Monday, March 21, 2011

a house with hundreds of butterflies inspired from Mies van der Rohe’s popular Farnsworth House : By Bik Van der Pol

Rome, Italy
Bik Van der Pol
Post By:Kitticoon Poopong
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
The new installation by Bik Van der Pol – a house with hundreds of butterflies inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s popular Farnsworth House – is the work chosen to inaugurate the new wing of the MACRO museum.

Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling? won the fourth edition of the Enel Contemporanea Award in March 2010, an invitational award, sponsored by Enel, seven artists invited by prominent representatives of international contemporary art, a prestigious jury in charge of selecting the winning project. A Scientific Committee, including curators and critics from all over the world, selected seven internationally prominent artists to create a work of art that focuses on energy in its different forms and modes. The winning project has been awarded on the 9th of March 2010 by a Honor Committee of esteemed representatives of the cultural field, who enriched Italian culture and made it known on an international level.
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol

In this time of increasing globalization, not only economies, financial markets, nations and people become more and more dynamically intertwined with each other. Also the global ecological system, the biosphere, integrating all living beings and their relationships and interactions on our planet, is influenced by the continuous increase of human activities. Slowly, the world population is starting to become aware of their impact on their environment. The climate summits in Kyoto and recently in Copenhagen, where all the world leaders gather to negotiate possible solutions, are proof of that, though outcomes of these tops are still uncertain. Is it enough, is it early enough, or is it already too late?
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
In recent years, a significant loss of pollinators has been noticed. In the case of bees, for example, whole colonies of bees leave their hives; they go on the run, collapse and die, and these observed losses have already significant economic impacts. Explanations for this decline include increasing urbanization (causing a lack food and longer travel times), use of pesticides, and climate change. Butterflies are considered by scientists to be ‘indicator species’ because they are particularly sensitive to environmental degradation; their decline there for serves as an ‘early warning’ on environmental conditions.
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
With The Farnsworth house (1951), architect Mies van der Rohe emphasized on the tight relationship between man and nature: "We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and the human being to a higher unity". It is considered one of the most radically minimalist houses ever designed. Glass walls and open interior space are the features that create an intense connection with the outdoor environment, while the exposed structure provides a framework that reduces opaque exterior walls to a minimum. Mies van der Rohe conceived the building as an indoor-outdoor architectural shelter simultaneously independent of and intertwined with the domain of nature. The Farnsworth House is located in the landscape, parallel to a river, and has been carefully maintained and restored throughout the years. In 1972, the house was restored to its original state. The house was purposely built on poles: the architect calculated the expected rise of the river, and made the elevation such that the house would able to resist flooding. Still, the past decennia, several floods heavily damaged the interior of the house, since waters have risen above the raised level six times in 60 years, caused by increased building in the surrounding area.
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
The concept of the butterfly effect is a term from chaos theory, to describe the sensitive (inter) dependence of different tendencies on initial conditions: how tiny variations can affect giant and complex systems. The butterfly effect suggests that the flapping wings of a butterfly represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, causing a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events. These small gestures eventually potentially would lead to significant repercussions on wind and movements throughout the weather systems of the world, and theoretically, could cause tornadoes around the world. True or not, had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. Small actions can certainly affect change in complex systems in unexpected and unpredictable ways.
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have been working collaboratively as Bik Van der Pol since 1995. Their works invite the audience to think about places, their architecture, their function and their history. They explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge, as well as to create communicative situations. Recent projects and exhibitions include Istanbul Biennial; Volksgarten, Kunsthaus Graz; Plug In, Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven; Models For Tomorrow, European Kunsthalle, Cologne; Moscow Biennale (2007); Fly Me To The Moon, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Naked Life, MOCA, Taipei (2006); Secession, Vienna; Cork Caucus Cork (2005); Nomads in Residence, a mobile workspace for artists, Utrecht (2003, with Korteknie/Stuhlmacher architects). Part of their practice includes publishing books, such as for example Catching Some Air (2002), With Love From The Kitchen (2005), the ongoing series Past Imperfect (2005, 2007), Fly Me To The Moon (2006) and The Lost Moment (2007).
Photo © Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
The people
Artist: Bik Van der Pol
Location: Rome, Italy
Creative Fields: INSTALLATION
Photographs: Courtesy of Bik Van der Pol
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