In the previous article, we were following Franco “Bifo” Berardi in his argument according to which the financialization/semotization of the world should be fought against through the invention of other semio-weapons known as poetry. In the following article, however, I would like to examine what could be another mean of resistance against the reigning abstraction of the capital, what is extremely likely to be the next industrial paradigm: 3D Printing.
I don’t want to write here about what the very mean of 3D printing allow us in terms of new architectural typology. Many people are writing about it and I don’t think to have anything to add to that. What I am interested in is a combination of two things. The first one is the counterpoint of Franco Berardi as I am envisioning a resistance to abstraction through its antipode, matter. 3D printing allows the multitude of emergent technologies promoting the digital realm to concretize its production in the material world. This point is fundamental as every physical modification of this world – let’s insist on the fact that there is only modifications and transformations here, no creation per say – engages us as the body we are. We don’t have a body, we are a body, and each ‘object’ (including architecture) constitute an opportunity to feel and affirm such a truth. This manifesto for a material production is linked to the very essence of 3D printing and therefore constitute an inherent tool of resistance.
Another aspect of this technology can lead us to think that it can potentially politically empower us; however this one is not inherent to it, and therefore requires to be included within a well thought strategy of appropriation in the shift of paradigm. I would like to insist on the right moment to act as the present situation still reserves the use of this technology to the army (as usual in the case of a new powerful technology) and a design (mostly Western) elite. We are therefore far to see the Syrian rebels resisting the massacre with 3D printed weapons – some of them are being highly inventive in this matter however – but we need to envision a future in which a large majority of the new objects produced on the planet would be 3D printed. We then have to wonder which would be those objects. Would they be the embodiment of the new (des)illusions of desires injected in us by the most recent mutation of capitalism, or do we want them to be the creative product of the multitude?
This question is not simply the question of those objects, but also of their economy, and in the case of the immanent production, the numerous sub-economies that take over the dominant one. We already saw the US Army making its move, it won’t be long before we see capitalism making its own: We will then need to act fast and well to avoid another capture of this technology that will reproduce the usual schemes observed in the emergence of the transcendental behemoths.
Thank you to Guilhem for the links towards the article about the Syrian rebels’ DIY weapons.