Achraf Touloub, Dessein Global 2015 (deetail) Impression 3 D. Photo: Gilles Puyfages
The gallery 4 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris is currently presenting Printing the World, an exhibition taking place until the 3rd of July, exploring the 3D universe and its possibilities.
In 1984 the first 3D printer was patented by a French research group giving birth to a new era in the material world. Little had they known of the incommensurable possibilities that this machine had to offer, especially in the art world. The show presents approximately 40 artists, designers and architects conjointly questioning and using the 3D printer to create new and improbable objects.
Jon Rafman, New Age Demanded (Pocked), 2013, Courtesy of the artist
From the macro world with creations such as Grotto II by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger, to the micro world where the 3D printer is utilised to print cells, this technology is revolutionizing the way we conceive art and its status. Unlike other techniques, the 3D printer can faithfully copy what is it told to reproduce, it enables artists, designers and craftsman to almost attain perfection. For instance, the designer Mathias Bengtsson has created a steady table mixing different materials.
Thus, what is the artist’s role in this universe? If the object can entirely be produce by a machine, where lies the future of art? Inventiveness is the key, for 3D remains a tool and not a threat for artists such as Jon Rafman who has conceived an odd – to say the least – universe with his 3D printed torsos and his animated videos. On the other hand, the transdisciplinary artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg recreated a 3D portrait from recollected chewed up gum, hairs and cigarette butts that people in New York city left unwittingly behind them.
University of Tokyo Advanced Design Studies Unit Drawn Pavilion 2017
Once again artists and science converge in an effort to bring fresh and new proposals to the table. The exhibition, despite its shortness succeeds as preface of what is yet to come.