Vancouver, British Columbia artist Douglas Coupland is visiting Simons department stores across Canada, scanning and 3-D printing customer volunteers for an art project that will be unveiled in 2019. The project will be shown in conjunction with the opening of a new Simons location in Yorktown, Ontario. Commissioned by Peter Simons, CEO of the Canadian chain of department stores, the work intends to emphasize the chain’s ongoing support of the arts.
Titled 3DCanada, Coupland’s project will be a collection of miniature busts of the individuals who are scanned during his tour. He plans to scan around 1,200 people in total over the course of his tour. Each finished bust will be roughly five centimeters in height, and the artist plans to apply gold leaf to the white plastic in the final piece. Coupland’s idea for the project began when he purchased his own 3-D printer and began offering personalized busts to house guests.
The artist is known for his work with technology and speculative futures, having achieving wide-spread recognition for his 1991 novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. Waxing existential on the subject of the 3-D printed objects, Coupland notes that the idea of 3-D printing seems to hang between the 2nd and 3rd dimensions. Each bust is effectively a mirror that can be viewed from all angles.
Coupland plans on continuing his tour until 2017, visiting a total of six Simons locations. His visits will take place on Saturdays during regular business hours, allowing roughly 100 people per visit the opportunity to be scanned. The scans are free and each volunteer will receive a bust which will be ready for pick-up the following week. The next two scanning sessions will take place at Simons locations in Vancouver, BC and Mississauga, Ontario.