Variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox


Victory for mankind! Wilcox vs 3D Printer: Milan, Duomo
April 22, 2012, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: , , , ,

)Update to the below: Rematch at the V&A see here ).

I won the battle of Man vs Machine in Milan at the Hacked event at La Rinascente department store! The challenge was for me and a 3D Printer to make the best model of the nearby Duomo cathedral within 1.5 hours. The age of 3D Printing is here but there is a discussion around where it is heading and how useful it will be. What can a human do that a machine can’t? Can the hand created object give something that a computer cannot? Or can machines do everything better? Is computerised perfection emotionless?

There was a big crowd and many people stayed for the whole time watching the progress intensely.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

The clock counted down for 90 minutes, there was a little beep for every second which made me nervous.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

(No Plugs) I bought a white dressing gown like the boxers and added some messages with red tape I was using in my other exhibition. We came out to the sound of the Rocky theme music.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

The 3D printer was a Makerbot and was controlled by the team at wefab.it. They really got into the performance and called their machine Deep Pink after the famous ‘Kasparov vs Deep Blue’ chess match. I chose to make mine from clay. I have never made anything from clay before so was a little unsure about the result. I notice in the photo above there is a man with an old film camera. (Very suitable to the event hand/digital.)

I took some photos of the Duomo but when I started I found it difficult to remember what shape it was. There were many people around photographing and filming and for a few minutes I was thinking ‘what am I doing?’. However once I had made the first blocks I could see potential in the model and I focused on my task.


stop motion video

I was hearing that the 3D Printer had a little problem half way through, the model was moved a little and started printing slightly to the side, but it was fixed. The real Duomo has many details and the makerbot 3d printer is quite a simple but a fun DIY style machine.

Wilcox vs 3D PrInter

The Editor in chief of the italian magazine Domus Joseph Grima was the referee and decided to award the prize to me.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

The prize was a large ceramic ‘subbuteo’ of football team AC Milan.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

‘I eat computer chips for breakfast’ Me and the We Fab team from Milan.

Thanks to curator Beatrice Galilee for the Hacked event she invited me to, referee Joseph Grima and wefab.it for their enthusiasm and skills.
More pics here

Update: After my victory the machine sent me this bad loser messages…

There is talk of another match in London very soon with a different 3D Printer. This could be an event the grows and develops. Keep following.

You can read the background to this event on my previous post here
See the other thing I made in Milan here with tape, sticks and a chair here.

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hoorah, well done! :-)

Comment by Kavey

Thank you for saving us!

Comment by john

You always rise to the occasion, Dominic! That’s why I love reading your blog. Your resourcefulness, willingness to step out of your comfort zone, and trust in your creative instincts always impresses. Congrats on your win!

Comment by Shannon Kaye

Congrats on your victory for humanity. It’s like that film Independence Day all over again.

Comment by blackwatertown

Great idea, even greater performance!
Thanks for making us believe in ourselves in these “just-hurry-to-make-money” days…

Comment by Ljubomir Brkic

Thank you Dominic for being a good humoured artisté!! It seems that anyone with creativity nowadays has the sole focus on money and not enough time for a laugh, good on ya mate!! The robots quake in their little robo-converse!!

Comment by Anna

I am amazed by his talent and the level of texture and details. Human creativity is amazing.

Comment by printing sydney




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