Lemme see yo grillz

Yo everyone,

Katie here.

So we all know one doesn’t choose the thug life.  It chooses us.


Okay, okay, so it didn’t choose me either, but it was a good opener for my post this week.

NY based Artist Roopa Vasudevan art is all about an interest in “utilizing technology in order to explore the influence of language, culture and social norms on the way people perceive and treat each other.”

One of her more recent series is one in which she listened to hip-hop songs by various artists such as the Notorious B.I.G., P. Diddy, Jay-z and others, and created algorithms based on the amount of references to poverty versus wealth and its social effects, circumstances, and associations (i.e. prostitution or drug dealing vs. jewelry, expensive cars) and the musical distance between the opposite references.  She then took these algorithms and used them to unique 3D print “grillz, “the mouth jewelry that many rappers have worn and made popular, for each song.


While I’m still a bit confused on the exact mysterious math and how its converted into a 3D product that’s involved here, and it seems a bit strange for someone to think to do this at first, I think this project is interesting to consider in how it shows the intersections between the digital and the real – the entire concept of 3D printing – and between musical art and lyricism, influenced by sociocultural environments and people’s everyday life, across a spectrum of wealth, class, and so on, to inspire or create physical art, such as jewelry.



The exhibition also includes an audio element, so people can listen to each song as they look at the grillz created by it.


You can read the article here, and learn more about the artist.

What do you guys think? Does this project just seem silly or does it really have something to say about technology, status and the creation of art?


All photos from http://www.designboom.com/art/artist-3d-prints-grillz-algorithms-generated-hip-hop-lyrics-10-14-2014/?utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=e-mail&utm_source=subscribers, courtesy of Roopa Vausdevan.


~Katie L


2 thoughts on “Lemme see yo grillz

  1. My favorite part about this post would have to be your introduction. The thug life doesn’t choose all of us and I think you choosing to open up your article with that point was hilarious. good job Katie!

  2. I looked at the article and said to myself what do grillz have to do with any of these songs. I just find it really funny because now a days different type of artist use these so called GRILLZ for a stylistic purpose of being a thug or referencing a hip-hop culture. In this case she is using these songs to somehow create these pieces. I wonder how exactly the song influenced in making these pieces. Maybe when you listen to the song it makes you imagine wearing those grillz and singing to the song like you are that artist. But does that make us think are we making fun of that life style or culture. It does show how each song and each grillz makes use feel. I found this very interesting would like to see how the process of this 3D printing went about with the song and social norms.

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