ELEMENT 79 stardust

ELEMENT 79  stardust
Commissioned by the county Overijssel in collaboration with the Kunstenlab Deventer in spirit of ‘Canon and Space’.

‘Element 79, stardust’ is part of a series of works of art in the public domain with reference to the Canon of Overijssel. The ‘canon window’ Gouden Bergen contains a description of two businessmen who figured that they might be able to find some gold after the construction of the Zwolle-Almelo railway track. They filed a concession application with the county, but it was soon apparent that the imagined quota could not be reached and the gold fever quickly dissipated.

The element gold came into existence a long time ago, long before Earth came into being. It originated in a star that had at least eight times the mass of our sun. So, the gold we now find on earth is pure stardust.
The periodic table of elements classifies all known elements based on their atomic number. Gold has the atomic number 79, every gold atom contains 79 electrons. The steep slope of the Nijverdal’s ravine is decorated with 79 gilded globes in a tight pattern inspired by the way the 79 electrons circle in different ‘shells’ around the core of the gold atom.

Is this new gold of Nijverdal today just as rare as it was a 100 years ago? It is certainly no longer the precious metal that has ignited war, murder and greed. Now, everyone can find gold along the Goudzoekerspad (i.e. the Gold Diggers Path) in Nijverdal. The 79 gilded globes glisten in the sunlight or hide in the dusk. It is the new gold diggers, the connoisseurs, the romantics, the couples in love and those that are patient who know when to visit the Goudzoekersbocht to harvest their ‘Golden Moments’.

Placement: November 2014
Unveiling: January 2015