Seti I Update

Having returned from the Valley of the Kings in December 2016, Pedro Miró has begun post-processing the different datasets recorded of the tomb of Seti I. This process involves the production of a facsimile of a section of the tomb in alabaster. The facsimile will demonstrate the quality of the data recorded and will be the part of an exhibition later this year focusing on the various efforts in restoring, preserving and studying Seti I. 

Read here a full report on work completed in 2016 in Egypt


The New Yorker's piece on Factum Arte

The New Yorker article on Factum Arte has now been published (click here). Written by Daniel Zalewski, who spent some days at the workshops last year, the article gives the reader a real insight into the extraordinary world of Factum - meeting Adam Lowe - and finding out about the unique digital and artisanal processes used and being developed to help contemporary artists realise their ideas - and then to the Foundation's focus on preservation of our cultural heritage dramatically using many of those same techniques. 

To support the work of the Foundation and its important projects and aims click here.

Image: Henrik Spohler for The New Yorker

New Crucifix for the Mejorada del Campo cathedral

On Monday 26th December, a team from Factum Arte, the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation and many guests, took the finished, rematerialised version of a crucifix to Justo Gallego Martínez´s cathedral in Mejorada del Campo, Madrid. The original wooden cross was heavily damaged in a fire several years ago. When Adam Lowe and Miguel Guillén visited the Cathedral soon after the fire, Justo expressed his desire for the crucifix to metaphorically 'rise from the ashes’, larger and more splendid than before. This seemed like a perfect task for Factum Foundation - a gift from the foundation to Justo’s great creation. The damaged crucifix was scanned with a structured light scanner made by Nub3D in Barcelona. The scan was then carved into polystyrene with a seven-axis robot at three times the original size. This physical object was then passed to Juan Carlos Arias, Factum Arte’s traditionally trained modeler and carver who worked for many years at the Museo de Reproducciones and has a detailed knowledge and understanding of the language of religious Spanish art. Over a period of 18 months, he reconstructed the burnt figure, and brought the limbs and flesh of the figure back to completion. Justo would visit at regular intervals and direct operations. Most conversations centered on the beauty of the expression. Justo rejected brutal depictions of death but was equally scornful when the face appeared sentimental or romanticised. When everyone agreed, the figure was complete - a mould was made and the revitalised figure cast in plaster over an internal structure. It now hangs freely in the space above the altar, drawing the eye up to the vast dome that hovers above Justo's extraordinary creation.

The Art Newspaper releases article on Factum´s leading role in the preservation of cultural heritage sites across the globe

A new article highlighting the importance and urgency of protecting cultural heritage sites across the globe was released in the December 2016 edition of The Art Newspaper. The article draws particular attention to Factum´s leading role in the preservation of cultural heritage through the application of high-resolution, non-contact and non-invasive cutting edge 3D technologies to document sites and artefacts around the world and by training locals to do the same. The year in heritage: digital scanning promises a brave new world article uses the examples of the Facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun and the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative to exemplify the dramatically positive impact such approaches can have on the communities affected, as well as its consequences on the world.

Read the full article here

Adam Lowe & Carlos Bayod at the GSAPP final review at Columbia University

The final review of the Advanced Technology Studio at Columbia University, taught by Adam Lowe and Carlos Bayod, took place on 14 December 2016. The students presented the work they have carried out this semester, during which they have learnt to apply a range of non-contact recording technologies for the digital reconstruction of the hermitage of San Baudelio in Spain. After analysing the 3D and color data obtained at the cloisters in New York and the hermitage itself in Spain, each student presented a series of virtual and physical outcomes to a panel of guest critics from the MET, NYU and GSAPP - enabling those present to better their understanding on the complexity of the monument.

Recording & rematerialising the scattered fragments from the tomb of Seti I

So far, a series of eight fragments taken from the tomb of Seti I have been recorded with the Lucida 3D Scanner by Factum´s head of 3D Scanning, Carlos Bayod. These elements, currently at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, were identified and scanned at very high-resolution (100 microns) for their re-materialisation and re-integration into the future facsimile of the entire tomb.
This phase is part of the highly ambitious Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative, and will continue with other fragments which are currently housed at the British Museum (London) and in other locations in Florence and Paris in 2017.

Article by AD Spain on digital prints for Tim Walker

In early 2016, Factum Arte was commissioned to create a series of vast prints inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights for renowned photographer Tim Walker. The series, currently on show at the Nicola Erni Collection in Zug (Switzerland), and which will eventually move to the Noordbrabants Museum's Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, are a product of several innovations within the Factum Arte warehouse: digital print-maker Rafa Rachewsky has developed a new flexible gesso material that has a beautifully seductive surface on which the flatbed printer, modified by Factum´s Dwight Perry, can print images of 5.7 x 2.5 meters onto a single piece of material with no visible joins.

AD Spain recently published an interesting article on this special collaboration. Read the full article here.

The miniature version of the 900 year old signing oak at Windsor Great Park presented to the Queen at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

The miniature version of the 900 year old Windsor Great Park oak tree, made by Factum Arte, was presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in October to mark Her Majesty´s 90th birthday - and to launch a campaign to plant inner city woods in urban areas around the UK.

The tree was recorded using a combination of mid & close-range photogrammetry and white-light scanning. The facsimile was then 3D printed and cast in bronze. This project, the result of a collaboration between the Bronze Oak Project, Factum Arte and Factum´s Foundation, is both to create a better atmosphere in cities across the country and to promote a sense of custodianship - of long term thinking about our environment and our locality. Read the full text here

Image: Red Photographic

The facsimile of a C. 12-13 Christ en Croix for Rachid Koraïchi

In April 2015, Factum Arte was commissioned by renowned contemporary artist Rachid Koraichi to create an exact facsimile of a polychromatic wooden Christ dating back to the Middle-Ages to feature in his installation which explores themes relating to faith, religion and sacred art. The original wooden Christ, which currently resides at the Musée de Cluny (Musée National de Moyen Âge in Paris), was recorded with the Breuckmann white-light scanner in October 2015 by Factum Arte´s Pedro Miró and Jimena Kato. The obtained data was then 3D printed in polyamide with laser sintering and routed onto beech wood,  with finishing touches made by Factum Arte´s Silvia Álvarez - who attributed detail and texture through the application of synthetic stucco in four different tones, aging the piece using an array of different techniques. The facsimile amazed its onlookers when it was exhibited at Masterpiece Art Fair in June 2016, and continues to be an excellent example of what can be achieved when digital technology meets traditional crafts. This remarkable facsimile is predicted to be exhibited at one of Rachid´s touring exhibitions in 2017.

The role of Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is playing an increasingly important role in the research in Factum Arte's 3D studio. Images that are captured and processed in the 3D studio are often processed and routed on the 7 axis robot providing a fast and effective way to prove the resolution of the data. The Veronica scanner is complete and working very well - it captures and downloads 99 images in about 4 seconds that are then merged into a high-resolution 3D file that can be rematerialised in many different ways. New heads are being scanned and processed daily using different software to test the different possibilities of what can be obtained using this form of technology -more updates to come soon. Learn more about photogrammetry here

Factum at work

A series of photographs have been uploaded to our "at work" section, ´Craftsmanship and Technology´. A group of over fifty specialists in different areas, from the digital to the artisanal, make up the Factum family, and work closely together, problem solving, inventing, developing and materialising projects, technologies and software everyday. 

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