Demo Hour

DEMO HOUR: Milpa Polímera

Issue: XXV.3 May-June 2018
Page: 8
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Marcela Armas, Arcángelo Constantini

Inspired by the conflicting relationship between the market-driven economy of maize and its deep symbolic and cultural value in Mexico, Milpa Polímera is a 3D printer modified to function as a tractor that plants infertile seeds made of polylactic acid, a thermoplastic biopolymer produced from a patented strain of corn. The machine is trapped in an absurd and perverse cycle that contradicts the very origins of corn: a plant domesticated about 10,000 years ago by a collective civilization whose cosmogony and culture saw it as a shared source of life.

Unsettled artifacts: Technological speculations from Latin America. Leonardo 50, 4 (Aug. 2017), 410–437;

Marcela Armas and Arcángelo Constantini

ins02.gif A tractor robot travels along a fixed circular path, sowing its artificial seeds.