Monday, September 22, 2014

NYC, Maker Faire: the Joy of Making

Making and matter matter: in the past few years there has been a great concern about material, materialism, and the material world in general. It has been generating many -isms including "new materialism" or "radical materialism" from a philosophical emergency to ecological concerns. But perhaps the most interest aspect of this focus on matter and materials is from a more genuine perspective, the innate human need to transform matter and make things out of it.
Rockets from the New York Hall of Science grounds, home of the Maker Faire

The 2014 Maker Faire event just ended just a few hours ago at the New York Hall of Science in Queens and is a great demonstration of  how we enjoy making, in any shape, size, material and technology. The popular event started in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, organized by the Make magazine, encompassing almost any aspect of making from a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach, with a technological emphasis. It is a "show and tell" of creative endeavors shared by artists, designers, engineers, craftsman, education and hobbyists.
Assemblages including electronics and 3D printing were widespread among the myriads of exhibitions and demonstrations. The 3D printing zone presented 3D printing services for higher end fabrication but mainly open source kits for DIY printer which can be assembled for less than $1000 and as little as $350 (PrintrBot). Plastic (PLA filament) is the most common material, but there is a promising electroplating process (Go-plating), hopefully to be commercially released soon at affordable (for designer) cost. I found quite interesting also Will Ware "Home Made Stereolithography" and, of course, the proliferating "hackerspaces", which I am planning to visit quite soon.

Making generates educational activities, excitement and educational fun, a quite welcome activity in these troubled time. And, most of all, making seem to bring together in communities people of different backgrounds: can making save us? Perhaps not, but it definitely a welcome human activity in these troubled times.

Will Ware and "Homemade Stereolithography"

For the first time I presented some of my 3D printed work at the Maker Faire: the exhibition Making the Sublime was an overview of my explorations of the sublime in the analog work of 3D printed objects.  I have been exploring the sublime in several disciplines  —as embodiment of philosophy, geometry, mathematics, biology, physics— as well as different scales and media in the analog and digital world, using parametric and generative algorithms in the design of  “sublime” forms. My work encompasses land and performance art while my object production includes video, animation, stereolithography, 3D prints and laser cutting: at the Maker Faire I presented some small scale objects from laser cutting and 3D printing. I also presented some of the 3D printed connections for the icosahedron I am building for my PhD at Deakin University; some of the research is based on construction on a built infrastructure for analysis as well as inspiration of movement routines.