Virtual Sculpture / Virtual Installation

With the democratization of digital fabrication tools many digital artists have experimented with physical object-making and vice versa. While “virtual sculpture” is not really a genre distinct from 3D animation, there are many CGI artists with a distinctly sculptural sense.
Here are some examples:


Dark Matter by Morehshin Allahyari (2014-2015)
Also check She Who Sees the Unknown and Material Speculations: ISIS

Shiv Integer by Plummer Fernandez (2006)

Liberator variations by Kyle McDonald

Fauna In The Temple by Auriea Harvey  (2021)



Zium Society – various artists

Museum of Other Realities – various artists

How To Everything by Theo Triantafyllidis (2016)

Lattice-Face Parameter Chant by Brenna Murphy
If the website it too challenging do a google image search

Kathryn Blake

Also check the game Holovista

Bread prosthetics by zeitguised 2020 – instagram (includes commercial work)

Dauphin 007 by Jonathan Monaghan (2011)

A museum of dubious splendors by Studio Oleomingus (2018)


Assignment:  Create a virtual sculpture by using 3D models found online.

On paper.
List of 10 objects with interesting silhouettes, iconic value.
Think of common objects with some kind of baggage, history, or built-in symbolism..
Cover at least 5 of these categories:

furniture/industrial design,
buildings/built environment,

Swap the list with a student next to you and ask them to write abstract concepts they associate with such object. Eg: gun -> violence, America, crime, police…

Team up with the other student try to cross your lists to see if interesting resonances, dissonances, hybridizations emerge from the pair.

On your own.
Make a list of materials, it doesn’t have to be accessible accessible to you: water, moon stone, gold, human flesh…

Crosslist the materials and the objects and see if any interesting relation emerge from the pairing.

Part 2

Make another list like the first one. And let’s sketch out some ideas.

Let’s look at some well known sculptures that incorporate found objects (or reproductions of everyday objects) and analyze how they operate formally:

Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dali

Shape analogy, mimicry (as in an object tries to be something else), Sculptural mashup, Natural / artificial contrast.


Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp.


Subject, Object, Abject by Jaime Pitarch (2006)

Deconstruction, process

Consonance by Grant Aston

Deconstructed / reassembled

Cadeau by Man Ray

Making a functional object unusable

Jana Sterbak, Sisyphus Sport

Making a non functional object “usable”


One and Three Chairs by Joseph Kosuth

Conceptual. What could be a conceptual approach to this assignment?
Check pippin barr’s v r 3 or the stolen art museum or his piece in the Zium museum

Forever Bicycles – Ai WeiWei

Symmetry, accumulation, cloning (orderly)

Doris Salcedo – Untitled

Accumulation (disorderly), monumental


Mike Kelley

Accumulation, by material/type and color

Controller of the Universe by Damián Ortega

Accumulation and composition, by category/quality

Some/One by Do Ho Suh
Based on a coat of traditional Asian armor, this sculpture is composed from thousands of polished military dog tags. As the title indicates, the work juxtaposes the collective-represented by the armored sculpture-and the individual-symbolized by the dog tags, each representing a single soldier.

Accumulation (structured)

“Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres
González-Torres’ partner Ross Laycock was diagnosed with AIDS, and died of it the same year as “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)’s creation. pile of candies should ideally weigh 175 pounds (79 kg)—Laycock’s body weight when healthy. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece and the artwork’s owner are to decide if it will be replenished.

Accumulation (disorderly), abstract/conceptual (objects as portrait), participatory, unmonumental

Au Naturel by Sarah Lucas

Innuendo, abstraction, “portraiture”.
Can you make a portrait with objects?


Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg

Scale (Not a found object obv)

Wim Delvoye – Dump Truck

High culture / low culture contrast. Style transfer?


Assemblage, artificial Natural contrast, visual correspondences


L.O.V.E. by Maurizio Cattelan

Reference (to art history classic statue, roman salute), subtraction/sectioning, context (stock exchange, fascist building)

yayoi kusama’s pumpkins

Material, scale, texture (albedo/diffuse in 3d terms)

Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons

Material change

Immersive Installation Art

Artists have been creating immersive worlds from way before the diffusion of simulation technologies. Installation art encompasses a lot of what was traditionally referred as sculpture and the label is applied to almost anything that exists in a gallery space, including video and sound art, but here some examples of artists that completely create or transform environments to be traversed by visitors.

Kurt Schwitters six rooms of the family house in Hanover "renovated" between 1923 and 1933
Merzbau by Kurt Schwitters. six rooms of the family house in Hanover “renovated” between 1923 and 1933

James Turrell – bridget’s bardo
James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013
James Turrell – Louis Vuitton store

James Turrell
Ganzfeld effect. A phenomenon of perception caused by exposure to an unstructured, uniform stimulation field. The effect is the result of the brain amplifying neural noise in order to look for the missing visual signals. The noise is interpreted in the higher visual cortex, and gives rise to hallucinations.

Yayoi Kusama - Infinity
Yayoi Kusama – Infinity
Yayoi Kusama - Infinity-Mirrored-Room
Yayoi Kusama – Infinity-Mirrored-Room
Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever Gallery of Modern Art installation view
Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever
Gallery of Modern Art
installation view

Yayoi Kusama – The Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama
Started the infinity rooms in the ’60, but also pioneered pop art and feminist art.



Jesús Rafael Soto – Kinetic/Op-art installation Penetrable



Olaffur Oliasson – The weather Project, 2003
Olafur used humidifiers to create a fine mist in the air via a mixture of sugar and water, as well as a circular disc made up of hundreds of monochromatic lamps which radiated yellow light. The ceiling of the hall was covered with a huge mirror, in which visitors could see themselves as tiny black shadows against a mass of orange light

Ernesto Neto, 'Leviathan Thot', 2006 (pantheon paris)
Ernesto Neto, ‘Leviathan Thot’, 2006 (pantheon paris)
Ernesto Neto- Gratitude
Ernesto Neto- Gratitude
Ernesto Neto - Celula Nave, 2004
Ernesto Neto – Celula Nave, 2004

Stretchy biomorphic touchable installations, occasionally filled with spices.

Tomás Saraceno, in orbit
Tomás Saraceno, in orbit
Tomás Saraceno. On Space Time Foam
Tomás Saraceno. On Space Time Foam
Tomás Saraceno - On Space Time Foam
Tomás Saraceno – On Space Time Foam

Tomás Saraceno – artist/architect

Anish Kapoor -Svayambh
Anish Kapoor -Svayambh


Shooting into the Corner 2008-2009 – Cannon shooting 11-kilogram balls of wax

Anish Kapoor – Creator of the bean sculpture in Chicago




Richard Serra – Most of his works are monumental public sculptures but some of them are environments.

Do Ho Suh - Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home
Do Ho Suh – Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home


Do Ho Suh - home away from home
Do Ho Suh – home away from home

Do Ho Suh. Korean Light polyester, recreating the houses he lived in.

Chiharu Shiota - in silence
Chiharu Shiota – in silence
Chiharu Shiota - During Sleep
Chiharu Shiota – During Sleep

Chiharu Shiota – Japanese

Thomas Hirschhorn - in between
Thomas Hirschhorn – in between
Thomas Hirschhorn - cavemanman
Thomas Hirschhorn – cavemanman

Thomas Hirschhorn (Swiss) – Cheap materials “universal, economic, inclusive, and don’t bear any plus-value”

Henrique Oliveira Baitogogo
Henrique Oliveira Baitogogo
Henrique Oliveira transarquitectonica
Henrique Oliveira transarquitectonica


Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue – Killjoy’s castle