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After opening this year with three site-specific, immersive installations by James Turrell, Es Devlin, and teamLab, Superblue will add a fourth just in time for Miami Art Week—Meadow by DRIFT. Fluttering from above in color and light, flowers dance and blossom in reaction to the presence and movement of each visitor.
DRIFT shared with Whitewaller how Meadow offers a chance to dream, clear the mind, and understand the connectivity of nature.
WHITEWALLER: What was the starting point for the initial iteration of Meadow?
DRIFT: Meadow is an upside-down landscape, a kinetic sculpture consisting of mechanical flowers that open and close in a poetic choreography. The piece is inspired by the impermanence of the ever-changing seasons, the sensational character of natural growth processes, and the insight that plant life often functions as a colony, rather than as a group of individuals. This principle is explored in the choreography of rhythms as well as in the robotics of the work. As the viewer enters Meadow’s environment, sensors positioned below the piece translate their presence into different “moods,” which influence the speed and color of each sculptural element.
In this way, the viewer becomes a part of the artwork’s specific choreography, uniting us in a shared moment, a shared presence of being—at once still and singular yet collective and connected. The experience of Meadow taps into a deep memory of being one with each other or being one with the environment in that specific moment. A mutually familiar experience, that leads to a clear mind, a moment of contemplation and connectivity, a spark of happiness.
WW: Can you tell us about your vision for bringing the work to Superblue in Miami?
D: Superblue stands for a truly egalitarian vision of the art world, one that grows ever more important currently, when people crave a return to connection on a grand scale. We share in that vision for the work in Miami.
WW: How does Meadow directly engage with the viewer?
D: Meadow sparks our imaginations to challenge apparent boundaries between the characteristics we attribute to nature and that of technology. Man-made objects tend to have a static form, while everything natural in this world, including people, are subject to constant metamorphosis and adaptation to their surroundings. In a society in which these elements are principally thought to counter the other, Meadow forms a creative coalition; a demonstration of how nature and technology can work together in balance and harmony.
WW: What does Meadow propose about our own relationship with and understanding of nature?
D: With the installation we reconnect people to Earth by using technology. The movement and choreography of mimic the rhythms of nature that can bring you into a certain state of calmness.
WW: You’re no stranger to immersive experiences in Miami—pieces like Franchise Freedom come to mind. What makes it special, as artists, to show in Miami, especially during Art Week?
D: Franchise Freedom demonstrated the need for such works as early as 2017; even without our current reality amid the global pandemic, the work acknowledged a world crying out for a mutual means of connection, a shared moment of contemplation and unity. During Art Week the whole art world gets together—it’s an interesting crowd. They have seen a lot already, and it’s always good to surprise, especially this crowd.