A collaboration between Google Arts & Culture, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai and the British Museum in London, "Future Relics" combined ancient craft with modern technology to ask the question: What object would you like archaeologists 1000 years from now to remember our present day culture by?
Take a tour of India and the World: A History in Nine Stories!
India and the World: A History in Nine Stories is a landmark exhibition that showcases some of the most important objects and works of art from the Indian subcontinent in dialogue with iconic pieces from the British Museum collection. The exhibition brings together around 200 objects not only from the collections of the British Museum, London; CSMVS, Mumbai; and National Museum, New Delhi but from around 20 museums and private collections across India. It highlights the strong connections India has shared historically with the rest of the world promoting an exchange of ideas and influences that have helped create a global culture.
In the backend Google Translate analysed and translated the words to help group the similar words as entered in Hindi, Marathi and English, transcending language.
Visitors could choose to see the 'connections' they had with other visitors based on the submitted entries in the different languages.
By doing this, the interaction not only explores how objects connect, but also how stories and new meanings can be unlocked when objects are placed in dialogue with one another.
The next question was: how to translate these responses into actual physical relics that would contain this shared memory, and could even be dug up by archaeologists a 1000 years from now?
Working with leading 3D printing studio Emerging Objects, the ten most popular responses were translated into a 3D rendering that could then be printed using clay that was handcrafted in Mumbai.
A workshop was set up at the museum premises to 3D print the vases based on these responses.
Sudents and visitors were invited see the birth of these physical relics using a very special clay that was handmade by reknowned master ceramics craftsman and a Padma Shri Awardee, Shri Bhrahmdeo Ram Pandit.
Shri Bhrahmdeo Ram Pandit is a master ceramicist. He prepares his own clay carefully in large batches and smoothens the texture out using the help of a pug-mill. The pug-mill clears out the air bubbles within the clay.
For the 'Future Relics' artifacts to be strong and last for years, he contributed his clay to be used in the 3D printer.
Take a sneak peek at how the 3D printer worked its charm!
Shri Bhrahmdeo Ram Pandit is a master ceramicist. He not only prepares his own clay, but also his own glazes carefully and in large batches.
Before proceeding, Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit explained in detail the expectations from the different types of clays and glazes. With his years of experience, each step was being consulted with care.
In this photo: Shrimati Devaki Pandit, Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit, their son Abhay Pandit, explain to Ronald Rael the different clay and glaze treatments and their results in their large studio.
Ceramics need to be fired and glazed to become strong and lasting.
The air-dried clay is given a primary glaze coat and fired at 1250ºC. The second firing is done at 1150ºC with another coat of glaze.
Each artist has their own formula, and the firing is dependent on the type of clay that is used. It shouldn't be too hot or too cool, otherwise the clay will crack.
Here, Shri BR Pandit opens the firing kiln once cool, to inspect how the vases have turned out.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)
The British Museum
Emerging Objects: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello
Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit, Abhay Pandit
in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture