Moving through the exhibition space is a complex construction reminiscent of a planetary lander on three legs. In a branched funnel system, it transports different coloured granules made from plastic waste. The plastic material is heated and compressed in a cylindrical extruder in the centre of the robot and swells out as a colourful mass. The hot material curves and twists until it cools and solidifies into its final form. In creative processes lasting several minutes, the 1.70m high robot sheds the plastic objects and spreads them around the exhibition space like three-dimensional brush strokes.
The result is a variety of intertwined forms with glass-like surfaces and fascinating colour transitions – material properties that are not usually associated with plastic. The visual and haptic experiences enable an intuitive and aesthetic approach to the thematic complex around plastic and its problematic use. A new perspective on the materiality is stimulated to promote public discourse on plastics.
The title of the installation RE:PLACES is short for ‘Recycling PLA Closed-Circuit Extrusion Shaper’. The objects created during an exhibition can serve as raw material again and thus close the cycle.
Carolin Liebl and Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler
Using elements of kinetics and robotics, Liebl and Schmid-Pfähler create sculptures and installations that explore the effects of technical developments on aesthetic and social aspects of life. In their works, material qualities of a visual and haptic nature are just as important as programmed processes, algorithms and physical laws. As a duo, they graduated in Electronic Art as well as Sociology and Theory of Media at the Offenbach University of Art and Design in 2017. Liebl and Schmid-Pfähler founded the interdisciplinary studio house “Atelier Wäscherei”. The former laundry building in Offenbach, which they converted themselves, has since 2019 been the workplace of sixteen artists, as well as a platform for exchange and a venue for events.