If there was one controversy which has been plaguing the 3D printing space for the past few years, it would have to be the potential dangers of 3D printable guns — and more specifically guns designed and 3D printed by one man, named Cody Wilson and his organization, Defense Distributed. Wilson, known quite well within both the 3D printing space as well as among gun rights activists, is the man behind the much publicized, often scrutinized 3D printable Liberator gun.
The Liberator, while it is not the only 3D printable gun that has been created to date, is certainly the most well known, most talked about, and perhaps to some, the most feared of them all. Wilson is a man who stands by his belief that the 3D printing of guns should not be prohibited by law, and he has many supporters who stand behind him.
The Liberator itself has proven that the internet has opened up many new realms when it comes to creating, obtaining, and designing new products and objects, and one artist by the named of Addie Wagenknecht, decided to create a unique art piece based on this idea.
“The net has made it possible to share and express culture in ways that were never possible before,” Wagenknecht explains. “In that sense, Pirate Bay is one of the most successful works of our time. I am a generation that grew up between two paradoxes: the anonymity of 20 years ago and the intense surveillance that has shifted the paradigm of online culture to where we are now. We trust corporations more than each other [and] 3D guns are simply a byproduct of this.
In going with this theme, Wagenknecht decided to come up with a unique design for a chandelier, called Liberator Rounds, which would feature 13 individually 3D printed Liberator guns.
To create her unique design, Wagenknecht downloaded the readily available torrent file of the controversial gun. She then had a friend in Germany 3D print out all 13 guns for her — a process which took a total of 18 days to complete, with the 3D printer running 24 hours a day.
She then assembled the chandelier, which is very similar to her 2013 creation of a similar design, called Asymmetric Love, a chandelier made of CCTV cameras and DSL internet cable.
“The Liberator gun is indicative of the the corporatization of the surveillance state, ultimately underscoring that our level of trust in corporations is greater than with one another,” 3DPrint.com is told by Kerry Doran of Bitforms Gallery. “Commenting on the cultural climate of surveillance, especially our unwitting trust in corporations with our most private information, Wagenknecht writes, “3D [printed] guns are simply a byproduct of this.”
No matter what you think about the Liberator in general, you can’t help but notice the stunning uniqueness exhibited by Wagenknecht’s chandelier. The 13 individual guns are assembled onto a custom metal body, and measures 4.25 x 6.25 x 16 in / 10.8 x 15.9 x 40.6 cm in dimensions. For those of you interested in seeing this creation up close, it will be on display as part of the Eyebeam In Objects exhibition at Upfor Gallery, from September 3 to October 10.
“The series is about ubiquitous objects in our environment and a shift in contemporary context, the playful and subversive quality of surveillance and data culture in our everyday environments,” explains Wagenknecht. “The work plays with the underlying notion of how culture is produced and distributed—how they have been affected by our disenchantment and simultaneous obsession [with] digital culture.”