Entry for the IJSSELBIENNALE edition 2017
The theme of IJssel Biennale 2017 was ‘climatic changes’.
Here in the Netherlands, we notice climate change mainly through changes in the nature and quantity of precipitation, a great deal at once or, on the contrary, prolonged drought.
Our landscape has been shaped in a natural way by earlier (naturally caused) climate changes, the ice ages. Precipitation in all its forms is always the shaping force of the landscape, with the moraines, glacial basins, the river delta, river dunes, basins and breakthrough holes. Current climate change is attributed to human influences. The high-water channel in the IJssel valley is (one of ours) a reaction(s) to this climate change and a drastic change in the landscape has also arisen as a result of our actions.
The IJsselbiennale coincides with the summer months, the period in which we seem to notice the effects of climate change most strongly. It is raining more heavily and with larger amounts at once, the temperature is extreme and we expect to have longer periods of drought as in the summer of 2018.
Together with the remainder of the Werverdijk, the Kromme Kolk forms the pièce de résistance of the Veessen Wapenveld flood channel. As a ‘waking eye’ it directs our gaze in a southerly direction and shows at a glance how the IJssel valley lies enclosed between the moraines of the Veluwe and Salland. In the same direction we see the Veessen Wapenveld high-water channel wedged between two dikes.
A flat, shallow steel shell floats like a dot on the water of the Kromme Kolk. Rainwater is collected, gradually filling the shell with precipitation until it floods. During longer droughts the water evaporates and the water level in the bowl shrinks. Occasionally it falls completely dry. Under the influence of sediment present in the water in combination with corrosion on the steel, the retreating water will form graphical patterns and concentric line drawings.
A vision on the question ‘What is the Terp Fan de Takomst’ through the village of Blije, Friesland.
Climatological fluctuations and the geological changes that result from them are manifested on a space and time scale far beyond our direct observation. This means that we do not experience any direct cause-effect relationship between our daily actions and decisions and their effect on, for example, climate and biodiversity. Scientific models and tests often make use of variables in scale, so that the very gradual developments and changes suddenly become visible within our direct experience of space and time. Patterns that arise under the influence of morphodynamic forces are almost identical to those on a scale of hundreds to thousands of kilometres at the scale of one metre. This phenomenon is called scale in variance.
In the transition zone between land and water in the Noorderleeg land reclamation area, the laws of scale variance apply in optima forma.
Sliding and slipping over the silt layers we see directly under our feet the small accumulations of sediment, drought cracks in the clay layers, erosion traces of gullies and swalls. Morphodynamic processes that occur within time frames of days to just a few weeks and in the meantime leave behind beautiful miniature salt marsh landscapes. In miniature these landscapes are hardly distinguishable from the estuaries and river deltas with the size of a continent photographed from a space shuttle.
With a little imagination, these creeks and gulleys are immense river deltas and estuaries in timescales that stretch over many centuries and millennia.
“Every flood is a climatic sea level rise, every winter is an ice age, every creek a majestic river”.
You can find more information about this vision HERE
PIER + HORIZON
The 7th piece of land art for the Flevopolders commissioned by the county Flevoland and the municipal Noordoostpolder.
Before the Noordoostpolder was drained, a six kilometre long jetty connected the Zwarte Meer in Overijssel with a former lighthouse called Oud Kraggenburg in the middle of the Zuider Zee. PIER + HORIZON is an attempt to bring this jetty back to the surface. The former dam was built on a foundation of strips of entangled water plants and peat-land that float on the water (kraggen);. The north-eastern part of Overijssel is largely made up of floating peat-land. In an area of about four ha surrounding the jetty is a field of poles in a grid that is inspired by the strict landscaping of the Noordoostpolder. Attached to every pole is a long piece of peat-land planted with cane that floats on the water and has the ability to turn 360 degrees relative to its anchor point. When the water level rises, the floating islands will rise with it, the direction of the wind will determine their orientation. The jetty is accessible for the public (except during breeding season). Alone on the thin and long pier looking over the vastness of the Zwarte Meer surrounded by the giant field of floating islands, one might experience what in the field of art philosophy is called ‘The Sublime’.
