Justin Balmain

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The problem with the future is that it turns into the present, 2018.
HD video with audio
11:57 minutes
Installation view: A way to sync, live in the world, and the opposite of relax, Verge Gallery, Sydney. January 17 – February 23 2019

Defense Distributed is an online open-source hardware organization that develops digital schematics of firearms in CAD files, or "wiki weapons” that can be downloaded in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Designed and conceived by founder of Defense Distributed Cody Wilson, The Liberator was the first printable weapon available for domestic download in the US. Wilson has called the Liberator his “only original idea.” The often-faulty weapon has now been surpassed by more sophisticated semi-automatic weapons but stands as a manifesto for Libertarianism and Second Amendment rights. Defense Distributed now also sells their own 3D printer – the Ghost Gunner.  
The problem with the future is that it turns into the present is narrated by Sophia, an AI robot developed by Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong-based engineering and robotics company. The video captures the process of 3D printing The Liberator from a file downloaded in the US. The work follows the data file as it moves from peer-to-peer networks, enabled by distribution through the internet, reaching physical and ideological capacity as an actual object. The video considers the value of objects as they become manifest in newer and more widely distributed systems, challenging geo-borders and laws, and representing alternate means of distribution and production.
Downloading files for weapons in Australia carries a maximum 14-year prison sentence.

Filming and editing: Justin Balmain
Mastering: Tim Bruniges at 43'33"
Music: Shifted, Untitled 808 Workout, from the Drifting Over #001 EP, 2016. Courtesy Shifted
Nick Klein, Chats with Lucy, from The Lonesome Dealer EP, 2016. Courtesy Nick Klein and Alter, licensed through Alter

Acknowledgements: Amelia Wallin, the Wallin family, Akil Akamet, Stella Rosa McDonald, Guy Shifted, Nick Klein, Luke Younger, Tesha Jeffress, Vaughan O’conner, Alter, Parramatta Artists Studios, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Carriageworks