commissioned by Perrier-Jouët Champagne
Nature is bound by momentum and instinct. We have all experienced the reaction of a snail when we lightly touch it, or if we approach a wild animal. The snail instantly retracts, and the creature runs away. We react to nature and nature reacts to us, in an ongoing dialogue that proves the other’s existence. From a distance we can watch the species in nature for a very long time and enjoy their liveliness. This fleeting moment, and sense of untouchable closeness is at the heart of the Ephemerā installation.
The installation consists of a big oak table and two mirrors. Observed from a distance the pieces' floral decoration appears alive. The plants grow and move, following their own gentle choreography. However, when someone comes close, the plants and insects disappear.
Ephemerā interacts with the audience, inviting participation, discussion and questioning. Each furniture piece uses traditional craftsmanship and advanced technologies to create a completely new typology. The large, simple table is inlaid with a complex collection of botanical motifs on its surface, a contemporary take on marquetry. The chosen species are based on existing ones, either extinct, widely spread or newly discovered. Each individual plant or insect reacts if someone comes too close, retreating into the table, returning to be a functional and simple object. The companion mirrors hang from the walls. From a distance one can see flowers grow across the glass, up and even out of the wooden frame, extending into the room. On closer inspection, the plant will retract, and the mirror becomes, just a mirror.
To enhance the fact that the used botanical shapes are based on reality, single examples are also presented together with basic information in wooden frames in a museum-like setting.
The project is accompanied by a book, which includes more information on the chosen species and explains why they were chosen - conceptually and also technically. The book is a mixture between a brief biology-book and a project documentation, including technical details and backround information.
electro-technical development: Simon Laburda | DKAI
project assistant: Maria Bauhofer, Benedikt Steiner
with special support by Martin Robitsch
many thanks as well to our carpenter Jacqueline Pehack
material: oiled oak, laser-cut veneer, water-jet cut srping-steel species, various mechanical pieces, motors,
custom made electronics
dimension: 304cm x 94cm x 95cm
material: oiled oak, screen, water-jet cut steel species, various mechanical pieces, motors, custom made electronics,
dimensions: 75cm x 130cm x 17cm