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Ruins (Carcinomas) highlights breast cancer’s links to carcinogens in our everyday environment. Depicting fallen urban landscapes over-run with tumors, the pieces are based on breast cancer tumor forms, imaged and “digitally removed” through a special process devised by caraballo-farman, that combines Magnetic Resonance Imaging and rapid prototyping. The grey ‘support material’ used by 3D printers to build up a form is generally meant to be removed. But the artists used Eyebeam’s 3D printer in such a way as to maximize the architectural form of the printer’s support structures and then hacked at the structures to partially reveal the white tumor embedded.
The project was begun at Eyebeam after one of the artists was diagnosed with breast cancer. For most of the 1.3 million women in the world diagnosed every year, the tumor has no image. It’s an invisible malignancy. This prompted caraballo-farman to start their on-going project, Object Breast Cancer, as a way of exploring the tumor’s “image” in various registers.
The project has been supported by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts, residencies at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Art Omi, and assistance from Stratasys, Inc and NYU’s Advanced Media Studios. caraballo-farman have exhibited internationally in such venues as the Tate Modern, PS1/Moma and the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts.