“More remains of ancient Rome than of turn-of-the-century Coney Island,” says Brooklyn artist Fred Kahl, explaining why he chose to create a detailed scale model of an amusement park from 100 years ago. “This is … about a deep love of Coney Island as the cultural melting pot and showcase for presenting cutting-edge technology as entertainment.”
The result of his passion is the world’s largest-ever 3-D printed art installation. It fills an entire gallery at the Coney Island Museum, which reopens Memorial Day Weekend after being shuttered since October 2012 to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Kahl began working with 3-D printing a few years ago. He created his own open-source hardware for making full-body scans using an Xbox Kinect game controller to capture 3-D images of his subjects. He raised over $16,000 via Kickstarter to get the Coney Island project started in 2013; a year later, he has assembled hundreds of 3-D prints and produced over an estimated 10,000 hours of print time for the installation dubbed, “Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park: 3-D Printed by the Great Fredini.”
The video above was produced by filmmaker Ronni Thomas, creator of The Midnight Archive web-video series. He says he was drawn to make “Printing History,” as a fellow artist and borough-mate of Kahl’s: “As a born and raised Brooklynite,” Thomas says, “Coney Island has long been a beacon for the peculiar and the other-wordly obsessions i’ve held since my very first childhood memories.”