By Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter Group, in collaboration with STRATASYS
The New Ancient Collection by Stratasys
Produced on a Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 3D Printer
Lazarus is a digitally generated death mask, designed to contain the wearer’s last breath. Traditionally made of a single material, such as wax or plaster, the death mask originated as a means of capturing a person’s visage, keeping the deceased ‘alive’ through memory. Lazarus serves as an ‘‘air urn’’ memento that is a new form of 3D printed portraiture, combining the wearer’s facial features while serving as a spatial enclosure for their last breath. The mask’s surface is modeled on the face of the dying person, and its material composition is informed by the physical flow of air and its distribution across the surface. The result is a unique artifact that is perfectly customized to fit the wearer and their last breath.
Lazarus was the precursor for a larger collection of masks, entitled Vespers, speculating on, and offering a new interpretation of, the ancient death mask.