The artist duo Carolin Liebl and Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler have been creating technology-based works since 2012. Both artists graduated from the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach in 2017. In 2019, they founded the joint studio and exchange platform “Atelier Wäscherei”. The duo’s works explore the impact of technological developments on the aesthetics and social aspects of human and non-human life.
An extruder built into a robot transforms plastic granules into anamorphic objects, which have a plump, glossy surface right from their birth. As the material swells out of the robots' organs, it curls and warps until it cools and hardens in its final shape. The robot spreads these artificial pieces around the exhibition space like virtual brushstrokes.
The title of the installation RE:PLACES is short for ‘Recycling PLA Closed-Circuit Extrusion Shaper’.
It moves autonomously and makes creative decisions based on its sensor data. In a storage bubble, it carries around granules made of plastic waste. The objects created during an exhibition can be shredded and serve once again as raw material, resulting in an almost closed cycle. The robot plays our role as earthly actors and offers the possibility for critical self-examination. Viewers can watch solid plastic material being melted and transformed into works of art – the technical process of plastic recycling is revealed. Through this aesthetic experience, the relationship with the material is to be changed and public discourse on plastics encouraged.
This work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms (EMAP) programme at FACT (GB) with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.