Is it alive?

14 October 2023 t/m 7 April 2024

It vibrates, shimmers, rustles, crackles, breathes and sways back and forth in this experiential exhibition. ‘Is it alive?’ shows spatial textile installations that come to life thanks to technology. They all originate from a fascination with natural processes, because how does something come to life? And when do we experience something as ‘alive’?

Deel tentoonstelling

Video: Jefta Varwijk

“If you really look very closely to everything around us, how things in nature are constructed, it’s so complicated and so well done and also so logical, then you really wonder if nature is not the high-tech part in our world.”

– Lonneke Gordijn, DRIFT

About the exhibition

In “Is it alive?” it all comes together: innovation, textiles, technology and art inspired by life itself. The centrepiece is I am Storm by artist duo DRIFT (Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta). The new and never-before-shown installation consists of some 20 larger-than-life-size blades of grass that wave on an imaginary wind. Other exhibits include the unique ‘living architecture’ by artist and architect Philip Beesley/Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG), an activated look by fashion designer Iris van Herpen, two interactive works by Bart Hess and extended work by Tanja Smeets. In the exhibition, we also take you through the making process, revealing that artists are sometimes inventors and can drive innovation.

Research and innovation

I am Storm is the result of an extensive Research & Development (R&D) project taking place in our Textile Lab since 2021. The research focused on creating self-supporting woven structures. Experiments were soon conducted, not with fabric, but with different types of metal threads on computer-controlled weaving machines. The results are promising and, for now, the research into weaving with metal is not finished. I am Storm is a first unique application of this new technique. Read more about the R&D process here.

Yarn specialist Vera de Pont and product developer Judith Peskens working on I am Storm. Photo Tommy de Lange

Poietic Veil

Philip Beesley Studio Inc. developed the prototype Poietic Veil on behalf of, and in collaboration with, Delft University of Technology (TU). The work is the result of Philip Beesley’s research into ‘Living Architecture’. Dozens of TU Delft students contributed to the research and gained a valuable learning experience. The Poietic Veil is under continuous development and, through the use of new technologies, will grow into an interactive work of art to be placed in TU Delft’s new Science Centre in 2028.

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