6 Jan 2017, by WouterAalberts
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Work by Studio Drift will be presented by PACE Gallery (Shylight) & Carpenter Workshop Gallery (Fragile Future) at the fourth annual edition of the FOG Design+Art Fair. It will take place January 12–15, 2017 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. They will be showing Shylight, Fragile Future and new works.
With Fragile Future, Studio Drift fuses nature and technology into a multidisciplinary light sculpture. The project can be seen as a critical yet utopian vision on the future of our planet, where two seemingly opposite evolutions have made a pact to survive.
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 and throwaway culture. Are the rapid technological developments of our age really more advanced than the evolution of nature, of which the dandelion is such a transient and symbolic example? And how could those two evolve together?
Studio Drift proposes a vision of that future in her own signature aesthetics; a distinct mix between high-tech and poetic imagery in which light functions as a symbolic and emotional ingredient. Fragile Future is about conveying emotion and at the same time refers to the fact that light lies at the basis of all life.
Certain types of flowers close at night, for self-defence and to conserve their resources. This highly evolved natural mechanism is called ‘nyctinasty’ and inspired Studio Drift to create Shylight; a light sculpture that unfolds and retreats in a fascinating choreography, mirroring that of real flowers.
Most man-made objects have a static form, while everything natural in this world including people, are subject to constant metamorphosis and adaptation to their surroundings. Shylight is the result of the question how an inanimate object can mimic those changes that express character and emotions?
After a research period of five years, Studio Drift found the final form to express their idea. Shylight has become an object that feels alive because of unpredictable, natural-looking movements: it descends to blossom in all its glorious beauty, to subsequently close and retreat upward again. Shylight is created out of many layers of silk, which cause it to move with the grace of a dancer. The movement of the lights can be controlled to the millimeter to create a subtle choreography.
Studio Drift was founded in 2006 by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, both graduates of the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven. They explore the relationship between nature, technology and mankind. Their working process involves continuing collaborations with scientists, university departments, research facilities, programmers and engineers; the results are truly innovative and ground-breaking projects – a testament to the cross-pollination between the technically advanced, the aesthetically beautiful and awareness of future potentials. While the visual language of Studio Drift is characterized by dreamy and poetic aesthetics, the concept behind their works is often based on an unexpectedly critical engagement: “We want to encourage people to see things that they no longer notice; to reach a kind of unconscious recognition that everyone instinctively feels and understands, yet have lost the time for."
FOG has become a focal point for the design and arts communities on the West Coast and further afield. The fair is synonymous with a uniquely pioneering spirit due to its bold hybrid approach and intimate presentation of art and design, dynamic programming on-site and its community-led mission to champion art and design in its historic Fort Mason setting. Building on FOG’s longstanding commitment to cultural institutions, the fair’s Preview Gala is honored to continue its crucial support of SFMOMA’s exhibitions and education programs. FOG represents a key moment in which the local and global community congregate to engage in critical dialogue, artistic exchanges and a shared passion for creative pursuits.