New Energy in Design and Art
Joris Laarman

October 15 2011 - February 26 2012

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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Joris Laarman [Dutch, b. 1979]
Half Life , 2010
Glass vitrines, lamp base
13 x 7.25 inches
33 x 18.4 cm
Photograph courtesy of the Museum Van Boijmans Beuningen

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New Energy in Design and Art
October 15, 2011 – February 26, 2012

For several decades artists and designers have been creating futuristic visions of a sustainable society. These innovative future visions are becoming increasingly relevant. There is clearly a great need for a new balance in our living environment. In the exhibition ‘New Energy in Design and Art’ Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents numerous innovative experiments in the field of sustainable energy.

Artists, designers and progressive thinks play a pioneering role in raising awareness about our relationship with energy. The exhibition contains surprising, strange and unimaginable objects and sculptures. Some are poetic, alienating or ingenious; all are relevant and innovative.

Fireflies and self-propelling machines
The exhibition includes machines by Gerrit van Bakel (1943-1984) that run on energy derived from the differences in temperature between day and night. The Half Life Lamp by Joris Laarman (1979) consists partly of living organic material and emits light without added energy. Chinese hamster cells have been genetically modified with the bioluminescent genes of a firefly, allowing the lamp to glow by itself.

Future of mankind
Sustainable energy plays a central role in the designs of the Austrian duo mischer’traxler. In the project ‘The idea of a tree’ they produced a series of stools based on the energy of a single day of sunlight. The machine begins working at sunrise and completes production of the stool at sunset. Each day results in a different colour pattern and format.
The British duo Dunne & Raby are exhibiting 3D models, photographs and videos that show possible solutions to the problems of feeding an overpopulated planet. They have designed fodder machines that synthetically harvest nutritional value from inedible plants and trees.

Interplay between art and science
The interaction between art and science often leads to stimulating and innovative solutions, such as Joris Laarman’s lamp. Collaborations between scientists and artists can bring about new insights. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is exhibiting surprising examples by artists and designers who are providing unusual and inventive solutions to global questions. They include Atelier NL, the duo Auger-Loizeau, Philippe Rahm, Bertjan Pot, John Körmeling, Michiel van Bakel, Oskar de Kiefte, Eric Klaarenbeek, Mike Thompson, Panamarenko and Jeroen Verhoeven.

Demonstrations, videos and guided tours
Many of the designs and objects require explanation or demonstration. In the exhibition videos show what the designer or artist envisions or how the objects work in reality. This series of videos will be posted on arttube.boijmans.nl from 15 October.

The exhibition has been made possible with the support of Eneco, Ploum Lodder Princen and BankGiro Loterij.

Design in Boijmans
‘New Energy in Design and Art’ comes under the ‘Design in Boijmans’ programme. Design is a central theme at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen this autumn. With two large and two small design exhibitions, as well as the arrangement of the museum collection, much of the attention at the museum is on design and applied art. In 2012, current developments and innovations in design are also on the agenda.

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