Canadian artist creates wild 3D printed HoloLens “Transformation Mask”

Dave W. Shanahan

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Microsoft is helping artist Shawn Hunt realize his latest creation with the help of HoloLens. With the help of the experts at Microsoft Garage, Hunt was able to create his “Transformation Mask,” by using a combination of 3D printing, Arduino, and HoloLens. In this video, artist Shawn Hunt describes how he created Transformation Mask and what it represents, with the help of the Microsoft Garage.

Hunt describes what it is like to integrate technology with the creation of his art.

“As an artist this [HoloLens] has given me an incredible amount of freedom. I don’t feel that my work is conceptual, traditional, artefact, or craft. It is neither ancient nor modern. Instead, I feel as though my work has elements of all of these categories. This is a freedom that allows me to distort, subvert, hijack, and remix these categories in order to offer new points of view. My goal is to make the viewer think.”

Hunt used the head of a raven, seen as the “ultimate trickster” in Heiltsuk mythology, to create Transformation Mask, an interactive art installation.  Transformation Mask combines a 3D-printed physical raven mask, robotic elements, and Mixed Reality.

All told, Transformation Mask took 300 hours of 3D printing time, consisting of 20 interlocking 3D-printed pieces. In addition, there are a wide range of sensors, robotics, and a special ultrasonic range finder to detect users who put approach the Transformation Mask. Surprisingly, each Raven eye in the Transformation Mask is powered by a Windows Phone. The HoloLens coordinates everything in the Transformation Mask via Bluetooth.