Veronica Scanner

Collaboration with Factum Foundation + The Rothschild Foundation. With iMakr, MyMiniFactory, Autodesk, Capturing Reality, Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL)

The Veronica Scanner, from Vera = true, from the Latin Eikōn = icon or image, from the Greek

Art has always sought to reproduce a true likeness between image and form: from Pygmalion falling for his own sculpture in Greek myth, to the rise of photography in the 19th century.

This interactive exhibition was envisioned as a futuristic Rococo laboratory, filled with life and activity. The entire 19th century space of the Weston Rooms at the Royal Academy was turned white (with deliberate reference to Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), where the Factum team, dressed in white lab coats, became an extension of the ‘set’. At the centre sat the spherical Veronica Chorographic Scanner, into which members of the public were invited. In a matter of seconds, the scanner uses nine cameras to capture 96 high resolution photographs of the human head from every angle, mapping even the finest surface details.

Once the visitor was scanned, their data was processed before being transformed into a bust that was either 3D printed on site or milled from wood with a 7-axis router. These busts were added to a collection of physical ‘outputs’ which grew rapidly over the course of the exhibit. They were also uploaded to an online gallery, accessible to the public

Also on display were curated texts, historical artworks, and portrait busts in a variety of scales and materials produced with data from the Veronica – from two-inch silver to life-size chocolate, to a 1-meter-tall plaster bust. 3D printers, provided by iMakr, and a wood carving KUKA robot, lent by the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), demonstrated contemporary rematerialisation techniques. A second iteration of the exhibition was staged at the Rothschild Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.