Feb 12, 2016 | By Alec

The ability of 3D printing and digital fabrication to change the way we produce things is well known, but it still follows a traditional reproduction technique featuring an original design that can be followed by countless copies – that can all still be slightly different and therefore a new original. That unusual bridge between the old and the new has been the focus of German New media artist Vincent Brinkmann in his ‘Serial 3D printing’ project. As a reflection on the reproduction process and the link between the original and the copy, he has used a 3D printed silicon mold to create a series of imperfect concrete flip-flops in a ritualized work of art.

Brinkmann himself is a new media artist with a background in Digital Media, having studied at the Art Academy in Bremen and at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. His main interest goes out the connection between the virtual and the physical, and the way the digital affects the physical space. The materiality of things has therefore been a consistent theme throughout his works, which has resulted in numerous interesting sculptures already. It’s therefore not that surprising that he turned his attention to 3D printing, and he even wrote a short manifesto on how 3D printing changes the ‘ritual’ of production. He believes that 3D printing is the contemporary version of traditional reproduction methods such as lithography and photography, with one original being followed by many copies. “Since ancient times articles were plagiarized, copied reshaped written books before they could be printed and distributed: The reproduction technology looks back on a long history,” he says.

That is reflected in his nine point manifesto. “The one who does serial 3D printing sees himself as the producer of a series that is generated from digital data,” he says in his first point. “The mold version is directly produced from digital data so there is no for a physically existing positive version,” he adds in his second statement. By turning 3D printing into a form of mass production, we are essentially creating an artificial divergence, as the initial starting point differs from the repetition that creates the series, he argues. That repetition itself is an art form, he concludes.

A prusa I3 with silicon engine. All images by Vincent Brinkmann.

To reflect that interesting observation, he has created the ‘Serial 3D printing’ project, in which he has used a 3D printed silicon mold as a negative, to create a series of concrete flip-flips. “The "serial 3D printing" is based on the classic 3D printing process and is enhanced by the silicone negative mold. This means there are digital negative molds produced based on the shape digitally created. The produced silicone negative is the starting point,” he explains. You might ask, why on earth would anyone want to 3D print flip-flops, but Brinkmann consciously chose them as a multilayered symbol of western culture, of free time, of globalization. “This difference between the symbolic and cultural importance is the starting point of my work. The serial work "Flip Flop" is based on a digital simulation of a worn flip flops. This means that there has never been a physically worn flip flop,” he says.

Through digital design and referring to a footprint file, the flip-flops were given an eroded, used appearance, creating a digital simulation of wearing. “It underlines the absurdity of digital production and raises questions about the purpose of the digital track,” he explains. And as the patina of the supposed production remains visible, he combines the non-existent physical shape with his art. “[By] manufacturing a series, stereotyping, and trivializing an object like a flip flop, […] ‘serial 3D printing’ emphasizes the interaction between the original and the copy,” he argues.

Concrete, finally, symbolizes constancy, strength and stability, contrasting the true nature of the non-existent flip-flop original as a weak, plastic and easily replaced product. The result is a work of art that forces us to completely rethink the way we produce things, both with the 3D printer and with traditional manufacturing techniques. If the original only exists digitally, are our own flip-flops and other 3D printed objects the original products?



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Buster Nutt wrote at 2/13/2016 10:55:45 AM:

Mafia flip flops

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