Timea Tihanyi: Rule-Making And Rule-Breaking Is My Focus


Timea Tihanyi [Source: Women in 3D Printing]

Timea Tihanyi is a Hungarian born cross-disciplinary artist and ceramist living and working in Seattle, United States.

Timea earned an MD (Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, 1993) in neurology/neuropsychology, a BFA (Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, 1998) and an MFA (University of Washington, Seattle, 2003) in ceramics, where she currently teaches as a senior lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts program.

Tihanyi’s installations with slipcast porcelain and participatory works has been exhibited in Brazil, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, and in the USA, including Shepparton Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Bellevue Art Museum, Mint Museum of Art and Design, Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburg, Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Foundry Art Center, and International Museum of Surgical Science.

She has participated in artist residencies at Kohler Arts/Industry, Sundaymorning@EKWC (formerly, European Ceramic Workcenter), European Ceramic Context 2010 and Museum of Glass, Tacoma. She is a recipient of the Bergstrom Award in Art and Science and the winner of the 2018 Neddy Award in Open Media.

Timea is the founder and director of Slip Rabbit, an experimental research and education studio focused on the advancement of ceramic 3D printing and digital ceramics.

Nora Toure: Timea, you were one of the first people on the West Coast, USA to order, build, learn, and work with your ceramics 3D printers – what excites you about this process?

Timea Tihanyi: What excites me is the potential to combine a real physical/corporal and emotional material (clay) with abstract and immaterial logic that is a code or an algorithm. As an artist, the content of my work has always revolved around the relationship between the mind and the body as well as around questions about the origins of knowledge (whether it is through the mind or through the body).

I find a beautiful metaphor for this dualistic relationship in digital ceramics. I work with mathematicians on self-organizing patterns that show critical behavior (dynamic systems), which look insanely complex yet clearly having some rule-based logic.

These systems come into play when explaining and predicting the behavior of sandpiles, earthquakes, forest fires, electric breakdowns, the formation of water droplets and other growing surfaces, and human brains.

Rule-making and rule-breaking, by accident or by intention, is my focus in the emerging area of ceramic 3D printing. Following the prescribed path of the digital design or an algorithm-generated code, the ceramic 3D printer extrudes a thin coil of soft porcelain and creates each object layer by layer, line by line.

The form it makes is dependent on the “materialness” of clay and would not exist and cannot stand without the skilled human hand. In between design and serendipity lies the resulting object, consistent yet unique.

Clay, with its own unique materiality challenges all logical and predictable outcomes of the gcode. My work reinterprets technical, formal and conceptual aspects of the ceramic vessel tradition and reasserts them in the realm of the cognitive experience of the human body.

Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing

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