Archive for the ‘Exhibition’ Category

Yesterday I visited the exhibition Nature Rewired by Dutch artist Cristiaan Zwanikken in Museum Valkhof in Nijmegen.

Zwanikken creates art installations  in which remnants of animals are brought to life through microprocessors. His works are hybrid animalistic figures, made of wire or cable that come to ‘life’, responding to the viewer and to each other, as can be seen in this (sorry – Dutch language) promo video of the exhibition:

As  Tinguely in the 80’s, his installations contain animal skulls, skeletons and sometimes stuffed animals to suggest living creatures, but unlike Tinguely are computer operated and make use of robotics instead of mechanical contraptions. They also often contain a narrative, sometimes derived from films – such as this one from spaghetti westerns:

The exhibition of moving objects supported by sounds and voices resembles a modern cabinet of curiosities or a futuristic zoo in which the devices seem to demonstrate “creation” in the broadest sense by their attempts to fathom nature and/or animals. The viewer is a witness to a chaotic  and spectacular display of motions and sounds which mimick nature, but do not lead to any result. By doing this, Zwanikken plays nature – against artificial – against viewer. Due to the unpredictability of the computer-aided  motions, it is not certain who responds to whom, and who is looking or being looked at:

By making technology  ‘out of control’ in this way, Christiaan Zwanikken seems to irony the hype around interaction in media art and the illusion of smooth-running communications. His fusion of organic and inorganic materials melded with technology demonstrates the evolution and de-evolution of sculpture in the twenty-first century.

Definitely an artist to follow and an exhibition to check out!

More information:

  • Museum Valkhof website
  • Blog of Christiaan Zwanikken
  • Blog of filmer Jarred Alterman (who made a few short films about art works of Christiaan Zwanikken)

Reblogged from the Global Art Junkie blog: new media art from Spain..


From Emily McDermott’s blog: an interview with Mariko Mori about her latest works and exhibitions.


Japanese technology art artist Mariko Mori currently has two  major exhibitions, in Tokyo and New York.  I like the way how Mori illustrates fundamental human experiences by creating high-tech, polished  science fiction-like environments and installations. And being one of the genuine superstars of tech art, she has to be included in this blog. So a post on these new works of Mori to focus some attention on her and her recent art work:

Mariko Mori started her career as a fashion designer and model in the late 1980s. Not surprisingly, Mori’s early works use her own body as the subject and she costumes herself as a  technological alien woman in everyday scenes, loosely playing on Japanese pop culture and the cyborg theme.

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As more Japanese artists do,  Mori liked to juxtapose Eastern mythology with Western culture, often through layering photography and digital imaging. Her early work was rooted in Manga, kitsch and urban cyber culture, often depicting Mori herself as a cyborg from an alternate, pop-futuristic reality. In her early photographs, such as Subway (1994) and Play with Me (1994), Mori appears as the cyborg heroine of a film who navigates the streets of Tokyo:


However, from 1999 onwards Mori departed from the use of her own image and instead began to create entire environments to facilitate the viewer’s own transcendental experience. Her work did expand beyond the colorful hyperreality of Play with Me to include a fascination with ancient cultures. Among cultures explored in Mori’s work are the prehistoric Jomon culture in Japan and Celtic traditions in Europe, investigating a more abstract minimalism and celebrating the enlightening and expansive qualities of technological innovation and its interaction with its surroundings.  

Her theme “has shifted from the body to (human) consciousness” in her own words*. In one her most well-known works,  Wave UFO (1999–2003) which was exhibited at the 2005 Venice Biennale, viewers enter a biomorphic pod and are fitted with brain-wave electrode headsets capable of projecting images of the wearer’s brain waves. As extra-sensory information is transformed into visual imagery, the participants enjoy a novel form of communication for a few minutes before Mori’s animation Connected World appears on the rounded ceiling of the inner chamber of the pod:

By juxtaposing divergent cultures and disciplines such as Buddhism and science, or traditional tea ceremonies and Manga, Mori creates an aesthetic vocabulary that points simultaneously forward and backward. And so does her new work “Primal Rhythm” which is a land art piece created on Miyako Island, near Okinawa in Japan. The first part of it was built in 2011, the next part still has to be completed:

The work is part of an exhibition called Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori  at the Japan Society in New York which contains 35 sculptures, drawings, photographs, sound and video work which together  deliver a narrative of birth, death and rebirth—a continuous circle of life force that Mori observes on a cosmic scale.

Simultaneously, Mariko Mori also exhibits in the luxurious Espace Louis Vuitton in Tokyo. This exhibition is called  ‘Infinite Renew’ and amasses sculptures and installations in a series of works that -again- metaphorically reflect the never-ending circulation of life and death. The sculptures are interactive and react to the movements of the viewers: the lights of the sculptures change according to the energy level of the visitors according to Mori:

I missed the 2007 survey exhibition Oneness of Mariko Mori in the Groninger Museum (which by the way apparently became the world’s most visited contemporary art exhibition with 538.328 visitors) and New York or Tokyo are too far away for a visit. Therefore, lots of links to additional sources of online information on Mariko Mori’s art below instead:

* Art Review September 2006

More information:

Today the GLOW 2013 light art festival starts in Eindhoven, NL. GLOW started in 2006 and has evolved into  the largest event in the Netherlands that specifically focuses on light art.



This year’s theme is “Urban Playground“. According to the city marketing blurb:

‘Urban Playground’ is the theme of the eighth edition of GLOW. During the week Eindhoven will be the playground of different light artists. By playing with light they’ll show that reality can be experienced in a totally different way.  The theme ‘Urban Playground’ is well chosen. In Eindhoven both creative innovators, smart scientists and ambitious sports men and women get plenty of space to explore new horizons. Here the TU/e, the High Tech Campus and the Design Academy are located and the city is also the home of football club PSV. This year the Philips Sports Club celebrates its 100th anniversary and certainly with the theme ‘Urban Playground’ that is a great excuse to take the art route through the football stadium. But also buildings, streets, warehouses, squares and alleyways in the public space are part of the four kilometers long route. Made out of stone, cement, asphalt and concrete these are the building blocks of the city. Just as dancers or musicians the artists of GLOW play with concepts such as shape, size, scale, color, movement, rhythm and sound. Using various light applications, they open new perspectives on the environment of the city.

Anyway: GLOW is definitely about “light and architecture in the city“. The nice thing about GLOW is that the (often very spectacular) art is embedded into the city. There is a GLOW route of 4 km which you can walk, preferrably at night, bringing you to the art locations. There are iPhone and Android apps available on the GLOW website to enable you to use your mobile phone to find your way around Eindhoven.

This year the festival also has a spinoff event called “GLOW Next” located at Eindhoven’s creative hotspot Strijp-S:

GLOW was such a success in the city centre that the organisation decided to expand the festival with a separate event at Strijp-S – GLOW NEXT. In the coming years, GLOW NEXT will unfold into an international meeting place and site for experimentation where innovative light experiments can be presented. GLOW NEXT focuses on interactive, playful light art and ground-breaking performances and installations that use light in the dynamic, compelling creation of new realities.

Visit GLOW and GLOW NEXT  if you are interested in spectacular interventions, installations, performances and events using artificial light.

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