Kadet Kuhne is an accomplished artist, using multiple technologies and media in her art. Her work has been featured nationally and internationally at select venues such as the Museum of Art Lucerne, de Young Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Contemporary Art Center Villa Arson, Antimatter Film Festival, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Krowswork, LACE Gallery, Crossroads Film Festival and Highways Performance Space and Gallery.
Kadet, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing?
Kadet: I’ve been working as a visual and sound artist in different mediums for many years, most notably experimental video and electronic music. Parallel to creating original works, I’ve been working as a sound designer for the film, game and commercial industries, as well as a professor teaching audio related courses at various colleges and universities. Through these practices it has been on my mind to find a way to make visible the invisible phenomenon of waveforms and particles, and to create objects that reflect the conceptual underpinnings of my media works. When I came across a 3D printed sculpture online I was struck with so many ideas at once, and quickly began researching software, materials, printers and community resources to start making my own designs and prints.
What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
After designing my first 3D model with the help of a seasoned professional, I began the search for facilities where I could do my own 3D printing and came across the TechShop in San Francisco. They led me on a tour and I signed up for a 3D printing class within an hour. It was one of those thrilling moments when you understand that you’re embarking on something massive in its most nascent stage. My first 3D print was based on the principal of destructive interference as it relates to audio, in which a sound wave and its inverse combine to create cancellation. This prototype was illustrated with a sine wave, the simplest of sound forms, printed on a MakerBot printer using PLA.
I initially printed at low resolution for budget’s sake but wasn’t impressed with the outcome, knowing I would be selling my prints as part of an upcoming solo gallery exhibition. For subsequent prints I used SLS printing at Sculpteo and much preferred the precise detail and granular texture of fine polyamide powder. I then began to use more complex waveforms based on spoken text that relate to themes in my video works, such as “Perceived Limitations” and “Dependent Origination.”
Why using 3D printing for your creations?
3D design has been in my life since I started working on sound for video games in 1998. Working closely with animators and designing sound for virtual 3D spaces is one of my biggest passions. In 2003 I collaborated on an original 3D game with Reto Schmid called Sensorium – an interactive, audiovisual installation in which users trigger ambient soundscapes and associated video loops while navigating through an online virtual space.
Since that time I have been designing and collaborating on immersive, interactive sound and video installations for galleries, museums, full dome presentations and performance art. My recent foray into 3D printing was a natural one; as a digital artist I am drawn to technologies that facilitate manipulation and control within the virtual realm, where imagination can take control at the touch of a keyboard at any location at any time. To be able to take a concept and immediately render it visible is incredibly gratifying. Also, I’m driven by the learning process, and eager to work with new tools that can efficiently meet desired ends in efficient and surprising ways.
What do you think of the 3D printing industry today?
It’s an exciting time for this revolution in manufacturing. There are shortcomings in affordability, printer speeds, multi-material development and much more, but given the developments in just the past few years, it’s staggering what has already shifted in terms of product development. I am particularly drawn to how individuals are the makers, that DIY sensibility. I personally experienced this liberated model with zines in the early 90s, then the internet just a few years later. This is the next level.
How would like to see the industry evolve in the future?
With empowered users, it’s my hope that the future will be full of radical thinkers and inventors further shifting the power from corporate entities into our own hands, homes and communities. I’m glad I’m alive in this era to witness what promises to be a sweeping democratization in manufacturing. Additionally, I am eager to see how 3D printing continues to unfold in the art world, as the proliferation of 3D printed objects in galleries in the Bay Area has been thrilling to experience in just the past year!
How could we encourage more women to be come involved with 3D Printing?
The answer to having more women involved with any technologically advancing field is changing the fundamental ways we are taught to think about gender. Women are still seen as less intellectual, capable and driven than men, and are routinely subordinated into lower paying and less powerful positions. To create this change, basic women’s studies and gender theory courses should be a mandatory part of grade school and high school education.
Having worked in the male-dominated sound design field for nearly two decades, I am excited to see a recent increase of women in my sound design classes (there was an average of 1 per year and now it’s about 6). I attribute this to the daily use of computers and other devices, the accessibility of software and hardware tools and the slowly shifting tides of gender equality and awareness.
If you are interested in learning more about Kadet and checking out her work, we invite you to visit her website!