Technology in the service of art

With a nod and a wink to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the future mate­ri­al­i­sa­tion in Songeons Park of the path link­ing the Musée Antoine- Vivenel and its out­sourced tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tion room, the nine 3D-print­ed so-called ‘her­mes’ head-dress­es mount­ed on pil­lars that two UTC stu­dents have cre­at­ed illus­trate the long-stand­ing part­ner­ship between UTC and the muse­ums of Compiègne.

At the Musée Antoine-Vivenel in Com­piègne, you will have to wait until 15 June and the open­ing of the So Greek! exhi­bi­tion organ­ised around the museum’s col­lec­tion of Greek vas­es (the sec­ond largest after that of the Musée du Lou­vre in Paris) before you can see the instal­la­tion of nine 3D-coloured copies of the mar­ble Her­mes head-dress­es that it holds. As part of the 2024 Olympic Games, the exhi­bi­tion will fea­ture the Pana­thenaic vas­es pre­sent­ed to the win­ners of the ancient Greek Games, sev­er­al of which are held by the muse­um. It will also be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­play the head of Her­mes, the orig­i­nal mod­el of those made in 3D to mark out the path link­ing the Musée Antoine-Vivenel to its tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tion room in the park at Songeons.

These life-size repro­duc­tions, mount­ed on pil­lars, are the result of work car­ried out between Sep­tem­ber and Decem­ber by Mélis­sa Rous­son-Marc­hand, a stu­dent from Utrecht in TC03, and Swann Courme, enrolled this year in IM01. To address the issues of acces­si­bil­i­ty and vis­i­bil­i­ty in a site with list­ed sur­round­ings, to appeal to younger audi­ences and to dust down our ways of medi­a­tion, we took as our start­ing point the head of Her­mes which, in Ancient Greece, was installed on quad­ran­gu­lar pil­lars to mark out roads, cross­roads and the gar­dens of wealthy hous­es,» explains Del­phine Jean­not, Direc­tor of the Muse­ums of Com­piègne, who ini­ti­at­ed this project com­mis­sioned from UTC. It was inter­est­ing to pick up on this usage by using bright pop colours. The her­mes head-dress­es have a very mod­ern, anachro­nis­tic feel to them, which is both off­beat and assertive.

A project using an agile evolutionary method

For this project, Mélis­sa Rous­son-Marc­hand and Swann Courme under­stood the tech­ni­cal con­straints inher­ent in respect­ing the work and com­plet­ing a project using an agile evo­lu­tion­ary method. At the UTC Fablab, the duo devel­oped their tech­ni­cal skills in 3D print­ing, image cap­ture and STL file con­ver­sion. «We chose the method­ol­o­gy and car­ried out a tech­nol­o­gy watch focus­ing on the meth­ods for dig­i­tal­ly cap­tur­ing an object for 3D recon­struc­tion, as well as the most suit­able mate­ri­als,» explains Mélis­sa Rous­son- Marc­hand. Like the ASA (acry­loni­trile styrene acry­late) resis­tant to cli­mat­ic con­di­tions, humid­i­ty and ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion cho­sen for print­ing the nine her­mes caps. The duo began by tak­ing two hours of images of the mod­el from every angle in order to recon­struct it. «They rearranged the pho­tos and recov­ered a cloud of points to recon­sti­tute a vol­ume, which was then post-processed to insert the fix­ing func­tions,» explains Nico­las Piton, head of the pro­to­typ­ing plat­form who accom­pa­nied the two stu­dents. The base was one of the top­ics of dis­cus­sion. «We were very focused on the tech­ni­cal aspects and the attach­ment sys­tem, while the muse­um had an aes­thet­ic vision. We had to speak the same lan­guage so as not to alter the integri­ty of the work or add ele­ments. Final­ly, the nine 3D prints of the her­mes head-dress­es were launched at the UTC’s Fablab, each last­ing 40 hours. «Com­bin­ing art and tech­nol­o­gy is inter­est­ing, con­crete and out­side the UTC frame­work», says Mélis­sa Rousson-Marchand.

For Nico­las Piton, work­ing with the art world is noth­ing new: «We’ve already worked with the Espace Jean-Legendre, for exam­ple. As the Fablab is the UTC’s only pro­to­typ­ing plat­form, I have a glob­al vision of the projects that I sup­port in terms of teach­ing, research, indus­tri­al devel­op­ment, start-up cre­ation, etc. There are around a hun­dred projects a year. A con­nect­ed foot­ball table is among the projects cur­rent­ly under­way, just as the Fablab is cur­rent­ly work­ing with a local man­u­fac­tur­er in the lux­u­ry goods sector.

Partnerships for mutual benefit

The engi­neer­ing work car­ried out by the stu­dents encour­ages a pro­fes­sion­al approach through an inter­ac­tive project with the out­side world. This allows us to ask our­selves the right ques­tions and nev­er for­get our objec­tives, which may be dif­fer­ent,» empha­sis­es Emmanuel Doré, a lec­tur­ercum- research sci­en­tist in Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing who super­vised the two Utrecht stu­dents. The UTC’s strong pres­ence in the region enables us to posi­tion our­selves at events and to high­light pos­si­ble and vir­tu­ous col­lab­o­ra­tions. Part­ner­ships are the com­mon thread run­ning through the teach­ing pro­gramme as a means of devel­op­ing both tech­ni­cal and inter­cul­tur­al skills in response to a com­mis­sion. Art is pos­si­ble through tech­no­log­i­cal diver­sion, using the tools, soft­ware, resources and meth­ods of the UTC, which pro­vides train­ing in con­struc­tion method­olo­gies and the geo­met­ric mod­el­ling of mechan­i­cal parts,» explains Emmanuel Doré. 

For the muse­ums of Com­piègne, locat­ed in the same local ecosys­tem, the influ­ence is mutu­al. « In the con­text of the ren­o­va­tion of the Musée Antoine-Vivenel, its ambi­tions and the lim­i­ta­tion of finan­cial costs, the focus on new tech­nolo­gies and the pos­si­bil­i­ties they offer is impor­tant,» con­tin­ues Del­phine Jean­not. Today, we can no longer do with­out this knowl­edge. For the gen­er­al pub­lic, it’s also a real attraction. »

Le magazine

Avril 2024 - N°62

Faire face aux enjeux environnementaux

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