Reinterpreting 3D Food Printing as Neo-Print Capitalism : Fabrication, Food, and Futures


Benedict Anderson argues in 1983 the idea of a nation, as a social construction that form by the shared imaginations among group of peoples. This imagined community emerges with a common discourse, culture, and language that are fabricated by the use of the printing press sponsored by capitalists. The print capitalism connects and allows readers speaking distinguished local dialects to be able to understand each other. Thus, allow for the common discourses to emerge. This paper applies the idea of Anderson’s imagined community to reinterpret 3D food printer, a kind of 3D printer that can can fabricate three dimensional structures with edible materials, as a political object. We argue that the 3D food printer has the same political function as a printing press, which is to blend the cultural differences. The exchanges of food cultures, practices, and imaginations via a digital fabrication tool such as 3D food printer will continue the globalization movement, which according to Anderson creates “homogenous empty time”. However, the political reinterpretation of the emerging technology as this paper has demonstrated sheds light to new undermined area of design politics within the field of human-computer interaction.



Accepted to 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Tempe, Arizona, USA
9-12 November, 2017