Carrara, in the marble quarries of Michelangelo the sculptor is a robot

In the Cave of Carrara are all means checkmate. And therefore means genius. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be living here, in this paradiso (which sometimes looks like a hell) bathed in the blinding white light of the marble most precious in the world, in these quarries stuck between pieces of mountains to eat by man over the centuries, suspended in the sky between the sea of Versilia and the swift clouds of the Alps Apuan.

They don’t feel Tuscan but carrarini, Coast race. Here they have been mining marble for over 2000 years. Here they have grown over the centuries i genius of sculpture – Michelangelo, Giambologna, Canova – to find the right pieces of “oro White»And give shape to immortal works. Still up there today, artists and designers from all over the world come to create masterpieces contemporaries. Instead of the chisel, they use intelligence artificial applied to laser scanners, 3D files and hyper-technological tricks. In the careers of Michelangelo today the sculptor is a robot. A mixture of algorithms, technology and know-how at the highest level, unique in the world panorama.

Giacomo Massari e Philippe Tincolini, two young entrepreneurs passionate about marble and art, called in 2004 engineers robotics experts from Sant’Anna di Pisa e craftsmen of excellence to found the Door art, their “jewel-shop»From the third millennium in the Fantiscritti quarry-museum. “A company specializing in sculpture, contemporary art and design in the application of new technologies in the treatment of marble“, We read on their website. About twenty work there today. In 2019, given that the algorithm it worked very well, they even created a spin-off, the Robot who builds and sells i robot-sculptors (they recently made a major deal with China).

When you arrive in the laboratory – in the middle of the more than 30 quarries of the area where about 150 quarrymen work – you can hear the Hmm constant of the automaton which shapes the block of marble, cold water jets. The mechanical arm moves constantly, quickly with quick and precise movements. Softwares rework files and shapes the beautiful white rock, giving it shape and vita. In the store, you can enter (and see) but not photograph or film anything. In addition to perfectly reproducing masterpieces of art (it’s theirs, just an example, the copy of the Arc de Palmira destroyed by jihadists and exhibited around the world), artisans with hair find they carry out projects by artists and designers of Amanda’s caliber Laveté, brothers Bouroullec, Zaha Hadid, Maurizio Cattelan, Barry x ball, Jeff Koons and many more. The privacy here is a strict rule on customers and especially on work. The guys from Carrara have excellent collaborations with half of the world: individuals and organizations and institutions engaged in storage room cultural heritage such as “the gallery of Canovian plaster casts, the Hermitage museum, the Sforzesco castle, the Thorvaldsen museum”.

“Sometimes in New York I am at the table with world famous artists asking me what is marble for what they have in it to manage. They share projects and ideas with us, they seek advice from someone in Carrara who works in the quarries. There is a relation of confidence absolute, a big Satisfaction – said Giacomo Massari – Our goal is not to give limits to the artist: sometimes it’s difficult to do what they ask of us but our job is just that, go beyond and make achievable, through technology, what seems impossible to achieve “

The silence quarry is interrupted by trucks transporting downstream blocks marble moved by bulldozers huge. Unfortunately armature marble lost its strength in Carrara: the globalization hits here too. The blocks leave the port, the Processing it’s done elsewhere to lower me costs (but that’s yet another story). Between one truck and another, the Hmm robots that work non-stop. The inlays new opera emerging art hidden between the walls of Tor-Art are of a delicacy incredible: the magic machine weaves one trina of son interlaced of marble. Artificial intelligence applied to technology creates one sculpture which only a few years ago was unthinkable: born of genius from one of the greatest living artists. And ofalgorithm. “But the last tenth of millimeter handmade has a result ten times more Hello of what the robot could do, ”explains Massari. For now.

Winston Ferguson

"Total travelaholic. Subtly charming zombie geek. Friend of animals everywhere. Music buff. Explorer. Tv junkie."

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