Thursday Salute to Originals: Shadowy Silhouettes and Illuminated Impressions

Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde creates interactive artificial landscapes that explore our relationship to the natural world.

In his premiere solo installation, PRESENCE, Roosegaarde invites guests of the Groninger Museum (Netherlands) to leave temporary impressions. They can lay down to make a shadowy silhouette on a glowing backdrop, dig through piles of illuminated orbs or even trace bright-neon lines across the dark museum floor.

The installation explores the meaning of the Dutch word schoonheid — translated as “beautiful and clean” — in the context of new environmentally-conscious social values like clean energy, water and air. The impressions that guests leave within the installation are symbolic of humans’ impact on the planet itself, illustrated through physics and attention-grabbing materials.

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“You make the artwork and the artwork makes you,” explained Roosegaarde in a public statement about the new exhibit. “PRESENCE shows your relationship with the environment and how we can influence it.”

While the piece employs complex technology to relay this symbolism, each interaction feels easy and playful. The objects beg to be touched, pushed and moved, and afterall, without human interaction, the piece is truly incomplete.

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This Thursday, we’re saluting Daan Roosegaarde and the PRESENCE installment — a set of glowing environments that beg for a human touch. PRESENCE will be on display at Groninger Museum through January 2020. You can view more of the artist’s collaborative works on Instagram.

Sources: Dann Roosegaarde, This is Colossal