Stratasys Art Design and Fashion reveals a new 3D printed artwork series, Beast of the Anthropocene, created in collaboration with innovative product designer Dov Ganchrow. This marks the latest addition Stratasys’ The New Ancient Collection.
Drawing upon man’s fascination with skulls, the Beast of the Anthropocene series of works consist of both real and 3D printed cow skulls that have been altered in various ways with a playful design attitude. The series seeks to highlight man’s ever-evolving need to reshape the natural to better suit our needs.
The cow skulls were collected over several years of off-trail hill hiking. One of the more complete specimens was 3D scanned to record its exterior topography and then sectioned with dove tail geometry into three portions: the front, central and horn area. A modular mechanical system has been imposed on the skull, not only allowing for fixed linear motion between the parts, but also creating a means by which parts are interchangeable. In addition, the object can afford many additions and alterations, either virtually with digital design or manually, with a drill and saw.
“At some point we shifted from being Man as Nature to Man in Nature. This laid the groundwork for what we have been doing for a long time and at an accelerated rate – reshaping the natural to better suit our needs,” explains Dov Ganchrow.
A cow is a perfect example of an ‘object from the Anthropocene', having been transformed by humans over centuries, from wild beasts to managed resources, such as meat, milk-making mechanisms and leather suppliers. The natural flowing organic skull surfaces end abruptly at decisive flat planes – a violent shaping of the form with a clear chronology and relationship. Human intervention here is bold and pronounced.
“The combination of digital computing and 3D printing has allowed for the ever more complex and previously unattainable realization of new physical forms,” says Ganchrow. “Having 3D printed interchangeable cubical parts for the cow skull horns and snout seems almost irrational, when considering what the technology allows. But these reductive forms are here as both an expression of human thinking and dominance, morphological contrast, as well as a critique of the current dominant 3D printing form trend.”
As both the 3D printed and original skull works have a plastic color finish to them, it is not immediately evident to viewers which objects are bone and which are polymer. This leads us to consider how our knowledge that an object is real might affect our relationship to it. Can we attach the same profoundness to something that was manufactured as to something that was alive?
The series forms part of Stratasys’ The New Ancient collection, which focuses on revisiting the heritage of design history, antique eras and timeless design concepts from different cultures. Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director of Art Design and Fashion at Stratasys explains “Throughout The New Ancient collection, historical design knowhow is transitioned with innovative 3D printing technology as a way of depicting the timelessness of art, creativity, design and manufacturing. The Beast of the Anthropocene series epitomizes our vision of traversing between modern, cutting-edge technologies and historical artefacts, while evoking viewers to really contemplate their perception of the modern world.”
The first skull from the Beast of the Anthropocene collection have been unveiled at the newly opened exhibition, Uncanny, part of the Design Lab at the Holon Design Museum in Israel. The exhibition is a manifestation of the Freudian term "Uncanny", which describes the sense that is provoked when we come upon phenomena that blur the line between the real and the imagined, the human and the non-human, giving rise to a paradoxical combination of strange and familiar elements. The exhibited works provoke a sense of discomfort, while raising questions concerning the possibility of creating something new out of familiar things.
To see the first skull from the Beast of the Anthropocene collection, visit the Uncanny exhibition at the Holon Design Museum, running from June 6 - October 20, 2018.