Thingiverse is filled with virtual objects of most sorts that may be generated on a 3D printer. There is something the majority of them have in common is they’re supposed to be useful in several fashion.
That’s not the case with the 300 or so items created by Shiv Integer. That’s not really a person, but a bot whose sole purpose is to create weird new objects and publish them on Thingiverse. If you require an “Extruder instead of British Hubles” or a lovely “Semi-compatible Wine strapped to a resealable,” Shiv Integer has you covered.
The bot was made by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Julien Deswaef as an art project. The bot lives on Thingiverse, scanning its vast repository of things. It downloads objects published with Creative Commons copyright and merges them together into bizarre and interesting new objects. Nothing Shiv Integer creates has an explicit purpose except to exist and be weird. Many of them are probably not even printable.
The products names are constructed in a similar way by mixing up the names of other objects on Thingiverse.
Some users find its autonomous antics amusing and interesting, but others see it as nothing more than a spambot that fills the front page with useless junk. You can’t really dispute that — everything Shiv Integer throws together is fully useless. That doesn’t mean it’s not also fascinating to discover what it definitely comes up with.
Whether or not you may think Shiv Integer’s creations are art (if a bot can even create art), there’s definitely an annoyance factor for the non-artificial users of Thingiverse. Shiv Integer causes a lot of objects on Thingiverse, and that has sometimes place it at odds with the community.
It’s only been operating since February, so it’s averaging more than two new creations each day. Additionally pushing useful objects off the first page faster, Shiv Integer might ping a dozen different users every time it uses what they do in one of its creations — the description for every object includes a parts list of that which was designed to make it.
I’m sure the creators of Shiv Integer intended it to be a little annoying. If no one was watching, it wouldn’t be a very interesting experiment. The duo outed themselves last month as a way to showcase some of Shiv Integer’s work on an occasion called The Art of Bots in London’s Somerset House.
Perhaps if it runs long enough, Shiv Integer will of course make something useful entirely unintentionally. It might not have a possibility, though. As some Thingiverse users have pointed out, the site’s terms prohibit bots.
It certainly will be close down sooner or later.
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