Installation

It's in the air

Felix Hess

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FRI. 28 MARCH
Installation
All day
Dick Raaijmakers room

SAT. 29 MARCH
Installation
All day
Dick Raaijmakers room

SUN. 30 MARCH
Installation
All day
Dick Raaijmakers room

‘It's in the air’ is merely a field of small paper vanes on the floor that move in the air. His simplest work, according to the artist. Felix Hess is a trained physicist, expert in aerodynamics, and a sound researche., “He is a unique crosser of the boundaries between science and art.”

Felix Hess: “Air is what we live in. We breathe air. We see straight through it. It moves but we don't see it move: the trees move, the flag moves. I feel it on my face. The air brings us sounds. (…) Clouds are floating in the sky above us. Wave patterns come alive and die on water surfaces. Tall grasses too are waving in the wind, and small leaves rustle in the trees. Inside the house, dust dances in the sunlight. How about the air that moves along the floor?” The artist made this airflow visible. This is how he sees this work: “You can see this as a kinetic sculpture, you can see this as a visualisation of air flows, you can see this as a dance, but what this work is about, what it clearly focuses on, is simply: sensitivity.”

Hess studied physics in Groningen and received his Ph-D in 1975 cum laude for groundbreaking research on aerodynamics of boomerangs. After that, he worked as a mathematician for five years in Australia. During his stay, he became intrigued by the way bullfrogs communicate. This inspired him to build an installation in which artificial animals make interactive sounds. Since that time, Hess has built more installations that include elements of nature, interaction and senses. His search for the essence of interaction and beauty in simplicity culminates in the installation It’s in the air, which doesn’t involve any electronics at all.

Great story by artist Theo Jansen (beach animals) about Felix Hess

Lecture by Felix Hess about his life and work for BBC Tomorrow’s world: “From Science to Sensitivity”

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