International Festival
of Computer Arts

The difference between what it is and what it claims to be


The difference between what it is and what it claims to be

  • 26th MFRU
  • Video
Artist Pavle Banović
The difference between what it is and what it claims to be

The work examines the issues that arise with the phenomenon of 3D printing and weapons through the interplays between the discourses on firearms, freedom, accessibility, art and the legal systems within the ruling ideologies of the West.

The video displays an ever-changing 3D object and is an ever-failing-ever-succeeding experiment in defining the diviging lines between what it is and what it claims to be: between a firearm and a non-firearm. The original 3D model/blueprint of a firearm was downloaded from the internet and then reconfigured and deformed into an abstract, non-functional object. The transformation process is directed by coordinates, that is, a numerical code retrieved from the transcription of the word “firearm” into a series of numbers. The object’s own definition is thus its own deforming factor as well. After a while, the object returns to its original form and the process of metamorphosis begins again.

More specifically, the work deals with the issue of legality and accessibility of firearms that comes with the capacities of 3D printers and consequently homemade untraceable guns. What happens when the ideas of accessibility and freedom that permeate every technological advance leak into the world of firearms and war? What happens to laws and legal systems that are lagging behind when it comes to these types of weapons? Another question is: What is considered a weapon? Is the definition of weapons changing with and within this new sphere? How much do I need to disable the gun in order for it to be printed legally? Is the object that I made a firearm, something that resembles it, a piece of art? What will the future of this phenomenon look like? The present work moves precisely in this grey area. Is an object in the video illegal one second and then a work of art throughout the rest of it?

Photogallery of the exhibition (photo: Andrej Lamut)