The Digital Athena: Contemporary commentaries and Greek mythology explored through 3D printing
Greek myth and art acted as tools to think with, and a lens through which to explore complex topics, like a form of social media. In particular, coins were a form of propaganda to communicate the wealth and power of the city-states they originated from as they circulated from person to person. Using these media as a starting point, how can the application of 3D printing technologies explore the infusion of ancient forms with contemporary commentaries to promote discussion? The digital reconstruction of artifacts is a topic that has been researched by various groups all over the globe. The exploration of Greek myth through objects infused with contemporary issues is currently unexplored in this medium. Using the Stratasys J750 3D printer - a multi-material, full-colour 3D printer - a series of coins inspired by ancient Greek currency and myth was created to present commentaries on the adversities surrounding individuals in the LGBT+ community. Using the J750 as the medium for expression allows for complete control and precision of the models to create complex, high-resolution iconography. A hard, translucent material was used to print the coins, with coloured 3D visuals embedded into the coins for viewing in close contact by the audience. These coins as commentaries present an avenue for broader understanding by drawing perspectives not only from sources concerned with the contemporary LGBT+ community but also from sources exploring ancient homosexuality and the perception and regulation of it in antiquity. By displaying what are usually points of contention between anti- and pro-LGBT+ parties, this visual medium opens up a discussion to both parties, suggesting heritage can play a vital interpretative role in the contemporary world.