Artists Make Enormous 3D Printed Interactive Mountain Art Installation, ‘Sisyphus Stone’

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fab-lab1The act of creating, innovating, and engaging in the general duties of an artist and designer can without doubt sometimes be depleting. While most maintain a positive spin on the creative process and eschew the constant stream of dramatic, whiny memes depicting the horrible suffering of artists and writers, there’s no getting past the fact that sometimes making stuff–and reaching the finishing line with success–does feel like climbing a mountain.

And if you are a working artist, then you climb that mountain over and over. And over. Sometimes even in your sleep. Apparently this is the case in Spain too–Barcelona to be exact–as artists from Fab Lab Barcelona (BCN) have made a pretty clear expression of how difficult it can sometimes be to achieve the climb to the top–only to come straight back down–eventually.

With an ironic piece of art that symbolizes and sums up that sometimes arduous process very well, Fab Lab makers in Barcelona have produced an enormous 3D printed mountain for an installation that quite simply will make most anyone wonder what they are doing with their life on numerous levels.

The project, featuring 44 pieces that interlock like a jigsaw puzzle, was produced on three MakerBot printers. It took 368 hours of printing and 5896 GRS of filament. The mountain faces had to be strategically placed and thickness and dimensions had to be just right for stability.

UntitledThe 3D printed mountain, Sisyphus Stone, is the central focus of a video which serves as an art installation regarding the never-ending quest in creativity. It will be shown off at various festivals within the European Art Science and Technology Network which features myriad artistic opportunities and endeavors, from enriching workshops and conferences to unique residencies offering work in digital design and 3D printing.

“Sisyphus is an interactive video mapping installation about the perpetual effort to achievement,” states the Fab Lab BCN team. “Sisyphus gives form to the human condition through an interactive game where the user can animate the scene as long as he can perceive and dominate time.”

The team took inspiration from the rather excruciating Greek myth regarding Sisyphus, king of Ephyra, who was punished for dishonesty. He was eternally sentenced to constantly trudge uphill with an enormous boulder only to see it roll right back down after completing the task. Over and over, forever. In other theories and myths, Sisyphus represents repetitive yet miraculous daily events like the sun rising and setting, and the flow of the tides.

Untitled The network revolves around the idea of ‘tangibility,’ and the Sisyphus installation certainly works within that theme.

The artwork is constructed with a laser cut mechanical gear system and it’s meant to invite the audience, drawing them in to interact by turning the gears, and propelling Sisyphus up the mountain. They also track the movement with accelerometer data which is compiled in the app created for the installation, which was created in openFrameworks and Unity3D.

The artists responsible for the installation are Hannes Andersson, Ovidiu Cincheza, and Anastasia Pistofidou–with collaboration by Matteo Guarnaccia and Santi Fuentemilla.

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