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The luxury of artists? Having a "Robot Sculptor"



In Carrara, in the marble quarries of Michelangelo Buonarroti, there is the “Robot Sculptor”.
A gigantic mechanical arm moves slowly towards a block of white marble: the hyper-technological tip turns rapidly and relentlessly. Jets of water spray constantly to cool the stone, which is gently, but inexorably, consumed by the precision file.
Now the sculptures are made like this: the robot, called BOT1, was created by robotor and its subsidiary Tor Art, companies founded by two Carrara entrepreneurs passionate about marble and art, Giacomo Massari and Filippo Tincolini, to create sculptures in marble, but also in plastic and wood.
Starting from a photograph or a three-dimensional file sent by the artist, the Artificial Intelligence software allows the company to create statues commissioned by some of the world's leading artists: here, in short, the new masterpieces are born. Can we mention some names of the artists who use Robotor? Maurizio Cattelan, Giuseppe Penone, Jeff Koons, Zaha Hadid, Tony Cregg, Marc Queen, Vanessa Beecroft and many others ...
The "Robot Sculptor" produces pieces that would normally require years of painstaking work for a sculptor to complete and which can now be made in a few days, saving not only time, but also allowing the creation of works of art in a safe environment. .
In Carrara they also make perfect replicas of archaeological finds and damaged or destroyed statues, such as a reduced-scale reproduction of the Monumental Arch of Palmyra, Syria, destroyed by Isis. Many, however, think that the “Robot Sculptor” is an artistic heresy, because they believe that a sculpture must be rigorously made by hand, with traditional methods. Carrara has a long history as a center of artisans and sculptors.

In a large workshop in the city center, Diego Zampolini, Chairman of the Cooperative Sculptors of Carrara , is not convinced of the use of robots to create works of art.
“A sculpture finished by a robot is a dead sculpture, a sculpture finished by a craftsman, as far as I'm concerned, is a living sculpture, a fresh sculpture, a real sculpture. For me, a sculpture cannot be made by a robot, because it has to be done by hand, it is something that has to be done together by the craftsman and the artist, there absolutely has to be this special symbiosis ”, says Zampolini.
He retorts Philip Tincolini, co-founder of Robotor.
“Artisans who have not yet tried this technology are wary, with the fear that their work or their work will be stolen. But after the first approach they understand the potential, they start to use it and their life changes: because they can work more and they can work better ".
Who's right?
Who knows what Michelangelo would have thought of the "Robot Sculptor" ...

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