Apr 5, 2016 | By Benedict

And #God said “let there be light,” and there was light. Or something like that. Diego Zaks, an artist from New York, has built an art installation consisting of a digital display and 3D printed bell. The bell illuminates whenever somebody tweets with the hashtag #God, an occurrence which takes place roughly every two seconds.

The 3Ders team often prays for exciting 3D printing news, but Zaks’ intriguing installation, itself titled #God, has answered our prayers in miraculous fashion. The 3D printed artwork consists of a bell-shaped light source, not dissimilar from your average low-hanging IKEA fixture, but one “adorned with a pattern reminiscent of the beautiful abstract decorations of a mosque”.

The bell is programmed to light up whenever God is hashtagged on Twitter, and is paired with a digital display, hung below the bell, showing those tweets in real time. Apparently, #God crops up quite frequently: approximately every two seconds. Recent tweets to take the Lord’s name—sometimes in vain, sometimes not—include a criticism of Hillary Clinton, a visual gag about Mercedes, and some genuine praise for the deity. “The idea is to visualize the contrast between the sanctity and historical representation of the word ‘God’ and the way we are exposed to it on a daily basis in social channels and its new associations,” said Zaks.

The 3D printed #God sculpture showcases some clever API tricks using a Raspberry Pi Model B 2. Not only does the bell illuminate with every #God tweet, it also reflects the size of each preacher’s flock: the light shines brighter and for longer for Twitter users with a greater number of followers. Perhaps strangely, the bell doesn’t do what you might expect it to do, but the sheer volume of religious tweets would likely make a “ringing” 3D printed bell unbearable, so Zaks’ decision to install a godly glow rather than ring the bells of heaven seems a sensible one.

The 3D printed installation was exhibited at the “Conceived Without Sin” show in New York City in September and October. To raise funds for the 3D printing process, Zaks ran a GoFundMe campaign, offering backers a range of fun rewards for their contributions. Miniature 3D printed bells and a 3D printed bell necklace were just some of the interesting incentives provided by the artist. “#God is an interactive installation,” Zaks explained. “It explores how our constant access to technology affects our perception of religion and sanctity.”

Zaks’ 3D printed #God bell becomes the latest in an exclusive group of hallowed 3D prints, alongside this 3D printed Jesus statue and, of course, this 3D printed Pope Francis.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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