 3D object itself, Scott and Tucker’s poetics of loss will take on a ‘translated’ physical form to be handled, manipulated, stolen or destroyed. In this sense, the language that Scott and Tucker use to navigate and confront what is lost will become a physical form both capable and incapable of expressing what is missing. In order to construct the objects, the poems are first turned into coordinates along the X,Y and Z axes after which, with Namir Ahmed, Tiffany Cheung and Aaron Tucker working together, those points are mapped into the 3D modeling software Rhino; using the Rhino plug-in Grasshopper, the models are further manipulated by using geographical information from the Columbia Ice Fields until a sculpture is “carved away” from a 32x32x32 cube. By inserting the coordinates of the ever-receding Columbia Ice Fields into the algorithm, personal loss finds a collective one embedded within the statistical data of ecological melt. The 3D object, created by the language and data we use to reconcile loss, are thus built in response and guided by concerns and critiques around the future of 3D printing: In a utopian democratic, post-capital world in which any object can be made or replaced, what forms will those physical objects take? What does destruction and loss within such a culture mean?
Aaron Tucker’s first book of poetry punchlines was released by Mansfield Press in Spring of 2015 and his collection of essays Interfacing with the Internet in Popular Cinema was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in July of 2014. As well, he is the co-creator of the ChessBard (chesspoetry.com), an app that translates chess games into poems that can be found at chesspoetry.com in addition to being a lecturer in the English department at Ryerson University. www.aarontucker.ca