[NetBehaviour] Urinal: 3D print

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Tue Feb 15 18:08:14 CET 2011

On 15/02/11 15:32, Pall Thayer wrote:
> This is beautiful, Rob.

Thank you!

It's just hit the front page at Boing Boing -


> I seem to recall seeing some prior discussion
> about this but I haven't read it so I don't know what was discussed.
> One of the things I like is how such a project questions the true
> authenticity of a very famous work whose authenticity was challenged
> by both the "art world" and its very creator. The fact that the

Yes that's definitely part of the idea. It does have an actual visual 
inspiration as well -


Shapeways can print glass (!), so it would be possible to make miniature 
ampoules and components for a miniature large glass as well.

> original urinal disappeared and that Duchamp was later commissioned to
> make more (I believe there are 8 of them in existence) does just that.

Yes, it was truly conceptual art until the 60s. It's second only to 
Manzoni's cans of shit as unlikely objects of artistic conservation and 
aesthetic rehabilitation.

> I found it somewhat humorous, a few years ago, when someone attacked
> the urinal in the Pompidou, breaking it, and they were concerned about
> how much it was going to cost to repair it. Personally, I think they
> would have been better off simply keeping it on display in its broken
> form (Duchamp may even have preferred this solution as well, i.e. the
> broken glass in The Bride Stripped Bare).

There's an unbroken Large Glass in the Tate thanks to Richard Hamilton.

Hamilton's recreation of The Large Glass for Duchamp is like Jeff 
Koons's work, which I also had in mind for this project.

Koons's authentic outsourcing-style management of authentic, physical, 
artisanal production is threatened by 3D printing. His recent attempt to 
take ownership of the *idea* of balloon dogs shows a conception of the 
ownership of the products of that production that is out of step with 
his own history and is also threatened by 3D printing. And the fact that 
he doesn't attribute the people who make his art has always annoyed me 
despite the fact that I know it's part of the concept.

The licence of the Urinal model, Creative Commons's 
Attribution-Sharealike is a way of addressing all this. Chris Webber 
retains the copyright on and the credit for the work, and everyone else 
(including me) can use it as they wish. It changes the *form* of the work.

> But now everyone can have their own urinal and it will be as much of
> an original as those 8 that are owned by various museums.

Yes, although I'm not sure what they are not-an-original-of. I'm trying 
to avoid the word "simulacra". ;-)

- Rob.

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