Connecting art to science by bringing Arabidopsis Symphony to Japan (5-9 June)

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Connecting art to science by bringing Arabidopsis Symphony to Japan (5-9 June)

We are passionate about the collaboration between science and art, so we are thrilled to announce we will bring our project Arabidopsis Symphony to Tokyo (Japan) for the International Conference for Arabidopsis Research! It will take place from the 5th until the 9th of June.

The Arabidopsis plant grows all across Europe, Asia and Africa, and although it is commonly seen as a weed, the plant is popular as a model organism amongst plant biologists. The plant’s life cycle is quite short and its genetic traits have been very well mapped and archived. This makes them interesting to study. Researcher Sander van der Krol of Wageningen University recently told us all about his scientific research into their growth processes and inner dynamics, as well as his vision of plant life (plants are more boring than animals? Absolutely not!), his fascination with it and how Arabidopsis Symphony blossomed into what it is today.

Arabidopsis Symphony shows us there is more to a plant than meets the human eye by translating scientific research into augmented reality and music. The installation uses real-time local data, such as weather conditions and time of day, to illustrate the hidden growth processes of plants. It shows us just how dynamic plants really are and invites us to interact with the plant world. The installation looks and sounds very different in every part of the world we’ve been to, so we’re excited to see how it will behave in Japan!

Opening Walk of Wonder at Radboud University & Radboud UMC (Nijmegen, NL)

As NRC recently wrote in an article about the Stations of the Cross: “In life, suffering is inevitable; in art, too”. We created a walk along campus in Nijmegen to create space for reflection and contemplation through nature and art. It starts – or ends, depending on how you look at it – at Radboud University and runs to Radboud UMC.

Artist, writer and general practitioner Ignace Schretlen spends his life being incessantly inspired by the Stations of the Cross. He owned 600 informational pieces about the theology and philosophy behind this biblical agony, and when he donated his collection to Radboud, they decided something should be created upon Schretlen’s life’s work. During an interview with him we noticed tiny notes and countless artworks scattered all around his house, incidentally showcasing the life and mind of a man who cannot stop sharing his fascination for this subject. We realized it should be our mission to translate this into something meaningful that can be experienced by as many people as possible.

A deeper dive into the world of plants with Sander van der Krol

In view of our newest project Arabidopsis Symphony — which visualizes the hidden growth processes of plants — we wanted to shed some light on the extensive research done by Sander van der Krol (Wageningen Plant Research). Next to technical details about plants and research methods, we asked him about his vision of plant life, why he is so fascinated by it, and how Arabidopsis Symphony came about. The below text is based on Sander’s own words.

Thanks to Eindhoven Design District, Arabidopsis Symphony remains at its Dutch Design Week location (Wilhelminaplein in Eindhoven) until February 11th, 2023.

No worries if you missed our installation at Dutch Design Week 2022: Arabidopsis Symphony can be visited and (above all) experienced in Eindhoven until February 11th! So head over to the Wilhelminaplein as soon as you get the chance. As the weather will change from autumn to winter, we highly recommend visiting at least twice, preferably at different times of the day. Why? Because our digital plants react to real-time data of local weather conditions and time of day — just like real plants do.

Eindhoven Design District aims to make the strong design field in Eindhoven more visible throughout the city, and especially throughout the year (not only during Dutch Design Week). In close cooperation with the municipality of Eindhoven and local residents and entrepreneurs, we were able to install our project for an extended time. The support of Eindhoven Design District also made it possible to create a sturdy, weather-proof column that will last through winter.

Our column with QR codes can be found by navigating to Wilhelminaplein 9 in Eindhoven.

Get to know more about Arabidopsis Symphony
Read about the official launch during Dutch Design Week

Current location: Atlanta, USA

After visiting Vienna, our new project Arabidopsis Symphony has landed in Atlanta (USA) as part of Atlanta Design Festival! Find our installation in ‘The Yard’, the green area in front of Ponce City Market.

The weather in Atlanta is the complete opposite of Vienna (sunny and warm versus rainy and cold), which means that the look and sound of our digital plants are entirely different. Why? Because real-time data on weather and time of day influence how the plants react to their environment — just like real plants do. Visit us, and explore the inner world of plants through augmented reality and music.

Our presence in Atlanta was made possible by World Design Weeks, Creative Industries Fund NL, and Dutch Culture USA, a program of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York.

Get to know more about Arabidopsis Symphony

Auxetic Landscapes and Vocode exhibited at Museum Jan Cunen

11 September 2022 – 15 January 2023

From 11 September 2022 to 15 January 2023, both Vocode and our new installation Auxetic Landscapes will be on show in the exhibition Kunst en vliegwerk at Museum Jan Cunen.

Close-up of Auxetic Landscapes' structure

Close-up of Auxetic Landscape's structure.

Presenting Auxetic Landscapes

What happens when humans enter an untouched landscape? Using Museum Jan Cunen’s location coordinates as input, Auxetic Landscapes is defined by an algorithm that produces randomly generated auxetic patterns, developed by Eindhoven University of Technology.

Undisturbed, the installation remains static and silent in the space. Like an organism, it reacts to our presence and slowly comes to life, returning to neutral once we distance ourselves. The combination of a location-based pattern and the interaction with visitors creates a dynamic field of hills and valleys that is different every time and everywhere.

Find out more about Auxetic Landscapes

Vocode by Fillip Studios translates sound into image by making a pen dance on paper

Vocode's pen dancing across the paper.

About Vocode

Vocode is an ode to languages on the verge of extinction. During the exhibition Not in so many words at the Kröller-Müller Museum in 2020, the installation translated audio fragments of the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger into unique drawings.

Twelve of these Vocode drawings, along with the installation itself, will be on display during the exhibition at Museum Jan Cunen. Moreover, a second printing of the Vocode catalog will be available at the museum’s shop.

Find out more about Vocode

About the exhibition ‘Kunst en vliegwerk’

From the invention of the wheel to the rocket: for as long as they exist, humans have been looking for ways to make the world around them a little more beautiful or efficient. Equally interesting is the search that precedes this. This is where the power of imagination lies and where there is still plenty of room to dream. Visual artist Panamarenko (1940-2019) was an absolute master in this field. His scribbles, constructions, and machines testify to an indomitable ingenuity. Not focused on the result, but on the intention. With extra attention to the beauty of failure.

It is a mission that still appeals to many artists. Johannes Langkamp (1985), Fillip Studios (Roos Meerman, 1991 and Tom Kortbeek, 1987), Stan Wannet (1977), Romy Joya Kuldip Singh (1993), and Wim Warrink (1983) are also intrigued by the functioning — or non-functioning — of the world around us. What are other possibilities of human inventions, if we look beyond their usual applications? And when does the machine take on a life of its own? In Kunst en vliegwerk, Panamarenko’s ideas form the starting point for a contemporary group exhibition in which gravity is defied, dancing pens record secret languages, gears set animals in motion and machines bring the museum villa to life.

(Roughly translated from the Dutch text by Museum Jan Cunen)

Museum Jan Cunen_Kunst en vliegwerk_Panamarenko

Panamarenko, Paradox (1980-1986), Musée d'Ixelles, picture by Vincent Everarts