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Today in Los Angeles for Summit LA19, Studio Drift is presenting Shylight. For the very first time on the West Coast, the monumental work will appear to wow guests with elements of humankind, nature, and technology. Whitewaller spoke Studio Drift’s founders, Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, to hear about their recent works, how they relate to sustainability, and where they’re going to get inspired.
WHITEWALLER: You have long since been encouraging humankind’s relationship to nature, communicated with technology. Tell us a bit about your practice today and what story you’re currently aiming to tell.
STUDIO DRIFT: Throughout the years, DRIFT vision and goals have evolved just like nature, technology, and humankind has. Nature is the starting and ending point of everything which is why it acts as the silver lining in our works.
With our installations we aim to re-connect people with nature through technology. We aim to look as broad as possible at the different aspects and dimensions at this statement. A relationship can be initiated by creating emotions and experiences with technology, for the viewers to reconnect to it’s natural world.
One of our latest work, Coded Coincidence, portrays the unconscious pattern of natural elements that, driven by coincidences, find their path to the most favorable location for them to flourish. Humans are very alike and easily forget our natural environment we all so desperately need, constantly chasing new artificial sensations pushing us away towards a never reachable horizons. With our work we can control environmental influences to be present in the now. We try to bring this to a large audience as most people don’t have the time or space to look for these natural connections we all so desperately need.
WW: How does this conversation relate to sustainability and the future of our planet?
SD: First of all, we hope to play a role in the reconnection with our environment. Secondly, people have to be aware of the impact of there personal needs before they can think about the consequences. Visual cues are sometimes most effective to elicit any kind of thought. It is a process for people to understand (ourselves included) their place in nature, then realizing how many natural resources are used for it to finally see the impact of their lives and decisions on there natural surroundings. We want to play a role in that visualization as we have been engaged with this process during our studies and is off our personal interests.
WW: Tell us a bit about the project you’re presenting in Los Angeles with Summit.
SD: We are exhibiting Shylight, an immersive sculpture that unfolds and retreats in a fascinating choreography, mirroring that of real flowers. People tend to get in a meditative state when they are watching Shylight. We notice that they like to lay down underneath the moving sculpture. The effect of this art work can be compared to what people experience when they engage with the frequency’s in the natural world.
WW: Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with Los Angeles?
SD: We just had an exhibition at UTA Artist Space where we showed our work Fragile Future. A large scale installation of three-dimensional bronze electrical circuits connected to light emitting real dandelions. Other than that, we travel to the west coast frequently. Off course to San Francisco to connect with the tech companies there. This year it was Lonneke’s first time in LA. For Ralph, who is a dream chaser, LA is the city of angels where anything can happen. As a long time skater he sees LA as a breathing ground for new sub cultures and expressions and hopes to push the rediscovery and possibility’s of immersive tech-art movement what we have been working on for more then a decade.
WW: You travel and create works all over the world. Where do you go to get inspired?
SD: We like to time travel to the past but also to a far possible future. Inspiration comes from all different parts of the mind. In the now there are already so many differences in cultures and landscapes that can fur fill a lifetime of inspiration. We don’t like to go to to many exhibitions and museums as it will limit the mind of being inspired by your own personality and interests, so we try to choose wisely.
We see our environment as one big exhibition and try to be in our natural world as much as possible. It’s a necessary sacrifice to be in city’s and we try to minimize this and get back to nature to recharge. Luckily you’ll notice extraordinary things If you look closely at your surroundings in any setting. The natural world underpins our economy, our society’s, our culture and our very existence. Our forests, rivers, oceans and soils provide us with the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we irrigate our crops with and the inspiration to become the best version of ourselves. We need to reconnect!