The Opulent Project’s “Digital Ring” Acquired by the Newark Museum

The Opulent Project’s “Digital Ring,” 2011, was recently acquired by the Newark Museum. The ring is based on designs of three different 3-D digital ring models.

The Opulent Project, "Digital Ring", 2011

“Many of the digital files are interesting because they often display an almost comical disregard for the making process.  Because they exist in the digital domain they can do so with no structural integrity. For instance, some rings have no prongs to hold the stone in place—the base of the stone seems to just merge into the ring band with none of the traditional mechanisms related to function. A diamond might be crammed right through the band with the sharp point extending well into where the finger should go.  They demonstrate the most archetypal concept of what the object is by including only those visual indicators that are immediately associated with a ring. In this way they become symbols for what they mimic.  By combining these three symbolic images into one ring we further emphasize the caricature of what this object is in our collective mind.” The “Digital Ring” is part of an ongoing series called “Costume Costume” which was started in 2008.”

The Opulent Project (T.O.P) was founded by Meg Drinkwater and Erin Gardner in 2007. The following year they moved to Portland and established T.O.P. Studio in Old Town Chinatown. The Opulent Project is a conceptual jewelry and design studio based in Portland, Oregon. They investigate opulence within the context of our society’s obsession with owning objects. They seek to subvert mainstream preconceptions regarding value in material culture. To do so they are constantly questioning and considering where these ideologies originate and examining ways to intervene with the established visual language.