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L’Artisan Electronique [openFrameworks]

opening Design by Performance

For L’Artisan Electronique, Unfold created -aside from the ceramic printer- a virtual pottery wheel in collaboration with Tim Knapen. This pottery wheel gives visitors a chance to ‘turn’ their own forms. Every time a visitor presses “Save” on the arcade buttons, the creation is saved to disk and displayed on the wall. At regular intervals, a selection of these designs is printed in clay using a modified REPRAP machine and exhibited in the space.

The virtual pottery interface uses openFrameworks with openCV to track visitors’ hand positions in the air. There are two parts to the scan, one being the green laser projecting lines onto the hand and camera recording the deformations to the line created by the hand. The curvature recorded is used as a cylinder deformer.

In L’Artisan Electronique, pottery, one of the oldest artisanal techniques for making utilitarian objects, is combined with new digital techniques. The virtual pottery wheel was realsied by means of a 3D-scanner and digital design software. However, the installation still clearly refers to the artisanal process of working in clay. The printing process imitates the traditional technique used by ceramicists, in which the form is built up by stacking coils of clay.

L’Artisan Electronique is an installation commissioned by Z33 Art Centre for the exhibition Design by Performance and developed in collaboration with Tim Knapen and the RepRap community.

Unfold was founded in 2002 by Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen, after they graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven as a platform for everything they did and would do. The Antwerp-based duo developed a strong multidisciplinary background in design, technology and art and often collaborates with a vast network of kindred spirits and specialists. (more)

Tim Knapen graduated as a graphic designer from St-Lucas in Antwerp, but refuses to be pigeonholed as a ‘graphicist’. He consciously seeks out the fringe area between applied and autonomous work. His graduate project ‘GODMODE’ is a fine example of this attitude. Knapen is since 2008 member of ‘de Indianen’, together with three fellow designers. Their work varies from graphic work and the elaboration of web systems to the realisation of interactive installations. (source: z33)

RepRap is a community project to provide sources and tools to create a free desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects (see video below). Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap can print those parts, RepRap can be considered a self-replicating machine – one that anyone can build given time and materials. It also means that – if you’ve got a RepRap – you can print lots of useful stuff, and you can print another RepRap for a friend…

(Photos by Liesje Reyskens + Kristof Vrancken – source z33)