Hand Of The Machine
exhibition, Emerson Contemporary, 2020
This project investigates digital manufacturing through its imperfections. What we commonly understand as a uniform and infinitely repeatable dialog between user, computer, and 3D printer belies a much more nuanced and imperfect system. Communication breakdowns, bugs, and evidence of the unpredictable nature of hot plastic become apparent as we zoom in. Anomalies within the programmed structure become gestures within ordered fields of plastic lines.
The work shown in this exhibition halts the fabrication process to focus on these aberrant details. Impressions, abstractions, and mutations are interpreted through lenses, light, and ink. These forms are ultimately reflected back into the 3D printer. Anomalies build up, forms break down, and are reconstituted into new structures ripe for exploration.

This project was included in the group exhibition Spacetime (x, y, z + t) at Emerson Media Arts Gallery in Boston, MA. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Leonie Bradbury and featured work by Katherine Mitchell DiRico (US), Zsuzsanna Segedi (HUN), Nicole L’Huillier (CL), Monika Grzymala (GER) as well as myself. All images credit George Bouret Photography unless otherwise noted.


Curator Statement

Boston Globe Review
Boston Art Review Interview

Exhibition view. 3D Printer, photographs, video projections.

Exhibition view. 

Close up view of looping video projection. Image credit, Sarah Trahan.



Exhibition view. Looping video on ipads, photograph.

Looping video on ipad.

Looping video on ipad.



Example of looping video.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.

Photograph on paper, 24 x 36”.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.

Photograph detail.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.



Photograph on paper, 24 x 36”.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.

Photograph detail.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.

Photograph on paper, 24 x 36”.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.


Exhibiton view. Photographs on paper.

Exhibition view. 3D Printer in action.

Example of a 3D printed sculpture, these were free to take home for visitors to the exhibition.
Image credit, Sarah Trahan.