Developed in partnership with Around the Table, the San Jose Museum of Art's community initiative, A Serving of Shapes weaves together art, history, and technology to reflect on Silicon Valley's past identity as an agricultural hub and its present identity as a center of innovation. Through a combination of public participatory workshops and a museum exhibition, artist Corinne Takara engages the community in a dialogue that explores the relationship between this region's agricultural past and its technology-infused present.
On January 11 and January 18, 2014, the public is invited to take part in free workshops at the de Saisset Museum that demystify the innovative process of 3D printing. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the history of food in this region or their personal relationships, experiences, and associations with food, and to use those ideas as inspiration for creating digital 3D designs in Tinkercad. Participants can generate new designs from scratch or choose an object from a library of images created by Takara and manipulate the form from there.
Following the participatory workshops, a selection of designs will be printed in three dimensions using a plant-based filament that is 100% compostable and biodegradable. The resulting sculptures will then be integrated into an exhibition at the de Saisset Museum. In addition to showcasing 3D printed art objects, the exhibition honors the creative design process through an installation of digitally designed and printed tablecloths created by Takara. The tablecloths will integrate the 3D designs and pencil sketches made by workshop participants into a checkerboard pattern that is reminiscent of a picnic tablecloth.
Together, the workshops and exhibitions aim to generate a dialogue about the complicated history of Silicon Valley and the ways in which it has been transformed from a place rife with plant- and wildlife, to an area covered by agricultural fields and orchards, to a region that is defined by technology and innovation. The project also aims to encourage reflection on personal relationships and experiences with food—how coming together around a table can bring a family closer; how a particular smell can trigger a distant memory; or how providing food to someone in need can be a welcome gesture of kindness.