From the dyke and the extended point of the jetty a webcam will take a picture each morning at half past seven; when the horizon is aligned with the pier. Over a longer period of time a sequence will grow. This sequence will eventually be shown on a website. In the meantime, the seasons will pass by gradually and the islands sway restlessly on the breeze of the wind. Now and then, the sun will shine, it will rain, there might be fog, or a storm, it might snow, or a thin layer of ice might adorn the Zwarte Meer.
Unveiling; October 2016
For more information about this design, see the booklet PIER + HORIZON (English)
HERE you can check live images of PIER+HORIZON via a webcam on the Zwartemeerdijk.
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
Sketch design in relation to windfarm ‘Nieuwe Waterweg’ in Rotterdam.
The landscape of the Europoort, the Nieuwe Waterweg, the Maeslantkering and the windfarm is of such overwhelming splendour and robust beauty that I won’t even attempt to add anything ‘artistic’. This stunning landscape deserves its own stage, it might compel people to look at it differently, perhaps with more awareness. Because the turbine is so high, it offers the ultimate chance for a majestic panorama of the harbours of Rotterdam, the Maeslantkering, the Nieuwe Waterweg, the coastline, the Westland etcetera.
Panorama ‘Maeslant’ is not just supposed to be an aesthetic experience, it will also inform the public about the storing of fossil fuels in the depots of Europoort and the way in which this relates to sustainable energy production at the windfarm ‘De Nieuwe Waterweg’ and windfarms in general. It will try to inform about the energy consumption in the greenhouse area in the Westland and the way in which this energy demand relates to the proceeds of one windturbine. It will try to give some insight into the logistics of the harbour or Rotterdam and the function of the Maeslantkering.
Inspired by a vision of a panorama from the top a turbine, we suggest placing an HD video camera with a 180° fisheye lens on both sides of the mast. Live footage of the view will be sent directly to the harvesting field. Here, the images will be projected on a mini 360° panorama theatre. The visitor will be standing in the heart of the space and be completely engulfed in a Panorama ‘Maeslant’. The sound around the top of the mast will also be registered and played in the theatre.
Advice: PARKLAAN Landschapsarchitecten
Presentation sketch design: Octobre 2013
Commissioned by Overijssel county
The provincial road N34 touches the meandering Vecht just once in the landscape of Overijssel, this point is also called ‘The Point of Tangency-N34’. A point of tangency in geometry is the point where a straight line touches a curved line. The original meaning of geo-metry is the ‘measuring of the earth’.
In the early 18th century, military engineer Pieter de la Rive (1694-1771) mapped the catchment of the Vecht in Overijssel. An eye-catching element in this drawing is a 35 kilometre long defence line that stretches from Gramsbergen to Dalfsen. However, this line was never built and remained a mere ambition. What remains is a stunning 18th century map. It is informative to compare such historic maps with today’s topography: what has remained the same and what has changed? One of the strongholds in De la Rive’s line was to be in the exact same place as the Point of Tangency N34 is today. From a military point of view, this was a strategic and clever place for a stronghold, because, just like today, this particular place touched a curve in the meandering Vecht. If De la Rive’s plans had been executed 300 years ago, we would be able to see a podium where all the hidden qualities of the Point of Tangency are concentrated. If we were to turn this into a contemporary piece of land art, we could again bring those qualities back to the surface. I would like to suggest a piece of art that is inspired by the geometry of the Old-Dutch bastion-type. It requires the use of dimensions that are based on the Rijnland’s measurements (in rods and feet), just like Pieter de la Rive would have used; ‘de la Rive revisited’.
Sketch design: April 2012
Official unveiling: 13 September2013
For more information about this design, see the booklet GEO-METRY (English)
Funnelling ‘landscaping Enschede-Zuid, art in the suburbs’. Commissioned by the town Enschede and in collaboration with the DLG-oost and the water board Regge and Dinkel.
The town of Enschede is working on a network of stroll-, walk-, and bicycle paths around the city. This ‘round of Enschede’ crosses an open landscape with ditches, plots of land and small roads, just south of Enschede. A meandering brook and a strip of raw nature are constructed throughout the area.
