Ben Alun-Jones is in to remixing. Nothing out of the ordinary about that you might think. But the designer isn't concerned with remixing music or creating supercuts , instead he's into remixing the physical world. Mostly objects. 3D printing allows him to do this and he's previously created a hybird chair through scanning and merging three classic designs, the Thonet Bentwood, the Pantone, and the Eames RAR Rocking Chair.
Now he's gone and done the same with Roman busts in his piece One Good Emperor. It's a mashup of the Five Good Emperors—Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius—of Ancient Rome which he's created by scanning busts from London's British Museum and the Getty Museum in California and remixing the files to create a mutant emperor.
Antonius Pius, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Nerva, Trajan
A pre-visualisation before 3D printing
As he told us previously, the idea behind these mashups is to explore how remix culture might affect physical objects when scanners and 3D printers become commonplace. It's an area that's only just beginning to be explored by artists and designers and could open up a world of homemade bespoke furniture and houseware that's just as experimental as the music mashups of today. "Many of these classical busts were actually reproductions and so the idea of the original can often be distorted." Alun-Jones notes. "This project questions the notions of value and uniqueness in a world where any object can be scanned, sampled and reproduced, simply by recording the object on video."
View of installation in Milan
The composite bust will be on display at the Works Collective exhibition in Milan until 14th April where visitors are encouraged to create their own versions of One Good Emperor.