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Google and CSMVS museum unveil 3D Printing enabled ‘Future Relics’

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

Google Arts & Culture unveiled ten 3D printed ceramic vases with master ceramicist Padma Shri BR Pandit, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) museum in Mumbai, as the final leg of its Future Relics project — the first ever lab experiment in India.

Conceptualized for the ‘India and the World’ exhibition, the ‘Future Relics’ project, in association with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, was announced in November 2017. Since then, the installation has interacted with thousands of visitors, asking them to react to the question “What object would you like archaeologists 1000 years from now to remember our present-day culture by?” Each word contributed by visitors created a growing collection of digital vases, representing the objects that matter the most to people today. Ten of the most popular keywords now 3D printed on ceramic vases are — Mobile, Car, Computer, Books, Can, Utensils, Spectacles, Plastic, Gold, and Soil, and personify the concept of shared artifacts, created by thousands of diverse voices in Hindi, Marathi and English.

The ten Future Relics: 3D printed in locally made clay, and fired and glazed in traditional process

Designed digitally, 3D printed using customized technology, and glazed by Padma Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit, one of India’s leading master craftsman of ceramics, the finished vases, truly blends ancient craft and modern technology to build relics for the future.

Speaking about the unique collaboration and Google’s first lab experiment in India, Simon Rein, Program Manager of Google Arts & Culture said, “We are proud to be part of the landmark exhibition with CSMVS. The idea was to engage with the visitors directly through an interactive installation about how they want our everyday culture today to be remembered in the future. Being able to work with a distinguished ceramic artist Shri BR Panditji, we are really happy to see the culmination of this project in the form of physical artefacts, that will now be preserved by the museum. It’s a time capsule drawing upon both technological innovation and a highest form of traditional craftsmanship.”

Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director of CSMVS said, “We are happy that this initiative ‘Future Relics’ in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture was part of our landmark exhibition ‘India and the World: A History in Nine Stories’. While it integrated a fun digital element into the exhibition for visitors to enjoy, it was also crucial in documenting opinions of the public on what they considered to be objects that represent our present-day culture, that archaeologists a thousand years later might study and interpret. 3D printing these words on pots which were brilliantly designed by Emerging Objects and our very own ceramic maestro Shri. B.R. Pandit have not only added an extremely pleasing visual dimension to this experiment but it also tells the interesting story of how technology has progressed from handmade pots to digitally ‘printed’ ones. We thank Google Arts & Culture for gifting them to the Museum and making them and this exhibition a legacy for the future generations.”

Padma Shri BR Pandit, Ceramic Artist shared, “We are very happy to be engaged in a project where cutting-edge future technology is married perfectly with the contemporary glazing style and traditional kiln firing process. This is definitely pushing the ability of artistic creation! It is very interesting that CSMVS museum is the common ground where this collaboration between Google Arts & Culture happened, as you can see these future relics being displayed in the very same place where the past and centuries-old pottery made in the traditional style of wheel work is seen. I thank Google Arts & Culture for this opportunity.”

The Future Relics project was developed at the Google Arts & Cultural Lab, which brings artists and engineers together to explore new ways to experience art, and experiment with art and technology. The Lab is part of Google Arts & Culture, a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and wonders of the world.

Since its inception, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with more than 1700 institutions globally, giving a platform to more than 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history.  In India, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with over 50 cultural institutions to bring digital exhibits capturing India’s rich culture and art exhibits with over 250 national monuments from World Heritage Sites. Users all around the world can explore these on Google Art and Culture website and mobile app for free.

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