Digital Fabrication Final Proposal: Future Nudes

Kim and I want to create nude portraits/sculptures for the future (see here more detailed blogpost on Kim’s website .

After laser-etching our portraits in Base64 code on mat-board for our midterms, we decided to continue with this topic and play more with form and materials:


We want to either use Base64 or binary code for the encoding of the image. Regarding the base material for the project we want to iterate with etching wet clay. It seems to be the best material as it preserves our portraits pretty much forever (the earliest form of human writing, cuneiform, was “hand etched” into clay). It has the advantage that we could form it later into a sculpture or play with the shapes before burning. And it has a lot of symbolic meaning regarding the human body in different contexts (bible, Kabbalah, …).

It is pretty experimental to etch into clay and then form it, there are only very few sources online that have tried etching wet clay with mixed success. So we gotta play!

Why nude portraits? We like the idea that the portraits of our bodies will only be visible in a distant future - once humans are able to decipher code naturally, maybe as human-machine hybrids. We abstract our bodies into code and preserve them for a time where our bodies will have changed a lot: we might be half human, half machines by then. This aspect of preservation for a distant future reminds of the skor-codex from a few years ago.

For the looks of ceramics we are inspired by rough surfaces of dark stoneware, dark clay and playful sculptural explorations.

An interesting iteration would be a collecting a couple of different nudes, then cutting up the pieces into a row of beaded curtains that people could walk through - so they could interact with our bodies in code.