Icelandic musician Björk has partnered with designer and researcher Neri Oxman on a mask made up of multiple 3D-printed strands that mimic the underlying structure of her own face (+ slideshow).
The Rottlace mask, which made its debut during a performance in Tokyo yesterday, is based on "digital interpretations" of Björk’s bone and tissue taken from three-dimensional scans.
The black and white design resembles locks of hair laid on the musician’s face, and extends below the chin to partially cover the neck.
The mask’s name is a variation on the Icelandic word for skinless. It was printed as a set of "muscle textiles" that still allow Björk to move her face and neck in the mask as she performs.
"Multi-material 3D printing enables the production of elaborate combinations of graded properties, distributed over geometrically complex structures within a single object," said Oxman, who has experimented with the process to print molten glass and wearable skins.
"With Rottlace, we designed the mask as a synthetic ’whole without parts’."
The mask is the latest in a series of unusual headpieces worn by the Icelandic musician, including a prickly, glow-in-the-dark design created by fashion designer Maiko Takeda.
The piece was printed by additive manufacturing company Stratasys using a flexible, acrylic-based polymer. The design is part of a larger mask collection being produced by the company in partnership with Oxman, to be revealed later this year.
"It’s an honour to see visionaries such as Björk embracing 3D printing for the expression of her art," said Stratasys’ Naomi Kaempfer.
"This technology not only provides the freedom to produce perfect fitting costumes for the film and music industries but also the inimitable capacity to materialise a unique fantasy to such a precise level of detail and 3D expression."
The mask will accompany the singer on her Björk Digital series of events, which run from 29 June to 18 July. The opening event was the world’s first performance broadcast using 360-degree virtual reality streaming.