In July 2017, the first Sketchfab model of the Rosetta Stone appeared on the Internet. Today, the British Museum is one among many cultural institutions that are investing in capturing and uploading substantial parts of their collections in 3D form.

Existing anew as scanned data, a plethora of historical artifacts is suspended in interfaces such as Sketchfab and Scan the World. Ancient sculptures, prehistoric relics and monoliths coexist in the platform with community-generated 3D scans and designs.

The first message that pops up when we access the digital archive is “Loading 3D model…,” followed by “click & hold to rotate.” Like portals built on the edge of a separate dimension, interfaces take in our gaze and transmit our gestures. Their response comes from somewhere beyond visible processes.


originally published on sink vol. II
an online platform hosting artist residencies
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William Anders, Earthrise, 1958. 
NASA/Bill Anders [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons.