McArthur Freeman

McArthur Freeman

University of South Florida, USA

Title: Starting at the Simulation: Learning from Digital Tools and Hybrid Processes


McArthur Freeman, II is a visual artist and designer who creates work that explores hybridity and the construction of identity. His works have ranged from surreal narrative paintings and drawings to digitally constructed sculptural objects and animated 3D scenes. His most recent works combine three interrelated emerging technologies: digital sculpting, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. Freeman’s work has been published in Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art and has been exhibited in over 50 group and solo shows within the United States. Freeman is currently an Assistant Professor of Video, Animation, and Digital Arts at the University of South Florida. Prior to his appointment at USF, Freeman taught at Clarion University, Davidson College, and North Carolina State University. He has also taught Drawing at the Penland School of Crafts. Freeman earned his BFA degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Florida. He received his MFA from Cornell University, with a concentration in Painting. He also holds a Master of Art and Design from North Carolina State University in Animation, New Media, and Digital Imaging, which he received in 2008.


Much of CG technology is based on simulations of real-world practices. With the ability to paint with pixels, sculpt with polygons, render from virtual cameras, and digitally fabricate 3D forms, many new artists are increasingly meeting disciplines for the first time at their digital simulations. Furthermore, the digital environment often facilitates the integration of multiple disciplines and hybrid practices that are not inherent in their analog counterparts. This presentation will discuss the potential for the use of digital tools to address traditional processes for both learning and new hybrid practices. What can we learn from the conventions and philosophies, embedded in the software? How can we effectively integrate this technology into traditional arts courses without undermining the established disciplines? In what ways can we leverage hybrid practices for deeper understanding of the crafts involved?

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