A museum is a place for the preservation of culture. The relics that we see in a museum help us to define the culture of our ancestors. But how would we want the future to remember us? The Future relics project of Google Arts and Culture sought to explore this question and create relics for the future using 3D Printing technology .
Google Arts and Culture is an initiative to open up museums and their treasures for everybody. It provides online access to explore the artifacts, paintings and other works of art housed in the museums across the world that have partnered with Google. In essence it is technology deployed for spreading cultural awareness. And in November 2017 Google Cultural Institute in collaboration with Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya ( CSMVS ), Mumbai unveiled the Future Relics project, which Google referred to as its first lab experiment in India.
It was part of the landmark exhibition “India and the world: A history in nine stories” organised at CSMVS. In the first part of the project an installation was designed at the museum and visitors were asked a question: “What object would you like archaeologists 1000 years from now to remember our present day culture by?”
The responses were handwritten and limited to Hindi, English, and Marathi. Using Google translate similar words were grouped together and each group of similar words were then used to create a digital vase with the handwritten words printed on them.
From thousands of responses emerged the ten most popular keywords — Mobile, Car, Computer, Books, Can, Utensils, Spectacles, Plastic, Gold, and Soil. It was then up to the artist Ronald Rael to use these words and digitally design vases that were then created with clay using 3D Printing technology. These vases were finally glazed by one of India’s leading master craftsman of ceramics and Padma Shri awardee Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit. At the culmination of the exhibition these artworks were gifted to CSMVS to preserve as future relics.
Technology is a part of culture. We are now using technology to preserve our culture even as it inevitably and continually changes. The Future Relics project is a meditation on not just our future but our present and past as well. The use of 3D Printing technology brings together ancient tradition of craftsmanship and modern technology.
Pots discovered by archaeologists during excavations have given us an insight into the cultures of our forefathers. Behind them lies the story of the people who were here before us, and someday in the future, they will know ours when they hold a 3D Printed vase we left for them to discover.
3D Printing technology is helping bring far fetched ideas near reality. If you want to know how you can 3D print a vase or a cup, and how much would it cost, you can check out our post here.