1609 Vessels of Vanitas II

Resin (white), 3D print
Apparatus SLA), 72 x 38 x 30 cm
Edition of 3

One of the oldest cultural artefacts are vessels and urns. Created to house our bodily remains, the making of these vessels can be traced as far back as 7000 BC and resonates through all cultures and geographies. The vessel is an archetypal element and embeds the stories and context of its remains, allowing adoration, reflection, and worship. The object becomes narration. At the same time, the idea, shape, form, and materiality of the vessel has transformed throughout history. Within the different cultural contexts, the depicted narration changes between the deity and ascension of the immaterial to the imitation of the natural through the use of ornament.

Today, the materiality of the human body is becoming ever more ephemeral and transient, as data models replace traditional narration in favour of medical precision. The research of
the author into Magnetic Resonance Images and the translation of such hybrid body spaces creates a digital material of the actual body, a digital flesh. This digital transcendence and
de-materialisation at the same time allows a personal and intimate encounter with the finite and at the same time the immaterial concept of vanitas.

Based on this interplay of forces and cultures of the Rococo, Vessels of Vanitas examines, through design and material combinations, a new formal language, transferring methods and strategies to a digital craftsmanship.

The form-finding process for 3D printing of the vessels is based on 3D scanned artefacts of the Rococo and data fragments of the author’s body, evolved through re-composition and arrangement. Thus, through re-articulating the natural motifs depicted in the Rococo and replacing, amalgamating and re-drawing them using Magnetic Resonance Image data from the author’s body, the work can be seen as oscillating between the reproduction of a 3D scanned artefact and its interpretation into today’s mortality and data driven soft immortality.