Cassius represents the direction in which we can steer our future.
Cassius demonstrates that anyone can realize their ideas as physical
objects. At present we have two hurdles. The first hurdle is that generative
production machines do not yet enable us to produce anything we wish.
The second hurdle is the difficulty of communicating an idea to a machine
without first undergoing years of training. This second hurdle is addressed
Before the industrial revolution we could go to a tradesman, a cabinet
maker for example, and communicate our idea for a new table. These
ideas would then be realized within boarders of our financial means and
the skills of the tradesman. Upon the arrival of industrialized production we
lost this freedom, to a large extent, in favor of prices that a larger portion of
our population could affort.
In 1978 in “The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy” we heard with pleasure
and hope of a machine that could create something that is “almost, but not
quite, entirely unlike tea”. The machine, called a Replicator termed originally
in “Star Trek” could, at a push of a button, synthesize food. This could
be seen as the second generation of such machines. The third generation
was presented in “The Star of the Unborn”. It was not a machine but a human,
known as “The Worker”, who could turn ideas into reality.
Unless we really like bad tea the first generation was not much use to us.
The second generation required special skills to program it and represents
a similar situation to that in which we find ourselves now. The third generation
is where Fluid Forms is working towards. In the Fluid Forms vision, the job
of “The Worker” is performed by a combination of “Design Interfaces” and
generative production machines.
As does the tradesman, the design interface maintains the borders
represented by the capabilities of the production machines and gives us
feedback relating to price. As “The Worker” interprets our ideas, so too does
the design interface: through its ease-of-use, it communicates our ideas to
the production machines.
During 2009 the Cassius project is one center piece of the so called Fab
Lab in the ARS Electronica Center in Linz/Austria. The Fab Lab is a kind of
laboratory for Digital Fabrication showing the arts and crafts of tomorrow.
Visit us there and fight against the "real" Cassius.
More technical Info:
Individuality versus mass production
We live in times where the term “cloning” is not only connected to animals
but also to designed objects. They can be found - slightly modified and
much cheaper - in the shelf of chain stores.
Thus, individuality and individual design become important goods. The
human being is the best example for uniqueness which is visible in the
fingerprint. No print resembles the other, which was a reason for Fluid
Forms to take the fingerprint as the source for a sculpture.
Individuality is the message
The designers of Fluid Forms stand for creative ideas when it comes to the
individualisation of designed objects. In the design process the customer
takes over quite an unusual role, becomes part of the act of creation of his
own sculpture, becomes designer and part of the piece of art through the
contribution of his or her fingerprint.
The fingerprint is transformed into a three-dimensional object with the help
of computer algorithms. A 3D-printer turns the virtual form into a real object.
The result of this act of creation is a product that is unique in this world.