Project image
)}
£335
pledged of 4 999 £pledged of 4 999 £ goal
18
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, October 28 2014 12:52 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated October 28, 2014

The Digital Terracotta Army

We 3D print YOU as a toy solider. One of thousands, you're part of a huge sculpture - criticising our disconnection with world conflict

The Digital Terracotta Army

We 3D print YOU as a toy solider. One of thousands, you're part of a huge sculpture - criticising our disconnection with world conflict

£335
pledged of 4 999 £pledged of 4 999 £ goal
18
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, October 28 2014 12:52 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated October 28, 2014

About

*************************************
NEW WEBSITE
li222.user.srcf.net/terracottaarmy
NEW CAMBRIDGE NEWS ARTICLE ABOUT PROJECT
http://bit.ly/YdYIEi 
*************************************


Like most of you, I've never been in a war. For the last seventy years, Western Europe and North America have known peace. 

Indeed, after the horrors of World War Two and the inhumanities of genocide, the idea of soldiers going through Paris or Berlin now seems unthinkable. And yet, many nations today are at war. In the last decade, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria have all known the terrors of armed conflict, leading to millions of deaths – and spiralling to countless other conflicts. At home, media pressure on politicians, to bomb this place or that, is often too tempting to resist. At the same time, a huge weapons industry has built up in the West, with guns often ending up in the wrong hands for the sake of a few dollars' profit. 

So what does this have to do with art? Well, I think the experiences of the proxy wars of the last couple of decades show that we in the West need to be more engaged with conflict. I think that part of our eagerness to go to war is often due to the fact that many of us only know it through rolling news, the cinema, or video-games. And I think it's the responsibility of art to give us a different view. 

In my work, the Digital Terracotta Army, you, at home, physically become part of a huge sculpture. You take form of a small toy-soldier – not unlike those you might have played with as a child, or in boardgames like Risk. With a selfie, taken by our app, your face is scanned – and automatically built into a 3D-model, using similar technology to some of the CGI in the movies. 

So we have you, or a toy-soldier you'd instantly recognise as yourself. The work doesn't stop here. You're now 3D-printed in extremely high resolution, one of a platoon of hundreds of soldiers, all standing to attention on the same tablet. Each soldier looks almost the same, and yet each is very slightly different. And this terribly dramatic, quite spooky scene is then used to tell a story about a war. 

In the first sculpture, we tell the story of the Israel-Palestine conflict, in 2014 only, in terms of the number of deaths. Here, each toy-soldier represents not one, but ten deaths. There are 102 soldiers in black, for one-tenth of the military deaths. 164 soldiers are in red, these are a tenth of adult civilians. And 58 of them are in white – these are one-tenth of the children who've died so far in the conflict this year. Imagine the scene, more than three hundred toy soldiers, children's toys – ten deaths for each one. 

But humans aren't very good at understanding statistics, especially when they're so vast. And that's why your contribution is so important. Just like the Terracotta Army in 200BC, on close inspection each soldier bears a different face. The human impact is huge. So, I'm asking for you to give five pounds for you to appear in this sculpture. Every soldier must have an identity, a background, a childhood, a love-story, a tragedy – without it, the work is just a statistic. And I want you to do more than appear – I want you to come and see it, to pull faces, to send me suggestions, to download the models from the website and print your own, identical version of the sculpture, exhibit it in your country, or maybe even make a new one and tell a different story.

How does it work?

 -You give us a nice webcam photo of yourself, through the html5 web app.  

-We make your 2D photo into a 3D model of your face, using sophisticated computer-graphics 

-We use this model to 'graft' your face onto the 3D-model of a toy soldier 

-Your toy soldier is then saved on the system. You, or anybody else, can view it in the app, download it, print it yourself. But more importantly... 

The Sculpture

-Your model is used as one of thousands, as part of a set of sculptures on conflict. 

-Each sculpture, consisting of a platoon of hundreds of soldiers is 3D-printed in very high-resolution. The sculptures aren't random - each one serves to illustrate a different aspect of 

-The sculptures form the basis for a physical exhibition, which is then displayed as an embodied interactive artwork in a gallery. 

Risks and challenges

The main challenge for a project like this is not technical, but to raise awareness. In terms of money, I've got access to a 3D-printer for prototyping, but need to buy (or buy access to) a much higher-resolution Makerbot, so you can properly tell the models from one another.

As far as the code goes, it's all fairly standard stuff - and it's in my field too (I'm currently working for Microsoft as a computer-vision researcher, before I go back to being a grad student). There are a few important issues, like the safety and security of your data, and having the app accredited by the various stores, but nothing too major.

But the main point of this artwork is that it doesn't just rest in the digital space of 1s and 0s, or on some projector, like so many digital-interactive artworks. This thing is real, it's embodied - that's what makes it powerful, and for that we need to find an exhibition-space.

The key thing here is to generate interest: worldwide interest, from the bottom up. With enough backers (more important, I think, than enough money), we can set up printers and exhibition spaces across the globe, bringing this massive, interactive, online artwork to everybody.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    Private, 1st Class
    With a webcam image of your face, we build a 3D model, and print a toy-soldier sculptor of you, on a 50-soldier "platoon" tablet.

    -Your 3D-model sculpture is displayed, in virtual form, our online gallery or app (with your name, if you like)

    -You know exactly which tablet, and which position, your model is on - and you can see it in the real, once the exhibition is open.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 4 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Corporal
    You have a model in your own image (as with Private, 1st Class) - this time, the model within the sculpture itself is a bit different, representing your higher rank.
    This time, not only will you be able to access the 3D-model digitally, but also real, high-res photographs of your own sculpture.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 5 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $33

    Commanding Officer (the perfect gift-package!)
    You're in the front of the platoon, the first row of a tablet-sculpture, for all to see. You get access to photos and a 3D-model, but also a choice of which model-soldier we use to build your sculpture.
    Not only this, but you'll also receive a physical presentation-copy of a photograph of your sculpture, along with a named letter and booklet from us, explaining the project and your involvement in it.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 8 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $129

    A platoon!
    Your own tablet-sculpture of 50 soldiers, built with the faces you choose - perhaps they're all you. You're the soldiers, the officers, everything. You get a package with photos of your tablet-sculpture, a signed letter of thanks, and all the other documentation, you can come and see it as a VIP wherever it's being exhibited, and you're welcome to come to the studio anytime for a cup of tea. You'll also get a single model-soldier in your image sent to your home, with the rest of the package.

    If you don't get it in time for Christmas, I'll eat my own socks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (45 days)