Guests can try a 3D body scanner at upcoming reception for new Ann Arbor arts nonprofit and gallery

Imagine stepping into a 3D body scanner and having your image turned into a mini-figurine. The folks at CultureVerse Gallery and SCANN ARBOR Scanning Labs are welcoming visitors to experience just that at their opening reception at 309 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor on Oct. 8 from 5-8 p.m.

"Anybody who is curious about the ways that art and technology intersect, as well as anybody who is curious about the intersection between the real and physical world and its transition to a virtual environment, needs to be there," says Aubrey Martinson, CultureVerse's executive director.

The opening reception is the first public event held by CultureVerse. The Ann Arbor-based nonprofit arts organization, which was founded in May, aims to use technology to expand access to art. In addition to experimenting with the 3D body scanner, visitors can also view a gallery exhibition by the Detroit-based artist RCKBNY. There will be an in-person exhibit, as well as two immersive, virtual exhibits of his work that were created using SaganWorks software.

"The body scanner is new for us and something that you'd normally see at a trade show rather than in a gallery, so we are looking forward to experimenting with it," Martinson says. "We're telling people to come as they are or dress up in their favorite cosplay outfit and have some fun with us."

SCANN ARBOR is a project launched by CultureVerse to introduce visitors to 3D technology in a very personal and immersive way. 

"We use cutting-edge technologies like 3D scanners to reduce barriers to accessing art, culture, and knowledge," Martinson says. "We aim to create digital representations of things that exist in the physical world and then share it with 3D technologies." 

Opening reception visitors who get their bodies scanned can either buy a mini-figurine, or insert their figure into a virtual gallery that can be shared with friends and family. The project falls in line with CultureVerse's overarching view that there is art in the world that is unseen and collections that can't be accessed. 

"It's really a big experiment in a lot of ways, and we are joyfully exploring new technology and inviting others to do the same," Martinson says. "As the world moves closer towards the metaverse, we're curious about what happens, what ideas people have, and how they see this technology being useful." 

Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at jaishreeedit@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy of CultureVerse.