Joshua Harker

from Chicago, IL

Art and technology intersect with these 3-D-printed sculptures

About Joshua Harker

Own a piece of history, crowdfunding history, that is; fine artist Joshua Harker's Crania Anatomica Fillgre is the most well-funded scultpure project ever on Kickstarter, and it's easy to see why. By using a 3-D printer to transform his creative drawings into elaborate scultptural objects, Harker is able to produce designs that wouldn't be possible without the technology. The former toy maker and special effects designer begins in two dimensions, completely ignoring form and representation, and then uses 3D printing, along with associated software and technologies, to realize his visions three dimensions.

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A Kick to the Head

 

What’s the single biggest sculpture project ever funded on Kickstarter? Joshua Harker’s insanely intricate 3D-printed filigree skull a.k.a. our favorite ever pairing of delicate and dark.

 

By NANCY MACDONELL

 

3D modelling screensot

 

Briefly

 

Artist/digital visionary Joshua Harker is a pioneer in the field of 3D printer art. His complex work—a result of almost 20-years worth of software development, materials engineering, and technology advances—is in collections worldwide.

 

Joshua Harker

 

The Whole Story

 

Joshua Harker has been experimenting with three-dimensional interpretations of drawing since the early 2000s, when he created his Tangles series of sculptures, considered a landmark event in the history of the 3D printed medium. From there, Harker went on to mastermind his Crania Anatomic skulls, which, four-years-and-counting after they first appeared on Kickstarter, remain the best-financed sculpture project the site has ever known. “I strive to show the possibilities of what can be achieved with art and technology,” he says. “I’m not making parts for rockets or medical applications but I do work to show how things can be looked at and created differently and how that may be applied to anything.”

 

3D printed heart

 

The Products

 

To really appreciate what Harker has achieved with his art, it’s necessary to understand just how mind-bendingly difficult it is to create—his Tangled series, which preceded the skulls, are considered the first forms to break the design and manufacturability threshold for 3D printing, making them a landmark in the history of this medium. “None of my work is algorithmic, generative, or otherwise computational,” he says. “The software and toolsets I work with are specifically chosen so that I can be spontaneous and sincere to my vision. I simply work in the digital space because my art cannot be made another way.”

 

Joshua Harker at work

 

3D printing process

 

Five Minutes With Joshua Harker

 

Q:    What’s an aspect of your work that would surprise people?

A:     The depth of narrative in my pieces and how intensely difficult the process to create my pieces can be.

 

Q:    What experience have you had that’s made the greatest impact on the way your work?

A:     Kickstarter success was a real eye-opener in term of realizing how much people connect with my art and that I simply needed to get it seen. It would be a stretch to say that it altered my work, but it did change how I look at using digital media and the Internet to share it.

 

Q:    What’s the smartest thing you’ve done in your career?

A:      Seeking ways around the established protocol—pushing beyond boundaries and doing things differently is what has set my work apart.

 

Q:    If you won the lottery tomorrow, what you do?

A:     Support as many ideas that can change the world for the better regardless of financial merit.