Philipp Engelhardt’s stereoscopic installation Jet Paragon – The Diamond of Data with 3D projection takes the viewer into a virtual space in which he witnesses the constant construction and disintegration of Engelhardt’s own retopologized head.
A field of debris consisting of geometrical lumps gradually merges into a perfect head – and immediately disintegrates into colourful chunks on the ground: a moving photograph in a perpetual loop. The retopologized head of the 3D projection is directly related to the large sculpture (120 x 90 x 110 cm) made of 314 colourful triangles, which the artist has created parallel to the video projection. Resting on a wooden pallet in the middle of the room, the colourful head looks like a prop for the projected head and inevitably raises the question of which is the original and which is the reproduction. Despite its physical presence, the real sculpture is neither the precursor nor the actual protagonist of the virtual 3D projection, but merely the realization of a virtual building plan, which is also the basis of the video. What is the relationship of material sculpture in real space to virtually produced artwork in a fictitious environment, which can only be seen but not touched?
Philipp Engelhardt is a Munich-based media artist. An experimental exploration of 3D technology is at the centre of Engelhardt’s artistic work. Since the mid-90s, when at the age of 12 he first experimented with the then only just emerging 3D software, the medium has not let him go. After studying media art at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and working stays in Venice, New Zealand and New York, Philipp Engelhardt has been creating and animating photographs, videos and sculptures using 3D technology. In recent years, he has participated in exhibitions all over the world, including in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, in Vancouver at the SIGGRAPH and in Tampa, Florida at the Electronics Alive biennial.