Face Off

Björk Wears 3D Printed Rottlace Mask for Live Performance

Rottlace Mask

Björk opens her ‘Björk Digital’ event series with striking Rottlace mask, 3D printed for a live performance in 360-degree VR.

Popular Icelandic musician Björk has partnered up with designer Neri Oxman to create a rather interesting mask which mimics her musculoskeletal system.

The opening event for her “Björk Digital” event series was a performance broadcast using 360-degree virtual reality streaming, which showed off the unusual mask.

The name of the mask is Rottlace, a variation on “skinless” in the Icelandic language, and it was printed as a set of “muscle textiles” that still allow Björk to move her face and neck while performing.

The design is based on 3D printed strands that were built up to give the impression of the structure of Björk’s face, beneath her skin.

Oxman said of the mask: “Multi-material 3D printing enables the production of elaborate combinations of graded properties, distributed over geometrically complex structures within a single object. With Rottlace, we designed the mask as a synthetic ‘whole without parts’.”

rottlace mask

The Making of the Rottlace Mask

To make the mask, three-dimensional scans were taken of Björk’s face, and the mask was then created from “digital interpretations” of her bone and tissue.

The piece was then 3D printed by Stratasys which used a flexible, acrylic-based polymer to allow for movement while on stage.

Stratasys’ Naomi Kaempfer said: “It’s an honour to see visionaries such as Björk embracing 3D printing for the expression of her art.”

The design is part of a mask collection — designed by Oxman and produced in partnership with Stratasys — which will be revealed later this year.

Kaempfer added: “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 Rottlace mask will be used by the singer throughout her Björk Digital series of events. If you’re interested in seeing any, these events will run from 29 June to 18 July.

rottlace mask