Studio Olafur Eliasson

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‘Symbiosis is like a flash of evolutionary lightning.’ – Lynn Margulis, aka ‘Science’s Unruly Earth Mother’In many ways,...
22/02/2020

‘Symbiosis is like a flash of evolutionary lightning.’ – Lynn Margulis, aka ‘Science’s Unruly Earth Mother’

In many ways, evolutionary theorist and biologist Lynn Margulis was ahead of her time when, starting in the 1960s, she advanced the theory of symbiogenesis. Symbiogenesis is the idea that life emerged from and evolved through cellular symbiosis, which, in the latter half of the 20th century, very much rubbed up against the biology credo ‘survival of the fittest’. At a time when male neo-Darwinists dominated the field, and when the assumption of a natural marriage of evolution and competition – and, by extension, progress and the values of capitalism – went largely unquestioned, Margulis pushed symbiogenesis despite fervent professional rejection. Now her theories have been broadly substantiated and accepted, and they have, in fact, been shown to work in step with Darwin’s theory of evolution, rather than the two being mutually exclusive. Over her long and controversial career, she was vindicated many times over by subsequent research and awards, including, perhaps appropriately, the Darwin-Wallace Medal in 2008, before her death in 2011.

Looking at life on Earth through Margulis’s lens has deep socio-political implications: What if we choose to view progress as something achieved through co-evolution, co-creation, collaboration, and sharing, rather than competition? How can we imagine our future on this damaged planet, and the boundaries between species, between individual beings, differently? This line of thought is some of the inspiration behind Olafur’s current solo exhibition ‘Symbiotic seeing’ @kunsthauszuerich – on view through 22 March.

Image:
Shoshanah Dubiner, ‘Endosymbiosis: Homage to Lynn Margulis’, 2012.

#symbioticseeing #lynnmargulis

The presence of absence pavilion, 2019, on view now as part of 'In real life' @museoguggenheim in Bilbao.Photo: Erika Ed...
16/02/2020

The presence of absence pavilion, 2019, on view now as part of 'In real life' @museoguggenheim in Bilbao.

Photo: Erika Ede

In real life, 2019, now on view as part of the eponymous exhibition 'In real life' @museoguggenheim in Bilbao, running u...
15/02/2020

In real life, 2019, now on view as part of the eponymous exhibition 'In real life' @museoguggenheim in Bilbao, running until 21 June 2020.

Photo: Erika Ede

This is wildlife.Sam Rowley’s photograph ‘Station Squabble’, 2019, just won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX ...
14/02/2020

This is wildlife.

Sam Rowley’s photograph ‘Station Squabble’, 2019, just won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice Award from the Natural History Museum in London. It goes to show that there are no clear boundaries between wildlife ‘out there’ and human-built environments. There is no outside.

@samrowleywild

Waterfall, 2019, part of the solo exhibition 'Olafur Eliasson: In real life', on view from today through 21 June 2020 @m...
14/02/2020

Waterfall, 2019, part of the solo exhibition 'Olafur Eliasson: In real life', on view from today through 21 June 2020 @museoguggenheim in Bilbao.

Photo: Erika Ede

Your pyramidic double asymmetrical polyhedron, 2019, on view now @tanyabonakdargallery @friezeartfair
13/02/2020

Your pyramidic double asymmetrical polyhedron, 2019, on view now @tanyabonakdargallery @friezeartfair

‘A climate tipping point – or any tipping point in any complex system – is where a small change makes a big difference a...
13/02/2020

‘A climate tipping point – or any tipping point in any complex system – is where a small change makes a big difference and changes the state or the fate of a system.’ – Prof. Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, speaking to carbonbrief.org

In other words, a tipping point is a threshold that we can be pushed over, into irreversible change. The ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ need not even be human-induced: we have caused so much change already that even a natural event could end up a tipping point for the climate.

In addition to physical tipping points, there are also ‘social tipping points’ – and, importantly for how we conceptualize our so-called climate fate, social tipping points can tip in either direction with regard to climate change, positively or negatively.

