IN RUST WE TRUST

IN RUST WE TRUST

photo:  Mars taken by the OSIRIS instrument (www.esa.int/spaceinimage), Curiosity’s  Rover Selfie at ‚Aberlady’ and ‚Kilmarie(mars.nasa.gov),  The, Martian pottery 3D printed in the MGS-1 material Model: Espresso2, photo by Marta Flisykowska

 

Abstract

In the context of the speculated ideas related to the settlement and colonization of Mars (Moscher 2018), can printing the first cup made of Martian clay be a symbol of a new, interplanetary, chapter of our common human history?

Technology and culture are not separate from one another, but together, they redefine our surroundings.

In Rust We Trust‘ contains a set of Martian pottery 3D printed in the MGS-1 material, otherwise known as Mars Global Simulant, developed at Exolith Lab from University of Central Florida. the first mineralogically precise simulant of Martian regolith (Cannon et al.  2019). The project combines issues related to digital production, digital aesthetics, innovative material experiments and multicultural communication.

 

Keywords: 3D printing, clay printing, Mars, ceramic, experiment, Martian clay simulant, archeology, space

 

 

A symbolic cup made of Martian clay refers to the roots of culture, because ceramics and objects of everyday use have constituted the fundamental source of knowledge in the history of mankind, and are carriers of information up to this day.  

With its many-faceted references to culture, the In Rust We Trust project takes us for a metaphorical journey through time. It should be treated as speculation rather than an implementation concept. In spite of its speculative nature, the results of the material and technological experiments can be a reference point for science and its transdisciplinary nature does not pigeonhole it in any single category. The result, i.e. the material representation of the idea, is the first attempt to create Martian utility ceramics. It is a stop on the way between what we know and what we aspire to. The project not only contributes to the discussion about the colonization of Mars, but also opens up new avenues for debate and challenge.

 

In order to prepare the 3D printing experiments with the MGS-1 material, it was necessary to have a cultural and utility medium that represents contemporary culture. I designed two espresso cup models.Its shape was to symbolically refer to a catering receptacle, a cup with a certain defined function and to be a shape that would be adequate for the technology of its manufacturing, i.e. 3D printing in clay.

One of the methods of forming the first ceramic vessels before the invention of the garner wheel was to roll a long clay roll into a spiral so that the pot’s walls would form uniformly. The oldest products found date back to 13 thousand BCE. The story has come full circle, as the process of incremental production with the use of a 3D printer looks similar. However, it provides very different possibilities and the resulting structures are much more complex. ( Breyer, Kearns 1996) Espresso models was a carefully thought-through shape in terms of manufacturing with consideration given to cultural connotations. The G-code, i.e. the path of the printer’s head, was designed and generated with parametric tools.

 

In order to prepare the 3D printing experiments with the Martian clay simulant, it was necessary to have a cultural and utility medium that represents contemporary culture. I designed two espresso cup models. 

The decision to make this an espresso cup was my subjective choice. The arguments in favor of this decision have their case in the project. Espresso is a comparatively recent method of coffee brewing and according to the The Founding Fathers of Espresso  dates back to the early 20th century. It is a small portion of black coffee served in a small ca. 70 ml cup that is warmed before the coffee is poured until the cup is half full. Espresso’s name comes from the quickness of its brewing (35-45 seconds on average) ( Illy, Andrea; Viani, Rinantonio 2005)

Therefore, it represents the fact of and need for acting quickly, change and the rush of today’s world.  Another insight is how the ISS astronauts confessed to missing the seemingly mundane things back on Earth. One of them was the smell and taste of real coffee.The astronauts were very satisfied with the special “coffee station” design and with the specially designed kitchenware adapted to zero-gravity conditions. In an interview, American astronaut Kjell Lindgren said, “It’s great to be home and to be able to use our home coffee maker, but I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I miss the coffee the food lab made for me in space,” Lindgren laughed. “The smell of coffee is one of the most enjoyable things about it. Getting to experience fresh coffee was a big deal.”  (Donahue 2016)

The In Rust We Trust project espresso cup was not designed as a functional object especially for the conditions on the ISS. Its shape was to symbolically refer to a catering receptacle, a cup with a certain defined function and to be a shape that would be adequate for the technology of its manufacturing, i.e. 3D printing in clay. The design of the espresso 1 and espresso 2 models was a carefully thought-through shape in terms of manufacturing with consideration given to cultural connotations. The G-code, i.e. the path of the printer’s head, was designed and generated with parametric tools.

 

the project was featured at  xCoAx 2020 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X 8–10 July, Graz (online)
in Artwork section