Shadow Self
exhibition, Distillery Gallery, 2019


Shadow Self is an exploration of the evolving role of technology as a tool, medium, and active collaborator in artistic practice. Designed and developed by Sarah Trahan and Andrew Sliwinski, this work includes participation by a custom-built Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) – a type of machine learning system – which has been trained on the social media “likes” of Sarah Trahan. Sarah sends a piece of artwork to the GAN, which returns a new, novel image in response. The GAN’s response is then subsequently integrated into Sarah’s next piece. The work shown here is a single series of back and forth exchanges between the artist and the GAN; creating a form of dialogue between the artist and the technology, the artist and the tool, and ultimately the artist and herself.



Artist input, collage on paper.

GAN output from artist’s image.
Animation of the GAN processing input.

Animation of part of the GAN training set, from the artist’s Tumblr likes.
,Artist image, cut and folded paper collage, 11 x 14”.
GAN output, inkjet print, 11 x 14”.



Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.


Installation detail.

Artist image, cut and folded paper collage, 11 x 14”.

GAN output, inkjet print, 11 x 14”.

3DRelief 
experiments, ongoing 2019 - 
A close up look at some of the support / waste materials from the 3D printing process revels small, complex structures worthy of investigation. What do these small pieces of waste plastic become when translated through other media? 

Below are some experiments combining this waste material with a traditional relief printing process. The plastic is inked like a plate and run through a relief press, leaving an impression and marks of it’s surface on the wet paper.

While doing runs of multiples on the press, I noticed that each time I ran a print of the same object, the plastic was soft enough that it would shift in places just slightly, making each print unique. What happens to the object when the prints are layered as frames into an animation? The relief prints then branched into an investigation of time and surface shifts through animated GIFs made from sets of multiple relief prints. 


An example of a “raft”, a piece of support material that sits between the print and the print bed to help stabilize the 3D print as it builds. Support material like this peels off easily after the print is finished and is meant to be disposable.

A close up of a raft’s surface (before inking).

An inked up plate.

Resulting print, 6 x 9”.

A test GIF of layered relief prints.

A test GIF of layered relief prints from a failed 3D print.



Relief print 9 x 12”.

Relief print, 9 x 12”.

Relief print, 11 x 14”.




Test GIF from a 3D printed plastic fragment.
Automatic
 collaborative project, 301 Gallery, 2019
An exploration of art and authorship in an age of automation.

Automatic is an exploration of the evolving role of technology as tool, medium, and active collaborator in artistic practice. Designed and developed by myself and Andrew Sliwinski, this collection of work centers around a series of drawings produced by an Automatic Drawing Machine (ADM). 

Inspired by Surrealist Automatism in which the artist supresses conscious control over the drawing process - allowing the unconscious mind to guide mark making - our ADM transforms electrical activity in a wearer’s brain into a series of graphic marks. The drawings in this collection of work were produced while eight different artists engaged in a range of practices including painting, drawing, writing, woodworking, and computer programming; forming a type of call and response between each artist and the technology.

The ADM system works by utilizing a non-invasive brain sensing technology called Electroencephalography (EEG), as well as custom software built to transform raw brain activity into a graphic representation. For this exhibition at the 301 Gallery in Beverly, MA, these graphic representations of various artists’ brain activity were transferred from screen onto paper using a computer-controlled plotter and a ballpoint pen.




The ADM helmet with EEG sensors, 3D printed and assembled using Open BCI components.

ADM helmet detail.

Artist using the ADM while painting.

Artist using the ADM while letterpress printing; on screen is the corresponding drawing being made using the artist’s EEG data.

Left: An artist drawing. Right: a visualization of their corresponding EEG data.

Left: Artist’s finished drawing. Right: Corresponding ADM drawing.


Left: Video documentation of an artist wearing the ADM helmet while woodworking. Right: the artist’s ADM drawing happening simultaneously (no audio).



Audio / video doumentation of an artist playing a banjo in a duet while wearing the ADM helmet.


A selection of ADM-generated drawings, made using  participating artists’ EEG data processed through custom software.
   
ADM drawing detail.

An ADM drawing being plotted..

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view with live projection from the ADM.
Exhibition view.
Exhibition view; tabletop audio / video on iPads.

Exhibition view; process work and statement.

Exhibition view.
My interest in weaving includes it’s related tools. Traditional looms and weaving tools often require large space and time commitments to both warp and weave projects. As a working artist, my question upon starting this project was; How can I have a daily weaving practice that can 1) Fit into my schedule and 2) is portable (perhaps wearable) and doesn’t require the space needed for a traditional loom? Designing this ring is my attempt to reconcile my love of weaving and my lack of both time and space.

This ring was 3D modeled using Tinkercad and 3D printed in a variety of media; the final versions were printed on a Formlabs Form 2 using their photopolymer resin. The ring has an inner diameter of 19.25mm (approx a US size 9). You can download the file using the links above to print one for yourself.



Final Version, weaving in progress. 3D printed black resin.

Final version, weaving in progress. 3D printed black resin.

Final version, 3D Model view.

Weaving Sample on 3D printed clear resin.

Weaving Samples, detail.

Ring prototypes 3D printed in clear, gray and translucent gray resin.

First ring prototype, printed in PLA plastic.

Detail, first ring prototype.
First ring prototypes.
Retouch Paintings
ongoing project, 2018-
These paintings are the artifacts of digital retouching processes. In these pieces, the original photographic imagery being retouched has been stripped out and what is left over is a record of the retouching process in Adobe Photoshop; a complex layering of color filters, pixel selection tools, cloning tools, flat color and digital brushstrokes. Because of the nature of the retouching process, echoes of the original photographic imagery also remain. Bits of fabric, organic materials and irregular surface textures intermingle with digital artifacts and pixel structures.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 40”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 24 x 30”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 24 x 30”.

Archival Inkjet Print, 24 x 30”.

Detail.

Detail.

Detail.