This month, the paper ‘Social tipping dynamics for stabilizing Earth’s climate by 2050’, by Ilona M. Otto et al., was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors identify some possible levers, or social tipping interventions, that could put the planet on track to halve global emissions by 2030 and tip the scales to net zero emissions by 2050. They write, ‘Achieving a rapid global decarbonization to stabilize the climate critically depends on activating contagious and fast-spreading processes of social and technological change within the next few years. … we propose concrete interventions to induce positive social tipping dynamics and a rapid global transformation to carbon-neutral societies. These social tipping interventions comprise removing fossil-fuel subsidies and incentivizing decentralized energy generation, building carbon-neutral cities, divesting from assets linked to fossil fuels, revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels, strengthening climate education and engagement, and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information.’

Images:
Aerial view of Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica – Universal Images Group North America LLC / Alamy.
Infographic by Rosamund Pearce/Tom Prater.
Fig. 1, Ilona M. Otto et al., showing rate of change in annual greenhouse gas emissions required for net decarbonization.

After a couple of years of drift, the world’s largest iceberg, called A68, has accelerated under current Antarctic summe...
12/02/2020

After a couple of years of drift, the world’s largest iceberg, called A68, has accelerated under current Antarctic summer temperatures and is on course to leave the limit of the continent’s perennial sea-ice, now being swept northwards towards “Iceberg Alley” in the Atlantic. A68 broke off of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica in July of 2017 following more than a decade of closely followed cracking. Scientists are surprised that the iceberg has remained largely intact over the years – at 150km long and 200m thick, its proportions are comparable to a stack of 5 letter-sized sheets of paper.

Photos: bbc.com

Evening time with Fujiko Nakaya’s ‘Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.)’ @museoguggenheim
06/02/2020

Evening time with Fujiko Nakaya’s ‘Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.)’ @museoguggenheim

31/01/2020

Jller (2015) is a machine that sorts river stones by their geological ages, made as a collaboration between @prokop_bartonícek and Benjamin Maus @allesblinkt

‘Jller is part of an ongoing research project in the fields of industrial automation and historical geology. It is an apparatus that sorts pebbles from a specific river by their geologic age. The stones were taken from the stream bed of the German river Jller, shortly before it merges with the Danube, close to the city of Ulm. … A set of pebbles from the Jller are placed on the 2×4 meter platform of the machine, which automatically analyzes the stones in order to then sort them. The sorting process happens in two steps: Intermediate, pre-sorted patterns are formed first, to make space for the final, ordered alignment of stones, defined by type and age. Starting from an arbitrary set of stones, this process renders the inherent history of the river visible.’ – prokopbartonicek.com

#riverbed

30/01/2020

Newly released images from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope show the highest resolution observations of the Sun’s surface ever taken, with features as small as 30km in size made visible for the first time ever. The National Solar Observatory writes, ’The movie shows the turbulent, “boiling” gas that covers the entire sun. The cell-like structures – each about the size of Texas – are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface. Hot solar material (plasma) rises in the bright centers of “cells,” cools off and then sinks below the surface in dark lanes in a process known as convection. In these dark lanes we can also see the tiny, bright markers of magnetic fields. Never before seen to this clarity, these bright specks are thought to channel energy up into the outer layers of the solar atmosphere called the corona. These bright spots may be at the core of why the solar corona is more than a million degrees! This movie covers an area 19,000 x 10,700 km (11,800 x 6,700 miles or 27 x 15 arcseconds).’

