Anya Gallaccio: Beautiful Minds | Thomas Dane Gallery

Anya Gallaccio showcases her installation of Beautiful Minds, a giant 3D clay printer, which occupies the entire gallery space and over the course of the exhibition will actively be printing a scaled effigy of a mountain (to be precise Devil’s Tower, Wyoming). The machine, built by the artist in collaboration with a group of her recent graduates from UC San Diego, usurps recent advances in mechanical technology, subverting the very precise process of 3D printing by forcing the approximate and unreliable material of a slip clay thorough it.

Gallaccio’s subversion of this found mechanism reveals something of the obsolescence and fallibility of technology, often the failure of the clay to adhere to the rules of the machine bring unexpected and chaotic results. For Gallaccio, the printer’s extruded coils of wet clay (mimicking the fluid layering of geology) highlight the potential slippage between artistic intent, the limits of materials, and the struggle of communication in contemporary artistic practice.

Gallaccio also addresses the idea of authorship. Beautiful Minds is not only an auto-fabricating sculpture but a work that confuses the distinction between the object itself and the process of its manifestation. The process of printing is inherently repeatable, though the flaws in the system Gallaccio has created would unlikely produce the same object twice. This cyclical potential and the fact that the clay itself, unfired, holds the possibility of being rehydrated and put back through the machine questions the authority of the object over the process of its creation.

The artist has begun to borrow from technology in a surprising way. Perhaps a result of the move to her adopted home of California and specifically San Diego, a hub for technological and mechanical advances. The American landscape can also be seen in the choice of subject matter: Devils Tower, holding not only otherworldly connotations, as a sacred site in Native American tradition but also the location of an alien landing in the 1977 film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Gallaccio nods to another great Californian institution: Hollywood.

|Until 25th of March