- © Carolin Liebl & Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler
Our installation critically examines the possible and speculative present and future of dealing with plastics. A plastic extruder built into a robot transforms plastic granules into anamorphic objects, which have a plump, glossy surface right from their birth. As the material swells from the robots' organs, it curls and warps until it cools and hardens in its final shape. The robot spreads these artificial pieces around the exhibition space like virtual brushstrokes.
He carries around a certain amount of granulate in a storage bubble, which needs to be refilled from time to time. These plastic granules are made from collected 3D-print-waste (PLA), which is crushed earlier by a diy-shredder. All objects created during an exhibition will also be shredded and serve as raw material for the next time. So the installation will run in an (almost) closed loop. After consultation with a materials scientist, we expect that the same material can be re-digested by the robot up to eight times before a drop in viscosity sets in. This loss of properties can be very interesting from an aesthetic perspective.
To see how molten plastic is brought into a new form expands the perception of this material, which is otherwise only present in product form. We believe that an intuitive and aesthetic experience of the material can build a bridge to a greater awareness and interest in the current polluting use of plastics. Getting a feel for plastics means regaining more control over an extremely complex and worsening global situation in the use of plastics.