The Mississippi River meander belt, Harold Fisk, 1944We take for granted that a river will always stay in one place, but...
29/01/2020

The Mississippi River meander belt, Harold Fisk, 1944

We take for granted that a river will always stay in one place, but in fact river paths meander naturally, often widely, over time scales that span human generations. #riverbed

Images from radicalcartography.net

Repost of sketchbook drawing by @LianaFinck via @NewYorkerCartoons
25/01/2020

Repost of sketchbook drawing by @LianaFinck via @NewYorkerCartoons

‘Humans have always dreamed of flying. Today that dream has become a nightmare. What if we could fly differently?’ – Tom...
24/01/2020

‘Humans have always dreamed of flying. Today that dream has become a nightmare. What if we could fly differently?’ – Tomás Saraceno

@aerocene, a project initiated by Saraceno, invites everyone on 28 Jan to watch the performance of AEROCENE PACHA, an ‘aerosolar journey’ taking off from the salt lakes of Salinas Grandes, Jujuy, in Argentina, without the use of fossil fuels, lithium batteries, solar panels, helium or other rare gases – only the air and sun.

The project will attempt to break several world-records, with the mission ‘to open up a renewed era of planetary and multispecies solidarity, with the air, for all of Earth – moving past the man-made violence that incites climate change and mass extinction, and into Aerocene.’

More about the project: ‘Together with representatives from 33 indigenous communities of the Salinas Grandes, the launch will be accompanied by a ceremony honoring Aerocene Pacha’s namesake—the spatiotemporal connection of the subterrestrial, terrestrial and celestial realms in Andean cosmovision, uniting what lies below the Earth’s surface with the furthest reaches of space. These communities, whose livelihoods are threatened by lithium extraction in their region, say: NO TO LITHIUM, YES TO WATER AND TO LIFE IN OUR TERRITORIES. … investments in lithium extraction continue to grow, as the demand for lithium increases, especially as foreign governments continue to exert pressure on a move toward “greener” technologies. Salt flats like Salar de Uyuni and Salinas Grandes are under the siege of geopolitical forces and extractive approaches—as are the Indigenous communities that call them home. … Lithium-ion batteries are being heralded as a way out of fossil fuel dependency, moving us toward electric freedom. But that “freedom” comes at a great cost, and as is the case with almost all prices in the Capitalocene, it is paid by those who benefit the least. Indigenous nations across the planet account for less than 5 percent of the global population while protecting 80 percent of its biodiversity; it is their struggles that form the theory and praxis of fighting against the degradation and loss of life on this planet.’

@studiotomassaraceno

Algae window, 2020 – a new work on view @kunsthauszuerich as part of 'Symbiotic Seeing', up until March 22.Photo: Franca...
19/01/2020

Algae window, 2020 – a new work on view @kunsthauszuerich as part of 'Symbiotic Seeing', up until March 22.

Photo: Franca Candrian
#symbioticseeing

Symbiotic seeing @kunsthauszuerich #symbioticseeing
18/01/2020

Symbiotic seeing @kunsthauszuerich #symbioticseeing

Weather orb, 2020 – now on view as part of Olafur's solo exhibition 'Symbiotic seeing' @kunsthauszuerich through 22 Marc...
18/01/2020

Weather orb, 2020 – now on view as part of Olafur's solo exhibition 'Symbiotic seeing' @kunsthauszuerich through 22 March.

Photo: Franca Candrian
#symbioticseeing

Hot off the press! We’re so happy to finally have in our hands the sumptuous ‘Symbiotic Seeing’ exhibition catalogue, in...
17/01/2020

Hot off the press! We’re so happy to finally have in our hands the sumptuous ‘Symbiotic Seeing’ exhibition catalogue, in both English and German versions - published by Snoeck, designed by Martin Stoecklin & Melina Wilson. @kunsthauszuerich
#symbioticseeing

Installation view of Symbiotic seeing, on view @kunsthauszuerich now through 22 March. Photo: Franca Candrian
17/01/2020

Installation view of Symbiotic seeing, on view @kunsthauszuerich now through 22 March.

Photo: Franca Candrian

16/01/2020

Studio tests for the new piece ‘Symbiotic seeing’, 2020, on view from today as part of the eponymous solo exhibition ‘Olafur Eliasson: Symbiotic seeing’, at @kunsthauszuerich. Original music composition by Hildur Guðnadóttir. Opening tonight at 7pm and running through 22 March 2020.

