‘Rottlace’ masks for Björk by the Mediated Matter Group / MIT Media Lab

Designed by the Mediated Matter Group in collaboration with Stratasys and inspired by her most recent album—Vulnicura, The Rottlace (“skinless” in Icelandic) is a series of masks for Björk, exploring the themes associated with self-healing and expressing ‘the face without a skin.’ The series originates with a mask that emulates Björk’s facial structure and concludes with a mask that reveals a new identity, independent of its origin.

The designs are informed by the geometrical and material logics that underlie the human musculoskeletal system; specifically, the complex structure of muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments that modulate the human voice. This continuous weave of dense collagen fibers form functional ‘typologies’ of connections: muscle-to-bone, bone-to-bone, and muscle-to-muscle. As in the human body, where continuous, collagenous elements alter their chemical and mechanical properties as a function of the tension they exert or endure, each mask is designed as a synthetic ‘whole without parts.’ The masks incorporate tunable physical properties recapitulating, augmenting, or controlling the facial form and movement behind them. Inspired by their biological counterpart, and conceived as ‘muscle textile,’ the masks are bundled, multi-material structures, providing formal and structural integrity, as well as movement, to the face and neck.

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