“What object would you like archaeologists 1,000 years from now to remember our present day culture by?”

That was the question asked by Google India of visitors to their first Google Arts & Culture Lab a few months ago. The question was asked as part of a collaboration with Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and the British Museum on an interactive installation called Future Relics. The visitors’ answers were then incorporated into digitally created artwork that will combine modern 3D printing technology with traditional ceramics. The resulting artwork will then act as relics that future generations could use to gain a greater sense of what our everyday lives were like.

The first collection of Future Relics.

Those visiting the installation were asked to write down in either Hindi, English or Marathi an everyday object that they thought archaeologists should know about 1,000 years from now. Google Translate then grouped all of these crowdsourced words together, from all three languages, and connected them all together. The word groups were then incorporated into a series of digitally created vases, with each new word being used to generate an entirely new vase. Then several of these vases were 3D printed and glazed in ceramics and then gifted permanently to the museum to display as Future Relics.

“Responding directly to India and the World’s exploration of pots as storytelling objects, Future Relics invites audiences to contribute an object that represents our lives today —  perhaps an aluminium pressure cooker, a ceiling fan, a mobile phone or an exam paper? Visitors’ contributions will provide the future generations glimpses into the lives and stories of people who lived in the present day, just as the artifacts of the museum give a glimpse of those who lived and ruled in the first cities of India,” explained Freya Murray, Program Manager and Creative Lead, Google Cultural Institute Lab on the Google India blog last year.

From the installation visitors’ responses, the ten most popular were collected and were then incorporated into a collection of ten 3D printed ceramic vases. The collection incorporated the words Mobile, Car, Computer, Books, Can, Utensils, Spectacles, Plastic, Gold, and Soil into their designs, and will be the first of these new Future Relics of today’s India.

The vases were made using clay 3D printing and technology developed by artist Ronald Rael and then they were glazed and fired by master craftsman of ceramics Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit. And their decision to incorporate these words onto vases was not an arbitrary choice, but was in fact quite deliberate.

‘Future Relics’ with Mr. Mukherjee (Director of CSMVS), BR Pandit (Master Ceramicist), Simon Rein (Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture)

“For centuries pots have helped us uncover the lost stories of cities and civilizations! Future Relics highlights this heritage, responding directly to India and the World’s exploration of pots as storytelling objects to create a series of artifacts for future generations that reveal insight into our lives today. This unique collaboration of art and technology has drawn upon both technological innovation and a highest form of traditional craftsmanship,” Murray said in the latest updates.

The Future Relics installation is part of the commemoration of 70 years of Indian Independence, so visitors will tour a collection of 200 historical artifacts that explore the connections between India and the rest of the world. The artifacts cover a period of over one million years of history and are all positioned within their global connections. You can visit the ongoing interactive installation at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya now.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

[Source/Images: Google India Blog]

 

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