What does art look like in the age of "hacked matter," when anyone can print anything on-demand? That's the question Shane Hope, a New York-based visual artist, is trying to answer. In "Nano-Nonobjective-Oriented Ontographs and Qubit-Built Quilts," his new show at Chelsea's Winkleman Gallery, Hope is showing a collection of amazingly intricate paintings, each containing thousands of individual 3D-printed models.
Hope's chosen medium is "nanofacture," a neologism that describes fabrication at a molecular level. He builds his paintings using a cobbled-together toolkit of hard and softwares, starting with a molecular modeling software called PyMol and ending with a RepRap 3D printer. RepRap, if you'll recall, is an opensource DIY system that can print its own parts, meaning you can make more printers as long as you've got one. It's easy to imagine that Hope has a whole slew of the things fabricating parts, like an army of mechanical studio assistants ready to do his bidding.