Jump-cut to the artist’s studio: the 3D printer is now printing for 24 hours. It translates from the mathematical space or mathematical world of the model into the physical world to create the sculpture When the Heartbeat Aches. The translation takes its toll every time the artist opens the window, which causes the plastic to cool faster and produces a crack in the 3D print as a recording of the translation process. The error is imprinted on the 3D print itself. The slicer can create an optimal path and offer parameters to optimise the speed of the printer head, the temperature and the flow of the plastic. However, the knowledge of the physical environment comes from its designers and users. The designer of the slicer approximates the environment as much as possible, finely tuned through numerous experiments by users in their specific environment.
On one side, G-code generated by the translation of the slicer, “which tries to force the designated into invariant structure relations and to assimilate completely the designated into signified; on the other, expressive” 3D print” striving to open itself up to the space of vision and desire and to produce figural with the signified.” The former, with its precise, invariant rules of translation of the mathematical figure of a 3D model into a 3D print, functions as a perfectly closed system of generative grammar, translating 3D model, point for point, into a 3D print. By minimising translation errors, G-code assimilates the resulting print completely into signified, a 3D print of the given 3D model. The latter, emerging from the movement of the printer head, is the encounter of the melted plastic with the air and the layer beneath it. Only in this encounter does the 3D-model-G-code-3D-print representational machine start to break down. When the figural emerges, only then the excitement of the process begins. And the figural, until now contained within “invariant structure relations”, starts to warp, crack, bend, and tear the signified, with all of its transgressions catalogued in “3D Printing Failures”, a penalty book of crimes that the figural committed against the signified.
The sculpture emergening from the printer is the three-dimensional version of the ECG signal captured in Synthetic Eros / Synthetic Errors, that is, in addition to being horizontally sliced into printable layers, vertically sliced by parametric design algorithm, transforming the smooth surface from the previous project into the edgy, sharp articulations: Different thickness of each slice is nothing else than the manfiestation of the mathematical function evolving in time. Herein lies the strength of the parametric design. Instead of embodying only one value of the function, it can articulate a range of the possible values (thickness), the function can take:
And yet through its slicing and the organsiation of the space, it transforms the nomadic smooth surface from Synthetic Eros / Synthetic Errors into, what Deleuze and Guattari call, a striated and organised space with predetermined translations and cut points. To enable another possiblitly of translation that does not result in stratification, a project The Transfiguration of G-code plays with the rigidity of translation and its alternatives.
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