DRIFT: About Nature, Technology and Humankind features site-specific installations and video presentations of projects by the Dutch artistic collective.
Suspended from the ceiling in Carpenters Workshop Gallery is the interactive piece Flylight, an installation made up of 300 cylindrical glass tubes, each intended to represent a flying bird.
The piece incorporates software that responds to stimuli in its immediate environment to simulate the behaviour of a flock of starlings flying through the sky as a collective unit.
It comprises glass tubes filled with a sensor and lights that sense visitors as they approach and triggers the light will follow them around them – similar to movement pattern used by swarms of starling birds.
“It consists of delicate glass tubes that light up in an unpredictable way, partially responsive to external stimuli,” Studio Drift said. “The patterns, in which the installation lights up, is not pre-programmed but has an interactive compound: just like a real flock of birds.”
Also on display is the Dutch studio’s Fragile Future III – a thin copper frame structure decorated with 1,200 dried dandelions seeds handpicked from fields. Each dandelion is placed over an LED light to act like a diffuser.
“It is based on the fact that the dandelion is seen as a weed and it spreads very easily,” the studio added.
Franchise Freedom, a video of a performative sculpture premiered at the 2017 Art Basel in Miami, is also on exhibit. It shows video footage of flying drones that mimic the flight patterns of birds.
“This performative sculpture translates the majestic flight patterns of birds, both as singular animals and as a flock, into sweeping movements of a fleet of autonomous drones, inviting viewers to experience the natural phenomena of birds in motion through a 21st-century lens,” Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery said.
DRIFT: About Nature, Technology and Humankind is on view from 17 January to 30 April 2020 at the Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery in San Francisco. The exhibition also features works by Maarten Baas, Aldo Bakker, Sebastian Brajkovic, Johanna Grawunder, Joris Laarman, Mathieu Lehanneur, Robert Stadler and the Verhoeven Twins.
“DRIFT: About Nature, Technology and Humankind seeks to identify and learn from the underlying mechanisms of the natural world in an effort to reconnect humanity to the environment it inhabits,” Carpenters Workshop Gallery said.
“In an era when environmental concerns are top of mind, this exhibition brings together artists who, in the words of historian William Meyers, ‘make an effort to understand and materialise the nature of nature.’ ”
Studio Drift was founded by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta in 2007 and is located in Amsterdam.
It has completed a number of works that explore the link between nature and technology – including an installation of 3,000 blue blocks that represent the plastic used to make a single grocery bag and an artificial tree that responds to the movements, heartbeats and brain activity of visitors.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery was founded in London in 2006 by Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail in a former carpenter’s workshop.
The San Francisco space, which opened inside a former church in 2018, forms its fourth outpost, following other locations in New York and Paris.
Recent exhibits at the international gallery have included a presentation of furniture by French-Swedish artist Ingrid Donat in San Francisco and a modular sofa that references Brutalist architecture by fashion designer Rick Owens displayed in Paris.
Photography is courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.