BY Noah W. | 3DP4E
Artist Saso Sedlacek is using 3D printed chocolate for his new work Dolce far niente that skewers technological progress and Europe's economic crisis. The edible sculptures take the form of a beggar, a protester, a prostitute, a hanged woman, a busker with an accordion, and a drug addict.
"The consequences of the economic crisis are shaking up the illusion of the wealthy West and changing the iconography of everyday European life—something which, until recently, we in the Western world have taken for granted," Sedlacek wrote on the Dolce far niente website. "The images of poverty, despair, protests, people under pressure are scenes that are not at all new. What is new is both their frequency and their proximity."
Sedlacek made 3D models using 3DS Max and Mudbox, and printed the originals in gypsum powder, from which silicon casts were made before casting the figures in chocolate. The idea for future of the project is direct chocolate 3D printing."
Ironically, though Sedlacek used 3D-modeling and printing technology to create these "handmade" chocolates, Sedlacek sees a new path for mass unemployment in additive manufacturing.
"The manufacturing process... symbolically shows the potential pitfalls of technological development that, while promoting many positive innovations, within the new regime of economic commodity exchange, merely hides the danger of unemployment for an entire class of people," he told DJ Pangburn of Motherboard.
"Thanks to the affordability of 3D-printing technology, we can now print at home things and objects that, until recently, we had to buy in a physical or online store," said Sedlacek. "However, one must ask what will happen to the intermediate line of producers, transporters, storekeepers, salespeople, etc. What does this mean for the future of an entire chain of people who are now active in the exchange of goods?"
It's a Luddite argument, and one either strengthened or weakened depending on if one sees Sedlacek's use of 3D printing himself as satire or hypocrisy.
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