The project ́Touch Stones` aims to create a modern mystery that remains for future generations and tells the story from the current age of transition and the merging process of the virtual and the physical world. Due to working with 3D scanning and digital modification, the project ́s results are pseudo-natural objects made with artificial materials but rooted in nature. The circle of 6 digital stones brings together the artists' three different crafts, environments and personal histories, forging a connection across time and space.

Authors

MOU Peijing
BODDENBERG Helena
WHEELER Steve

Description

We are living in a digital age where the borders of time and space are blurring. The project ´Touch Stones` plays with interrelations between physicality and virtuality based on nature, the environment, and the ongoing pandemic. The aim is to create a modern mystery that remains for future generations and tells the story from the current age of transition and the merging process in the virtual and the physical world.

The ancient stone circle is considered as a secret gateway to another time and space, and it has remained to present day a mystical relic. Witnessing time in such a magical way to offer people space for speculation has become the project's approach and offers a way to express a connection between different worlds. Through six digitally processed stones, the group creates a metaphor for the interdependence between traditional crafts and digital modelling, between humans and their environment and between themselves as an international and multidisciplinary group, working in different time zones and continents.

New connectivity is emerging, and designers and artists are working together despite the difference in time and space. Due to working with 3D scanning and digital modification, the project´s results are pseudo-natural objects made with artificial materials but rooted in nature. The circle of 6 digital stones brings together the artists' three different crafts, environments, and personal histories, forging a connection across time and space.

Process and outcome

We worked collaboratively and interdisciplinary on a project over three weeks to identify areas of arts and crafts to create a design response related to the digital society we live in. This included online group work as well as individual design work framed through collaborative talks and digital field trips with professionals and academics. Through research and personal interest, we investigated the area of spirituality and meditation in the 3D printing process. Our interest lies in finding a connection between mind, physicality, and technology.

Initially, starting with three different craft techniques painting, weaving, and carving we pursued a way to represent how new technologies can create new connections. The idea of rebuilding an ancient stone circle is our intended way to tell a connected story through individually made objects. The ancient stone circle acts as a kind of touchstone to the past and with the modern one we create touchstones to the past, present and future. We connect traditional crafts (the past) with 3D printing (the future) and the transition between them (the present).

Each of us collected stones from the environment we live in. Through 3D scanning, we have made them accessible for digital modification and upscaling. After printing the demo models, we finalised the scale, materials, and arrangement. Changing the scale has become an important aspect of our project since we find unification in the stones´ appearance and togetherness in one holistic circle.

We all have developed key skills of working collaboratively on a complete online project in a virtual space as well as new software tools for digital translation. Since each of us is from a different discipline (BA Arts, MA Arts and Science, MA Design Ceramic) the discussions were insightful in the understanding of different ways of working and thinking.