We use PLA (Polylactic acid), a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, tapioca roots, starch, or sugarcane. PLA is manufactured in a variety of colors, opacities and textures. But the tiles can also be printed, using outside contractors, using other materials such as metal, ceramics, resins or precious metals…
A relief is a sculptural technique literally meaning “to raise” an object. Historically, reliefs give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. “Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and… (as) a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative.”1 There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, and low-relief (bas-relief).
A useful analogy for understanding these objects is to think of a graphical representation on a digital display. Photographs, graphics or drawings are clearly rendered on high resolution displays, patterns of color and light delineate discernable forms. But when we zoom into this digital representation, we understand that those patterns of color are composed of individual blocs each composed of a single color. A regular grid of pixels compose the global image as we visually perceive it. FABMOBs|ATMOStag is based on the same principle: the design is too big to printed using our 3dprinters, thus it is cut up into component parts. Each part or tile is a part of the large FABMOBs|ATMOStag sculpture, and a beautiful object on its own.
It is more than coincidental that the object produced by FABMOBs|ATMOStag, the relief, made use of the illusion that the sculptural material was being raised above the background plane. This illusion supported the sensation of immersion through the strange equilibrium that reliefs projected for over 1000 years in the world of art. With the advent of additive 3Dprinting, were material is in fact, successively added until the desired form is attained, relief really is being raised above to achieve its effect. Thus, additive fabrication is the true realization, after a thousand years of trying, of the ideal relief sculptural technique.
ATMOStag_tiles might not be very useful just yet… but they are unique, beautiful objects that can be produced in a variety of materials, colors, textures and topographies.
The value of an ATMOStag_TILE is based on the object’s reproducibility: receiving the tile’s license gives you the rights for future uses of this unique object. We can 3D print the TILE once, for its inclusion as part of the ATMOStag_INSTALLATION, but the tile and its rights to be reproduced belong to you.
The value of an ATMOStag_TILE is based on the object’s presentation: Each 3D printed ATMOStag_TILE is accompanied by a hand-made silicon sheath. The sheath fills out the TILE, forming a rectangular cuboid that’s easier to ship. After pealing it away to reveal the TILE’s surface, we see that the sheath forms its double and negative. The TILE is the sheath’s mould, and its interior is both the double and negative of its complex geometry. It can be used to hold hold the TILE like a precious artefact. It is also a demonstration of 3D printing’s the multiple use cases, as both object and scaffolding, support and content, structure and envelope.
The value of an ATMOStag_TILE is based on the object’s exhibition: the objects created during this testing process will compose a work of art, an extension of the work that we have been doing for the past 15 years as artists and architects. The public exhibition of this installation brings value to each unique tile for having been a part of this œuvre.