Wild Times merged 3D printing, social engagement, and 2,680-mile thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail (from Campo, Mexico to Manning, Canada) as a means of meditating on wild landscapes – both geographic locations as well as the terrain of our psyche. I was particularly interested in the correlation between our shrinking untamed natural spaces (Only 3 % of the contiguous US is considered wildland) and our sense of personal contentment during this time of increasing pressure to mine our experiences for social media.
Over the course of my 5.5-month hike, I sent photo and 3D files, blog posts, Instagrams, and related public programming to a series of five West Coast museums and art venues where the transmissions were printed, installed, and shared – evolving into cumulative exhibitions.
Each day I hiked, I “collected” a rock using a photo app on my phone. These images were turned into 3D mesh files that I then transmitted to the museums I was working with. The museums printed the files, live in the gallery using 3D printers, in colors coded to the elevation I found the rocks. Over the course of the hike, this pile of rocks grew to evolve into a colorful cairn, both a sculpture and a map of my journey. Additionally, in juxtaposition to these 3D rocks, I sent back photo files – also printed live in the gallery. The images were framed and hung salon-style throughout the course of the hike. While both the rocks and the images are photo-based and the printing of each is created line-by-line, the understanding they offer and their presence differs greatly.
Public programming included Formulary for a New Wildness (group therapy exploring the concept of the wild in everyday life), a hero’s journey writing workshop for teens, and an improv comedy dérive through the city.
Wild Times was made possible through a Creative Capital Grant, the support of Makerbot, Microsoft, Wholefoods, and generous Wild Times Kickstarter campaign contributors.