Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Liberator chic

Despite the number of years since the notorious 3D printed gun altered the reputation of additive manufacturing, its disruption resounds. Back in 2013, the project made headlines through the release of a 3D printed prototype ‘Liberator’ gun (and open source file) – and today, its influence continues to be translated across discipline and industry. ‘Liberator Rounds’ is a sculptural collection and presentation of the open source STL from Cody Wilson, and stands as a ceiling mounted chandelier of 3D printed guns by artist Addie Wagenknecht.

With a history of embracing the challenges that contemporary, open source culture offers, Wagenknect’s understanding of use and objecthood in ‘Liberator Rounds’ only develops this discourse further. The implications of an open-access technology (like additive manufacturing) already deliver endless industry benefits, but the potential for creative innovation and cultural expression are evident in Wagenknect’s art – almost as an extension of the internet’s power to do the same.
The series is about ubiquitous objects in our environment and a shift in contemporary context, the playful and subversive quality of surveillance and data culture in our everyday environments,” says Wagenknecht. “The work plays with the underlying notion of how culture is produced and distributed—how they have been affected by our disenchantment and simultaneous obsession [with] digital culture.” (via the Creators Project)
Although numerous downloads and 3D prints of The Liberator have been made across the world, ‘Liberator Rounds’ is one of the most interesting visual statements of that now pivotal moment in the public history of additive manufacturing. We look forward to seeing what comes next.

Article written for Disruptive