3D technology has come a long way since the time of red and blue glasses and cheesy animation; Douglas Coupland knows that well.
The Vancouver artist is in Yellowknife Monday, making busts of people using a 3D printer as part of a cross-country art project to create a portrait of Canadians, 150 years into nationhood.
The project is not part of any Canada 150 fund, but that hasn’t stopped Coupland from celebrating the people of this nation.
The Canada-wide project has traveled to places like Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton and now the territory’s capital locals come to wherever he’s set up, sit in his chair, and have a 3D picture of them taken.
It’s free, and takes less than a minute. Take a look at how it works:
— Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi (@GabrielaPanza) April 3, 2017
That picture is then uploaded to a computer, where a bust of the subject is printed on poly lactic acid, taking anywhere from 45 minutes to upwards of an hour.
Participants will pose for their busts, but will have to wait to be mailed them from Vancouver next week. They fit in the palm of your hand.
After creating about 2,000 or so 3D portraits so far, Coupland says you learn a few things about the people who make up this country.
“The first thing is that human beings don’t come in that many different shapes,” he said.
“There are babies who squirm, there are kids… There’s tweens, and there’s this big area of people trying to look hot, and then you have moms and dads, and then you have old people and that’s it. That is humanity.”
The project will next make a stop in Halifax. The end goal is to take the heads and print out larger 3D models before arranging them into patterns.
Coupland says that the end result will go into a superstore in Yorkdale when it opens in 2020. Until then, he hopes to take parts of the project on tour before they find their permanent home.
“Human beings are really beautiful; I think that’s what I’m learning [from this project],” Coupland said.
“There’s no one who isn’t beautiful and it’s just wonderful to see them see the world.”
The 3D art project is taking pictures of people today at the Racquet Club until 8 p.m.