Amazing Death Masks Made By MIT’s Ultra High-Def 3D Printer
Known as Vespers, these death masks were designed and created with ultra high-definition 3D printing technology. Their aim from an artistic point of view is to explore the complex boundaries and connections between life and death. The actual designers and creators of the death masks are Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter Group at MIT Media Lab and they worked in collaboration with the Stratasys 3D-printing company to actually make them a reality.
This series of death masks is actually the second series of the New Ancient Collection and were part of the Fear and Love show at the London Design Museum that was on display throughout April 2017.
Their intended purpose was to strike a connection between the cultural heritage of humanity and its biological perspective, and how life is perpetuated as a combination of both. These death masks are made out of 15 pieces divided into three categories: Past, Present, and Future.
Currently, only Present is on display. These masks were designed in such a way so as to match or mimic structures and forms found in nature. The Present series was created in a way to show a gradual role of these death masks going from a “symbolic cultural relic” in the Past series and transitioning to a “functional biological interface” in the Future one.
“It moves beyond the exterior surface and into the interior volume of the mask, employing a contemporaneous interpretation of the soul’s journey,” Neri Oxman explains.
The Past and Future series will be also released soon. The Past one will be heavily inspired by ancient masks, trying to explore the side and seeing things through the lens of death. These death masks will be embedded with all sorts of natural minerals and metals like bismuth, silver and gold, and will be made in different colour combinations found in all sorts of religious practices all across the world.
Future, on the other hand, will explore the concept through the lens of life and explores the concept of renewal and continuation.
“Devoid of cultural expressions and nearly colourless, these masks are paradoxically the most alive of the three series,” Neri Oxman says of the Future series.
The collection as a whole will “literally guide living microorganisms through minute spatial features inside the artefacts of the dead,” Oxman says.