2004 Coexistence III

Resin (white), 3D print
(Stereolithography Apparatus SLA),
glass (blown), 68 x 32 x 28 cm

The series explores the temporality of different making processes and the ability to form a coherent argument. On the one hand, the process of glassmaking is a deeply time-based craft. The time it takes to melt the glass, to scoop it from the furnace and the time it takes to cool down, all define the parameters in which glassblowers need to work.

Newton’s second law of motion describes the relationship between an object’s mass and the amount of force needed to accelerate it. Newton’s second law states F=ma, which means the force (F) acting on an object is equal to the mass (m) of an object times its acceleration (a). The forming of a shape through inflation and centrifugal force is thus an act of time, where the acceleration is the increase of speed in time. It articulates a time-based form.

Glass blowing is a time-based craft that induces forces into a material to shape it. The resulting shape needs to be cooled down, annealed, a process that allows to take out the naturally occurring tensions in a material when changing temperatures. The annealing process in the case of this work, being very heavy, took several days. Last but not least, the shapes seen in Coexistence are counter-intuitive to the practice of glass blowing. They are moments that are irreversible. They are penetration of volumes that are momentary and irreversible.

All of these time-based manipulations, some a short as the split-second two glass blown volumes collide are contrasted by the extreme longevity of glass. It is one of the longest-lasting man-made materials. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services estimates that it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment.

On the other side, this craftsmanship of time and force is juxtaposed with the time-less composition of the digital and the schizophrenic notion of the 3D print is a material with a very short half-life and the atemporality of the digital itself. Objects are made on a screen, sculpting without force feedback, without temperature, and without time. They
exist as immaterial constructs, formed to fit the glass object and to form a coexistence with them.

The fusion of these processes creates a form of coexistence, in which the reproducible 3D print meets the uniquely formed glass. They coexist, interwoven through glass reflections and refractions, seemingly merging the two material and making processes.