The production of objects has moved from using analog tools powered exclusively using the hands, to computer-generated output where automated machines perform functions devoid of the human. In terms of contemporary object making, computer aided technology has dominated how we think and make decisions. In the last three years I have been exploring how I can introduce the human hand into computer- controlled environments. Handmade tools have replaced standardized milling bits on a CNC machine in order to complete tasks such as creating a ceramic plate. By having a unique tool only made possible by the hand, the dishes differ from each other even when the program is repeated every time. This methodology has potential to change the craft and design industry, where a hybrid practice can see the benefits of both worlds.
There are three elements to my digital ceramic projects; the tool, the performance, and the object. All three of these elements are crucial to the understanding of a hybrid practice. For “performance” I record videos that illustrate how everything is made, trying to be as transparent as possible. These videos are all archived at www.vimeo.com/adamchauexperiments. All projects can be seen at www.adamchau.com.
— Adam Chau