Lonneke Gordjin and Ralph Nauta, the Dutch duo who work under the name Studio Drift are known for complex and multi-faceted works that fuse art, design, science, and technology. Their work also frequently encompasses the viewer. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam with Studio Drift’s current show, Studio Drift: Coded Nature has highlighted eight rooms with installations and accompanying films. This includes early and new designs including never-before-seen works.
The opus of Studio Drift explores the inconsistent relationships
between nature, technology and man. Their work engrosses themes such as the impression of liberty, the specific versus the cluster and the tautness between the actual and the cybernetic domain. They disclose natural processes by deciphering the data through technology. The act of bringing the imagination of creative people to life, and breathing life into inanimate objects, it is something that helps bring out what cannot be sought after in real life and realized through artistic talent and technical skills. Designing a character is an explorative process where a vast number of iterations are done in order to find the one appealing version that is certain to catch the interest of the audience.
Their installations are interactive, making the viewer a participant in the work. The serene magnificence of the said work invites the viewer to pause and experience the phenomenon of what is being disclosed, to be able to relish a moment of calm and stillness in one’s frantic digital world. In order to achieve this, the duo of Studio Drift uses state of the art technology to stretch boundaries and their projects often involve collaborations with universities and scientists.
The installation titled, In 20 Steps, is a three-dimensional, kinetic installation, assembled of twenty delicate glass wings that embody all the different steps of flying in a conceptual way. At the same time, the piece seizes flight in single moment. The glass accentuates the delicateness of the movement and of nature itself. Instantaneously, the way the moving glass breaks the natural light in the space and reflects in moving rays, imitates a galactic dance.
With Fragile Future, Studio Drift fuses nature and technology into a multidisciplinary light sculpture. The sculpture consists of three-dimensional bronze electrical circuits connected to light emitting dandelions. It contains real dandelion seeds that were picked by hand and glued seed by seed to LED lights. This labour-intensive process is a clear statement against mass production. One wonders if the speedy technological expansions of our age are really more progressive than the development of nature, of which the dandelion is such a fleeting and emblematic specimen. Fragile Future is about conveying emotion and at the same time refers to the fact that light lies at the basis of all life. It can be seen as an analytical yet idealistic vision on the potential of our planet, where two apparently conflicting progressions have made a collision to live.
The work of Studio Drift inhabits a distinctive place at the border between mechanical art, performance and bio-design. As a museum that has always placed great importance on art, design and performance, the Stedelijk Museum is the complete venue to exhibit this multidisciplinary work.
(Studio DRIFT: CODED NATURE
Exhibition — 25 April until 26 August 2018)