3D Printers Create Undulating Landscape of Gabriel García Márquez Musings

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Rachel Pincus writes about a recent tribute to Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez by the Spain-based creative group Think Big Factory. The group set up a multimedia installation entitled “Travesía por los estados de la palabra.”

Gabriel García Márquez is considered one of the forefathers of modern Latin American literature, and it doesn’t hurt that his works are extremely popular in English, too. Since his death roughly a year ago, tributes to the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude have come in all shapes and sizes, and the latest is from Spain-based creative group Think Big Factory and creative agency Barrabes Meaning.

Choosing a particular motif to trace through his work—in this case, the ocean—they set up an intricate multimedia installation involving 10,000 words 3D printed in real time.

Travesía por los estados de la palabra,” which premiered at the international art fair of Madrid, ARCOmadrid in February, was inspired by a speech given by García Marquez at the First International Congress of the Spanish Language in Zacatecas (Mexico) in 1997 called “Bottle the sea for the God of words.”

The speech is about “the power of words in the image era”—a still-relevant concept, especially in the Internet’s zeitgeist of diminished word use and 140-word tweets.

The video-art projection at the start of the exhibit starts with a video-art exhibit centering around the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias. Contemporary Colombian creative luminaries located in the city (which borders the Atlantic Coast and thus represents the journey between Colombia and the creators’ native Spain) read excerpts of Márquez’s work and software detects the words that they use. This “symbolically releases” Márquez’s words, creating a backstory for the enormous, undulating display of their 3D-printed incarnations.

The choice and arrangement of the waves behind the words is affected by the contemporary use of Márquez’s words about water by the general populace. The motion of the 3D-printed words is determined by data extracted from Twitter through a program designed in openFrameworks.

The room, on a larger scale, is a representation of what the creators’ software does, taking the elusive qualities of language and transforming them into a physical manifestation. This is made especially evident through the tirelessly working 3D printers that remain on display, and the words that flow ceaselessly through the room.

See video here: https://vimeo.com/123288406

For original article, see http://www.psfk.com/2015/04/3d-printers-gabriel-garcia-marquez-think-big-factory.html

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