If you have ever had trouble visualizing exactly what internet traffic may look like Vincent Brinkmann has the answer in the form of rough extruded clay looking a little like the ashtray I made for my (non-smoking) mother in 2nd grade.
While this may be considered a form of 3D printing to communicate an idea, the resolution is so low and the abstraction from the data so great that the project’s statement that “EXtrace reflects the change from quality to quantity of modern communication as the printed sculpture itself don´t mirror the data input that they have been created with, but conserving this hidden data physically for centuries.” makes me question whether the sculpture actually communicates anything.
EXtrace is an apparatus that 3D prints clay sculptures out of the appearing data amounts of the world’s biggest internet node. In contrast to ancient physical communication media, like clay tablets or books, today´s communication got faster to near real-time. Furthermore EXtrace reflects the change from quality to quantity of modern communication as the printed sculpture itself don´t mirror the data input that they have been created with, but conserving this hidden data physically for centuries. As an input EXtrace uses a 2 day chart of the upcoming data transfer that goes through the internet node De-Cix located in Frankfurt am Main. This rapid data flow easily breaks the 2500 Gigabit per second mark and stands for a widely connected, fast paced and ubiquitous network of today´s communication. This data input is transformed and remapped to a physical data visualized clay sculpture.
We have seen previous projects using Shapeways to 3D print data visualization and to communicate information with higher resolution and Unfold have been creating elegant extruded clay 3D prints for many years.
What do you think is the value of this project?