Exploring the Material Culture of Video Games Through Jewelry and Metalwork


A virtual talk with Lauren Eckert

April 9, 2021

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How do we make the virtual into tangible objects? Multimedia object maker Lauren Eckert maintains an art practice that is centered on material craft and skill, but informed by the virtual. Lauren’s specialty is metalsmithing and jewelry-making and says “a material culture in video games that is not constrained by the tangible or real.”  Her work spans the fields digital fabrication, video, audio, and robotics which are then poured back into the word of crafts.

In this talk, we looked at how she takes inspiration from interstellar spaceships, medical imaging equipment, early smartphone designs, and video game controllers. We’ll talk about her alchemical process of working with her hands to transform metal (anodizing, etc.), and the interventions she’s hoping to make in the legacy of the craft. Lauren talked through her creative process and showcase some of her approaches to tools like Rhino and Zbrush. Finally, we talked through some of the finished work and the fabrication process with 3D printing as well as reactive metals.