SA Filmmaker Invents New Documentary Storytelling Medium with 3D Technology

SA Filmmaker Invents New Documentary Storytelling Medium with 3D Technology:


“Watertight” Debuts in Amsterdam Photo: Raycaster

South African Filmmaker Invents New Documentary Storytelling Medium with 3D Technology

3D-Printed Art Installation, “WATERTIGHT”, Debuts This Week at Prestigious IDFA DocLab

Amsterdam, Netherlands (November 16, 2017) – WATERTIGHT is a 3D-scanned and 3D-printed specimen collection of  New York City habitats and the individuals that reside alone within them. Created by South African filmmaker Caitlin Robinson and Israeli artist Ziv Schneider, the collection premieres this week at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Today, more than a third of New Yorkers live alone.

This is the only documented period in human history that housing infrastructure has supported multitudes of single occupant households – and the phenomenon is growing exponentially in cities all around the world.

To tell this story, the collaborators pioneered a new form of documentary that uses present-day bleeding edge technology to continue the natural history tradition of specimen archiving. From 2015 to 2017, backed by a grant from Google, Robinson and Schneider embarked on an archaeological expedition in the USA, using a depth sensor to discover and preserve the manifestations of present-day living alone.

The final exhibit, called WATERTIGHT, is an incomplete archive of this recent development in human ecology. Peek into these 3D printed miniatures to explore a transient reality captured in a plastic fossil, the size of your palm.

The captured depth sensor data was converted into physical replicas. A computational process, called “watertight”, uses the internal structure of the apartment to extrapolate an external shape that is suitable for 3D printing. This results in seemingly organic artifacts that represent a subjective reality as seen through the eyes of an algorithm.

WATERTIGHT will be on display from Thursday 16 to Sunday 26 November at the Flemish Arts Center De Brakke Grond (Nes 45).

The documentary portrait series captures New Yorkers who live alone Photo: Raycaster

3D printing creates miniature replicas of real life characters and their habitats Photo: Raycaster

Using a depth sensor, filmmakers created 3D digital models of their documentary subjects. Photo: Raycaster

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