September 20, 2019 – April, 26, 2020
Mint Museum Uptown
500 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Studio Drift, founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, creates breathtaking sculptures that explore the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. They established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven. Their philosophy is based on creating a dialogue between opposites, exploring the relationship between nature, technology, and mankind. The studio’s work comes to life via ongoing collaborations with scientists, university research facilities, computer programmers, and engineers.
This exhibition will feature five works by Studio Drift dating from the last decade to today, most of which have been modified for the Mint, and one installation, Coded Coincidence, premiering at The Mint. Their Fragile Future 3 (2009) light installation is a profound and poetic reflection on the fact that light is the basis and sustenance of all life. Formed of hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds that have been hand-glued, seed by seed, onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits, the work is a powerful testament to the transience of our life and times.
In Twenty Steps is an installation constructed of 20 delicate glass wings that suggest a giant bird in flight. The glass emphasizes the fragility of the moment and of life itself. A variation titled Amplitude, shown at the Stedelijk Museum in 2018, will be included in Immersed in Light. Drifters, a film by Studio Drift and Sil van der Woerd that features a floating block of concrete as it searches for its origin in the Scottish Highlands, is an exquisite exploration of the relationship between the built environment and nature, as well as escapism. Representing the performance piece Franchise Freedom, which debuted on Faena Beach during Art Basel/Design Miami 2017, is the documentary film version accompanied by several actual drones. Simulating the flight patterns of starlings, clustering together and moving apart, Studio Drift created an autonomous swarm of 300 drones soaring through the night sky in a fluid, exhilarating choreography.
The Five Works:
Fragile Future 3: A light installation made from hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds that have been hand-glued, seed by seed, onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. It is a reflection of light as the basis of all life.
Amplitude: an installation taking up nearly an entire room made of 20 large but delicate glass wings that move smoothly to suggest a giant bird in flight or the movement of waves.
A documentary film version of Franchise Freedom: The exhibition will include two video spaces. One will feature the documentary film version of Franchise Freedom, the performance piece that debuted during Art Basel/Design Miami 2017 and came to life again during Burning Man 2018. It consists of 600 Intel drones soaring through the night sky, as they fluidly simulated the flight patterns of starlings. Several drones will be installed overhead to add to the exhibition experience.
Drifters: An escapist film by Studio Drift and Sil van der Woerd, Drifters showcases a floating block of concrete as it searches for its origin in the Scottish Highlands.
Coded Coincidence: A fifth immersive installation will be on view at Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 5 expansion space, an unfinished area with an industrial, edgy vibe. Museum visitors will be able to walk through a massive acrylic chamber, while more than 30 steerable wind blowers direct and lift elm seeds to swirl around the viewer. The project was inspired by the many elm trees in Amsterdam and is also a fitting nod to Charlotte’s vast tree canopy.
Check out more on Immersed In Light: Studio Drift at the Mint.