Handbuilt/Machinebuilt consists of a hand moulded form that has been 3D scanned, and re-printed using a 3D printing process. This form continues Alterfact’s investigation of the intersection between hand built and industrial processes. The work draws a great deal of attention to the artistic interventions used to create both the clay form and the printed model - disrupting both the craft and the 3D printing processes.
Without an understanding of 3D printing with clay, Handbuilt/Machinebuilt can be read purely as a disruption of the craft process. By creating this undulating, organic form, scanning, and then printing using a 3D printer, Alterfact drives an industrial process between the final artwork, and the human influence on the clay. The authorship and craftsmanship is stripped from the artistic form, which is reduced to an infinitely reproducible object.
Yet, an understanding of this work through the lens of Alterfact’s oeuvre suggests a more complicated reading.
Handbuilt/Machinebuilt reflects Alterfact’s understanding of 3D printing as a hand-on medium. The process is far from automatic, requiring a strong connection between machine and the hand - which acts as a buffer between the hard digital sphere of the movements of the printer, and the soft and unreliable qualities of the clay.
Thus, Handbuilt/Machinebuilt denies ‘industrial’ and ‘handbuilt’ as mutually exclusive categories, and showcases the importance of the intervention of the artist hand in both the craft and digital processes used to create the two forms.