Friday, September 15, 2017

Fadenfeld - Art in the Digital Age

It takes 3,762 nails and half a kilometer of string to make a single Fadenfeld, or field of string. The works of art created by NIT students Nico Göhner and Alexander Sbitnew and their business partner Justus Basler are not only eye-catchingly beautiful but also technical masterpieces.

"The idea took shape over a year ago when Justus was looking for an individual present for his father. He wanted to depict himself and his two siblings in a unique way in the form of a spectacular image," says Nico Goehner. The two young men came across the do-it-yourself trend String Art on the Internet, where instructions for creating works of string art are to be found in countless videos and blogs, but instead of getting to work with hammers, nails and string the three students wanted to machine-make their Fadenfeld. Inspired by this idea, the individual present idea quickly developed into a business idea.

In the Entrepreneurial Management course at the NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management Göhner and Sbitnew took the bull by the horns and founded Fadenfeld, the startup. Their friend Justus Basler joined them and programmed an algorithm for the manufacture of string art. The young entrepreneurs then developed a machine that wound string around the nails. Using a high-resolution digital portrait photo as the template, individual string art images take shape almost entirely automatically. After a few initial setbacks production now runs smoothly. The only manual labor that is required is to hammer the nails into the wooden panel by hand. Yet the entire process still very seldom takes less than 24 hours.

"We hope that this mixture of technology and art will attract people who might not see themselves as being interested in art and gain them as customers," says Nico Göhner.

A string portrait is certainly a very special kind of gift, be it for a wedding, for a "round" birthday, or simply if you want to give yourself something. The many superimposed lengths of string create in-depth visual effects that are better seen from a distance. It is an effect that you really have to have seen for yourself. That is precisely why the students are presenting one of their works of art until the beginning of October in the foyer of the NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management on the TUHH campus.

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