Nemesi, Shishi dog
The project was created in 2019 as part of the University Research with the support of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. The research project explored the possibility of finding and using new and recycled materials in the sculptural process.
The project focused on several different materials and one of them was plastic, or rather plastic waste due to its good workability and availability.
With the cooperation of the German association Konglomertat (konglomerat.org) based in Dresden, it was possible to apply the research and check if the resulting material used could stand up to sculptural work. Konglomerat has DIY machines assembled according to the freely available instructions of Precious Plastic (preciousplastic.com), a worldwide association for the recycling of plastics and the subsequent machining of recyclates. Two Injection machines were used to produce both works (Nemesis and Shishi dog), melting the plastic crumb and then casting the works. Based on this previous research and subsequent verification in practice, the author of the research, MgA. Linda Wrong, continues to pursue this research in her PhD studies at the Academy of Arts in Prague. Plastic and sculptural sculpture, are one of the least environmentally friendly art disciplines. The demands on water, material and its processing are noticeably higher compared to elsewhere, especially when we talk about the use of historically celebrated materials (precious metals, marble, etc.).
The question of the ecology of materials in art is not only about ecology alone, but it is also important to take into account the insights offered in other discourses on materials, which can be roughly divided, in addition to ecology, into two other sets that address this issue in depth. These are: material in the historical context of sculpture, used for specific fields and cultures; theory and philosophy dealing with object-oriented ontology, matter, materialism and realism, and the return to art.
The theoretical text of the thesis is a synthesis of the aforementioned sets. This praxis-based research is intended to help artists to orient themselves to the issue of ecology in art, while describing changes in the way we view material as a carrier of information and aesthetic impact, especially in the contemporary context.
One practical output is an application that uses the LCA method to evaluate the carbon footprint of a particular sculpture and offers the commissioner a comparison of material solutions. The research, and especially the subsequent verification of practical experience, continues to develop the possibilities of finding new ways to work in a circular way, not only with plastic waste.
A materials laboratory is currently being built at the Academy of Arts in Prague based on current and previous research.
First, the sculpture (Nemesis) was made in the classic sculpting process (sculpting in clay, then moulding and casting in concrete ). Then the silicone mould was made using additive silicone and plaster support. Prior to casting the recycled plastic into the prepared mould, material and temperature tests were carried out to achieve the optimum result in terms of flow, workability and strength of the material. These tests were performed based on different temperatures and the optimum ratio of the fused plastic types. After curing and removal, the work was assembled and then placed on the steel structure and base. For the second work created (Shishi dog), an "alla prima" procedure was used, i.e. without initial modelling and subsequent use of a silicone mould. The raw material was directly applied and moulded on a steel structure covered with mesh.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Stone stencil, iron construction, recycled HDPE, recycled PP, recycled PE type plastic