Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

print my sleep

Rafael Gil Cordeiro

The artwork print my sleep reveals the invisible and unconscious nature of sleep and translates it into tangible objects. Sleep is variable in duration and complex in structure, with episodes of deep sleep followed by dream (REM) sleep, changes in heart rate, breathing, muscle tonus, and often interrupted by waking episodes. Classically sleep is measured by the electroencephalogram (EEG) to document these details throughout the night. More recently, non-invasive wearables have been developed that use simple physiological changes to document sleep states and heart rate.

Using this technology, designer Rafael Gil Cordeiro frees sleep from the medical paradigm of optimisation and idealisation and returns some of its original intimacy. The sculptures are created using 3D clay printing, with an individual’s sleep data downloaded from the wearable determining the unique shape of each object. The height of the vase represents sleep duration, the position of each bump indicates a sleep phase and the diameter of the bump represents the heart rate of the individual at that specific time.

The materiality of the ceramics is analogous to sleep: the process itself requires time and patience and the result remains uncontrollable despite all deliberate efforts.