Created by Diogo Tudela, Athletics of Transcendence explores how traditional craftsmanship can appear to validate and provide depth to otherwise flat and meaningless digital constructs. Diogo’s project proposes generative construction of a Grand Pavilion that finds its way into printmaking not just as a mere technical enterprise, but as a way of imposing an inherent sense of infinity into finite objects. Diogo believes that this blend of processes allows for “the digital perks of generative construction to be somehow legitimized by an analogical imposition, a physical causality that offers an unutterable spatial depth to an otherwise rather virtual and savourless set of imagery”.
“Printmaking has a long-standing tradition in rendering architectural deliriums. From Piranesi’s dungeons to Boullée’s mausoleums, there’s a whole historical spectrum of oneiric or just plain impossible buildings depicted through printmaking. In that sense, the construction and representation of complex architectural models designed through cyclic and recursive algorithms finds a coherent echo in this particular media.”
Originally generated as an algorithmic constructions in Processing, the rendered images are engraved into metal by the use of a 1970’s double axis Roland DPX2200 XY plotter that has been specially revived to be used in printmaking. The device provides a link between the virtual vectorial image for Diogo and from that point, this mechanical version of the traditional etching technique is followed by the centenary workshop ritual of pushing metal against paper.
Software includes Processing, Inkscape/HPGL Export, Maya and Chiplotle. Besides the Roland plotter, Diogo used a metal press, zinc plates, oil-based Ink, hard ground varnish, titanium Dry point and Canson edition paper.