Vespers Series 2- Design Museum

Vespers- Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter Group

Collection of death masks which were originally used to show “cultural heritage and speculate about the perpetuation of life, both cultural and biological.” Originally a death mask would be made by hand but these are make using a 3D printer- ironically- to emulate what can be found in nature. The combination of using complex technology to represent a traditional hand craft could be seen as contradictory but adds to the theme of portraying the past, present and the future.

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To be honest, the main reason I am interested by these is that I am perplexed by their beauty. They have been made by layers and layers compressed together, creating this intense depth. Upon first glance, I automatically thought of the soul and how this is a direct representation of how I imagine it to look in visual terms.

Usually I think using 3D printers lacks talent and ability, however, the use of layers within this piece to create the patterns and colouring is definitely talent. The complexity of these pieces means you are able to look at them forever, they truly do depict signs of life…and death.

Traditional hand craft and beliefs being brought into modern society and developed using cutting edge technology nods to postmodern concepts, alongside the interest in recreating and observing nature.

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