‘Drecht, dracht, tricht’ are all terms that refer to the Latin word ‘trajectum’ in the sense of a crossing, a fordable place in a stream. In this project proposal, a ‘Trechter’ (funnel) is a place where a path will cross over and through the bed of the brook. In various strategical places stainless steel barriers will be placed in the stream valley. From the shore, fluent arches are placed towards the middle of the gully where they are just out of each other’s reach. Because of the shape of the ‘Trechter’, a narrowing is created in the flow profile of the brook. The water is stopped and pushed into a sewage farm. Even during dry periods of time, the area will be able to store more water because of the ‘Trechters’. Normally, the water would barely stream in this area, but because of the ‘Trechters’ the stream will be accelerated which increases the amenities.
‘TRECHTEREN’ is a verb and a strategy. The ‘Trechters’ create a behaviour in both the water and the people walking by. This behaviour will conform to a spontaneous pattern of paths and a meandering bed.
However, this is not pre-designed, carefully drafted and precisely executed.
Sketch design: September 2009
Placement: June 2012
Click HERE for more information on TRECHTEREN
A design for the Ooijpolder commissioned by the county Gelderland in spirit of the ‘green and blue services’ (Foundation Via Natura).
A ‘sculptural’ island as land art and lanmark.
An earth rampant with alcoves and denominations forms a typographical image; a word image with an OPEN meaning.
As a landmark, the island will be visible and readable from the moraine east of Nijmegen.
A passer-by can settle in the alcoves and enjoy the sun and the view of the Ooijpolder and the moraine.
Maintenance and upkeep of the work of art are intrinsically linked to the design.
Because the mowing pattern varies, the design of the piece will change over time, at the same time it will enhance the readability.
Sketch design: 2006
In collaboration with Van Xanten Advies and Process management Art and Culture
Click here for a booklet about this project (English)
Commissioned by Waterboard Brabantse Delta ism NBKS
The waterboard Brabantse Delta combines its job as water manager with a fair amount of attention to nature and culture. Between 2004 and 2008, it has helped construct nature friendly banks and spawning beds along the Mark and Dintel. In the background of these constructions a piece of land art adorns the western banks of the Mark between Breda and Terheyden.
WASTELAND WARLAND WETLAND connects the past, the present and the future of this area.
• The artwork connects nature development on the ‘mowing field’ with the former riverbed beneath.
• It displays the archaeology of the 17th and 18th century next to the current water management.
• It links former floodings and inundations to the water storage of today and tomorrow.
• It links ecology and hydrology to land art.
The plot ‘folds’ beneath the pressure of the many contradicting interests in this area, such as agriculture versus estate, nature versus industry, urbanisation versus an open landscape, today’s developments covering the tracks of yesterday. There is a tension between the artificial and the natural, between management and a ‘natural course’, between order and chaos, expediency and uselessness, ‘dream and deed’ …
Click here to read more about this project.
DE WASSENDE MAAN (CRESCENT)
Land art in a nature development area the Noordwaard (in the Brabantse Biesbosch). Commissioned by Dienst Landelijk Gebied (LNV) in collaboration with Nieuwe Brabantse Kunst Stichting (NBKS).
Since the early 90s D.L.G. and Staatsbosbeheer (i.e. Forestry Commission) have their minds set on plans for nature development in the polder De Noordwaard (600 ha) with open connections to the Nieuwe Merwede and the Amer. The development of wet natural areas seems to come together naturally with the aim for more space for the river in this particular part of the Biesbosch. The continuous progressive insights and action-reaction in the area of water management sways like a labyrinth through our country’s history and has led to a maze of canals, weirs, pumping stations, dykes, and quays. This labyrinth, or maze, works as a perfect metaphor for our centuries long struggle with the water. A labyrinth in the Noordwaard marks every moment a new direction is taken in our maze of water management. But it is the seasons and the weather, the sun, the moon, and the tides that determine the direction of our search with their joint ritual dance.
For more information about this design, see the booklet WASSENDE MAAN (English)