1950s artwork comes alive with WASP’s Crane 3D printing technology – 3DPrint.com
Again, the crane 3D printing company WASP captivates us with a new earthly design that blends art and culture with a sustainable way of life. This time, the innovative Italian firm has teamed up with an 88-year-old American artist Alison knowles to create a green, livable and sustainable sculpture called “The House of Dust”. The fully 3D printed artwork constructed from natural materials and the company’s flagship modular collaborative crane 3D printing system can be experienced in front of the Wiesbaden Museum in Germany. In addition, since it is a work of art that is habitable in a public space, viewers can even delivered a night experience and sleep inside.
Established by Knowles in 1968, The House of Dust is an evolving work of art that unifies poetry, architecture and computer science. As a founding member of the avant-garde Fluxus movement of the 1950s, Knowles has dedicated his life to exploring the connection between art, technology and architecture. The House of Dust was originally computer generated in the form of a poem. It was encoded in Fortran IV on a Siemens 4004 mainframe as one of the first computer-generated poems and an early form of artificial intelligence.
The algorithm created quatrains describing different houses and their living situations without repeating themselves before processing its random set containing thousands of unique possibilities, Knowles explained. At the time, his collaboration with the computer highlighted the underlying arbitrariness of language, demonstrating how words acquire different meanings through structural relationships and changing contexts.
After winning a Guggenheim grant for pioneering work, she translated the computer poem into the first architectural structure in Chelsea, New York, which was then transported to Cal Arts in Burbank, California. There, Knowles taught his classes inside the House of Dust. Here is the quatrain excerpt from Alison Knowles’ poem that served as the inspiration to build the public sculpture:
“A house of dust
In the ground
Lit by natural light
Inhabited by friends and enemies ”
Today, the visual artist once again offers his masterpiece thanks to an automated additive construction, claiming that “the House of Dust was waiting for this technical breakthrough”. Knowles described WASP as representing the synthesis of technological advances in the dialogue between man and technology and between man and new ways of life. The result of their joint efforts is a new sculpture at the forefront of the sustainable habitat of the future.
The 16 square meter artwork required 50 hours of printing, 500 machine codes (G code), 165 15mm layers, 15km of extrusion, and 8 cubic meters of natural materials including clay , wood and concrete. At 2.5 meters tall, the structure exhibits a texture similar to what we have seen in other WASP projects. Engineers stayed true to the artist’s original design, and the new structure is similar to Knowles’ Chelsea exhibit, retaining the original concepts described in the poem.
WASP considers the transformation of ways of living and working in a world influenced by globalization, digitization and climate change to be one of the central themes of our time. In fact, the founder of the company, Massimo Moretti, said: “The development of processes to give a home as a birthright to every man is a responsibility of the most advanced societies. The most humble materials, the waste of the food chain, and the raw earth deposited by a machine developed and in proportionate quantity to transform the formless matter at home is the process that WASP is developing. Living in a sculpture is the crystallization of the process.
In March 2021, TinyBE, a global platform for artistic visions of sustainable life forms, organized a crowdfunding campaign to support the creation of the sculpture and asked WASP to provide its additive construction crane. The campaign turned out to be a success and raised € 14,013 ($ 16,541), well over the set target of € 10,000 ($ 11,800). It has also attracted many public and private supporters, such as the Frankfurt Culture Officer, Dr Ina Hartwig, the Frankfurt Rhein Non-profit Cultural Fund and the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art. Printing began on June 15, 2021 and the final result was presented two weeks later.
Throughout the project, the public was invited to observe how the House of Dust came to life thanks to 3D printing. In an interview with WASP, Knowles described the construction process as an opportunity to realize the structure in an “on-site intermedia action event”. This means that “as the poem is printed and read, it encounters a three-dimensional structure also printed by computer”.
The result of this unique experience is a beautifully designed sustainable space temporarily on display until September 26, 2021. Like WASP’s previous innovative projects, this inhabitable sculpture is at the intersection of avant-garde art, mastery architectural and sustainable needs, creating a futuristic habitat that could be replicated wherever natural resources are scarce.