Material Want is a collaborative project between Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and JODI, presented at iMal, Brussels between Sep – Oct 2016. The project is an assemblage of interrelated elements: mined 3D models, 3D-printed objects, a shop-front installation and an online shop, powered by both software automation and human computation.
Material Want enacts a Ballardian scenario where content from 3D modelling and 3D scanning archives is mined for the production and sale of 3D printed objects, transforming junk files into saleable items. A present/future that follows the past, mirroring a history of material and labour exploitation, new production systems, and irrational material desires. MW uses both software automation bots and repetitive human activity to mine, select and sort. Amongst the many toys, body parts and household items, we also find reminders of our past wants for exotic animal products, rare minerals and priceless archeological discoveries. Materials require some transformation to render them as valuable commodities, and this is attempted by fusing models together, slicing and resizing them, and exhibiting these under ideal conditions, but what does this new source material want to be? The banal online shop, alike much e-commerce, is a front that masks the involvement of algorithmic automation, distributed human resources and manufacturing, and going further back; the amateur modellers and 3D scanning enthusiasts behind the source files. It remains unclear as to which degree bots or humans behaving like bots are behind the end product.
Browse through their 3D objects shop: shop.materialwant.co