Visual Arts Professor Michael Rees Combines Past and Future Technologies in Sculpture Exhibition

William Paterson University visual arts professor Michael Rees curated “The Speculative Object,” a recent exhibition of sculptures at the Power Art Gallery. Twenty student and faculty sculptors from William Paterson and Arizona State University used the most recent technologies, such as 3D printing and computer numerical control robot carving, to realize the works. The sculptures were then molded, cast in wax and realized in either aluminum or bronze at the Arizona State foundries.

A special feature of the exhibition included the works in virtual reality settings around the globe using Google Earth, which allowed the viewer to click and travel to such sites as the Vatican, Trump Tower in New York City, the Arizona desert, and the Malibu coastline to see—virtually—the sculptures in a setting planned by the artist.

The exhibitions inclusion of past and future technologies, used and presented side-by-side, enlarges the viewer’s conception of sculpture in the age of the Internet.

The show was a three-year collaboration between William Paterson University and Arizona State University, where it opened before traveling to the International Sculpture Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, and, lastly, to Wayne.