@hildur_gudnadottir

Just hours away from the opening of ‘Symbiotic seeing’ @kunsthauszuerich - tonight!
16/01/2020

Just hours away from the opening of ‘Symbiotic seeing’ @kunsthauszuerich - tonight!

From Sketchbook (unpublished), 1994
16/01/2020

From Sketchbook (unpublished), 1994

In Olafur’s solo exhibition ’Symbiotic seeing’, opening this Thursday at Kunsthaus Zürich, the phenomenon of symbiosis i...
15/01/2020

In Olafur’s solo exhibition ’Symbiotic seeing’, opening this Thursday at Kunsthaus Zürich, the phenomenon of symbiosis is a way to think differently about how we live on this planet: what if we throw out the assumption that evolution is primarily about survival of the fittest and success through competition? What if we instead consider that our true means of survival lies in collaboration and horizontality?

For this exhibition, we’ve also developed a new version of our wall-filling ‘research map’, which includes the theme ‘Symbiosis’, and its expressions across lifeforms and disciplines.

From our studio glossary in the exhibition catalogue: ‘Symbiosis “is the phenomenon in which organisms of different species live together in close association, resulting in a raised level of fitness for one or more of the organisms. Symbiogenesis is the name given to the process by which symbiotic partners combine and unify … giving rise to new morphologies and physiologies evolutionarily more advanced than their constituents.” In Lynn Margulis’s view, symbiosis ‘is crucial to an understanding of evolutionary novelty and the origin of species’; she proposes that ‘the most significant source of variation [among species] is not only mutation but mergers”.’

Images:
Vogue, ‘The Place Where Mushrooms Get Their Own Parade’, trio of artists dress as Dead Man’s Fingers, 2019. @therealjesslangley @kenbinsley
Ernst Hackel, ‘Lichenes’, from Kunstformen der Natur, 1904.
Moss wall, 1994.
White matter fiber architecture of the brain, measured using diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI).
Electron micrograph of Treponema pallidum, a type of spirochete.

‘Escaped light landscape’, 2020 - a new work for ‘Symbiotic seeing’, Olafur’s latest solo exhibition, opening @kunsthaus...
14/01/2020

‘Escaped light landscape’, 2020 - a new work for ‘Symbiotic seeing’, Olafur’s latest solo exhibition, opening @kunsthauszuerich this Thursday, 17 January. #symbioticseeing

In the spirit of symbiosis and Olafur’s solo exhibition ‘Symbiotic Seeing’, opening at Kunsthalle Zürich this Thursday, ...
13/01/2020

In the spirit of symbiosis and Olafur’s solo exhibition ‘Symbiotic Seeing’, opening at Kunsthalle Zürich this Thursday, one of many subjects we’ve been looking at lately is mushrooms and the ways they survive and thrive in ruined landscapes, even making life possible for other organisms. By recognising there are no clear boundaries between habitats, between humans and nature, purity and ruin, even life and death, we can also recognise contamination not just as a negative consequence of human progress, but also as a condition that moves life forward. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing writes in her book The Mushroom at the End of the World: ‘How does a gathering become a ‘happening’, that is, greater than a sum of its parts? One answer is contamination. We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds – and new directions – may emerge. Everyone carries a history of contamination; purity is not an option. One value of keeping precarity in mind is that it makes us remember that changing with circumstances is the stuff of survival.’

#symbioticseeing

Images:
Matsutake – the most valuable mushroom in the world, and a weed that grows only in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere.
Jae Rhim Lee, ‘Infinity Burial Suit’.
Deutsche Welle, ‘Vast underground networks of fungi enable the transfer of nutrients between plants’.
Beyond Coffee, mushrooms grown on used coffee grounds.

We’re happy to see so many people perusing our studio bookshelves @Tate Modern - stocked with selected publications that...
28/12/2019

We’re happy to see so many people perusing our studio bookshelves @Tate Modern - stocked with selected publications that inspire Olafur and the team’s work, and that we’ve featured on The Expanded Studio idea wall. There’s still time to check out our favorite books and catch Olafur’s exhibition In real life, running through 5 January.

