There are myriad of diverse definitions of transmateriality, I like to think of it as a view of media which is constantly propagating or transcending itself through specific instantiations.

The specific instantiations can be dictated through creative choice, exemplifying narratives within an art practice, or can include other reasonings/rationalisations circumferential to this.


In the context of his current practice, which is concerned with how painting is able to survive in the digital age, the artist employs 3D printing to make his artworks.

The artist makes ‘paintant gestures’, (in the past he has catalogued them, much like a draftsman, as seen in the book ‘661 Conjectures for a New Paint Management’).

There is some form of digital rendering/gesture, instantiation of data for the 3D printing process. The resulting work is something which is unpaintable via traditional means, but there is potential for replication unlike traditional painting.

There are strong connotations and links to the possibility of multiplication and mechanised means of production with the move away from the lofty uniqueness which is inherent in traditional painting, evoking a contemporary relevance to many of the discussions articulated by Walter Benjamin in the 1930s. 3D printing also enables production of complex forms using “inert” materials and no waste products, so there are also environmental sustainability issues raised.




Benjamin, Walter (1969 [1936]). “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. H. Arendt. New York, Schocken. 217–251.

Marcaccio, F (2004). “Fabian Marcaccio : 661 Conjectures For A New Paint Management 1989-2004 (v. 1).” Walther König. Köln, Germany.

Marcaccio, Fabian (@fabianmarcaccio). Instagram.



Lora Nikolaeva Nikolova