Oct. 17, 2014 | By Alec

We all know 3D printed objects can be works of art, and so can films. But can 3D printing create an artistic film as well? French artist Julien Maire has provided us with a definitive answer in his latest exhibition at the iMAL (interactive Media Art Laboratory) Center for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels.

Entitled 'Relief', his exhibition features a film made with 85 figurines printed with Stereolithographic (SLA) 3D printing technology. Together, these impressive figurines form an animated film of a man digging a hole in the ground. Affixed to a projector system that slightly resembles a giant projection reel from the 1920s, the result is an effective and impressive 'film without a film' that is projected onto the wall.

With this thought-provoking set up, Maire seeks to pay tribute to the traditional cinematography preceding the digital age. As Maire explained, he seeks to address new technologies, media archaeology and manipulate fiction.

"Media Archaeology is a new science. It's not studying the history of cinematograph and gramophone, but how our perception of the world is transformed through the camera lens and the speaker," The project's description reads.


"In French, "3D cinema" was also called "relief cinema" (relief as in "relief map" or "bas-relief"). The term went out of style when we were forced to admit that "relief cinema" didn't exist. "Relief" evokes materiality, while "3D" is commonly understood as a mathematical and computational concept. Through expanding & contracting pieces, and stereolithographic projections, Julien Maire's installations indirectly address new technologies, media archaeology and manipulate fiction."

For the past ten years, this French artists has been trying to use the latest creative technologies, like CNC mills, laser cutters and now 3D printers in the context of that media archaeology. This artistic study focusses on how 'our perception of the world is transformed through the camera lens and the speaker. The audio-visual is like a soundtrack, a visual tracking shot moving in parallel to us; pictures and sound are visual fictions that moved away from reality, but disrupt and influence our relation to reality.'

This impressive piece of art has been realised with multiple 3D printers: a MakerBot Thing-o-Matic, a Ultimaker FDM printer and the laser-based Form1 3D printer. Various parts and prototypes were made in PLA and ABS, while the final objects were obviously printed in resin using SLA technology. While the film itself hasn't yet been shared online, the pictures alone already illustrate a tremendous project that brings old and new media together in a single thought-provoking project.

Julien Maire is a permanent resident at iMAL's FabLAB, a digital manufacturing workplace where everyone is welcome to experiment, learn and create all kinds of objects. He is a graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Metz, and has worked on exhibitions and performances on a wide range of internationally prestigious venues.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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rb wrote at 10/25/2014 1:10:33 PM:

Looks like a kind of giant 3D zoetrope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoetrope).

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