28/12/2019
The Next Million

Dear friends of Little Sun,

We started Little Sun back in 2012 to deliver a safe, healthy and affordable light source to the people who need it the most, as well as to raise awareness about the unequal distribution of energy. Today, seven years later, we are incredibly happy to celebrate with you all the distribution of a total of 1,100,941 Little Sun solar lights!

This is a huge achievement, not only for communities living without electricity, but for everyone fighting for an end to the fossil fuel era, global climate justice and a better future for us and our planet.

We are sending a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped us reach this major milestone. Because of you, we have provided 659,554,119 hours of clean solar light, reaching 2,826,661 people living without electricity worldwide. We have replaced the equivalent of 628,147 kerosene lamps in Sub-Saharan Africa. A total of $130,654,530 have been saved by families on their energy expenditure. Through our Solar Schools Program alone, 36,078 children have benefited from a clean study light and increased their chances for better education.

To celebrate the one millionth lamp distributed by Little Sun, we will be launching a donor community in early 2020 with the aim of bringing the next million lamps to off-grid communities all around the globe. You can be the first to join! Go to http://eepurl.com/gNcEYX and find out more.

Enjoy our special Year in Pictures at https://littlesun.com/2019inpictures! We are looking forward to continuing to spread solar energy around the world with you.

Yours,
Olafur and Frederik
Founders of Little Sun

Image: ‘Your uncertain shadow (colour)’, 2010
#ConnectedByTheSun #1millionlights

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Quizás mi comentario jamás llegue a usted. Me encantó su capítulo en Abstract de Netflix y se ha convertido en uno de mis arquitectos favoritos. Si alguna vez lleva obras a Venezuela, espero ver su proyecto.
#World as you have never seen it before | El #Mundo como nunca antes lo habías visto | https://www.instagram.com/sos_firearm_injuries/ ‪| #Worldwide | #Photographer | #Fotógrafo | #Creative | #Creativo | #Artist | #Artista | #JFK
It's GREAT !!!
Dear Mr Eliasson, My name is Imanol Gómez Martín. I teach Philosophy and I´m a writer too. Now I´m writing a book on the sculptor Malcolm Poynter and have some translations on English poets. Casually we share pages in the same magazine: El Cultural 26/07/19. My translation on Robert Nye´s poems is on page 17, and a wonderful article about "In real time" on pages 22-23. I´m working with an Erasmus + school project with this slogan: "Make water great again" with schools from Turkey, Denmark, Italy, Romania and my own country: Spain. Last November we went to Denmark and I saw your "Cirkelbroen" . It was fantastic. Now in the didactic unit Philosophy and esthetic I´m going to study with my students your work related to climate change, and that was the "motiv" of these words. I know that next week your work "In the real life" will be on display at the Gugenheim Museum Bilbao. I´m from a town next to Bilbao called Portugalete but I live in Santander. I´ll visit the exhibition with my students next month but I´d like to be there on the opening day and talk with you (I guess that is not possible). Thanks for bringing your philosophical and inspirational work to Bilbao. Best wishes, Imanol Gómez Martín.
"Symbiotic Seeing"... I carried out this installation project in 2015 called "ATMOS", at the ISDAT school in Toulouse in France with less means than those of Studio Olafur Eliasson ... However it is the same thing, the public was able observe a vault of clouds evolving above him. Ladders also made it possible to cross the light rays to reverse the point of view. https://www.adriendegioanni.com/atmos
Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm truly inspired by your work. I'm an emerging artist who's work has been primarily in commercial graphic design and I'm finally taking the leap from 2d print and web to real world space through the use of light, shape, material and color. I can only hope that one day I'm able to help change the world for the better as you have started doing in your work.
Schöner zeitgeistiger Müll
Your episode on #Abstract was very interesting. Consider: Some of us, when museums over verbalize art and artists consider the fact it is they who do not understand and are stupid, not us. While real artist may articulate what they have created, the creation says it better than words. Creation is primary, over-talking it, unnecessary .😉
You are maising