A Real Spectacle

A Real Spectacle

 

All kinds of changes are happening in our world today: molecular nanotechnology is rapidly evolving, our climate is drifting and artificial intelligence is probably going to take over the world.

Most people feel small and powerless to all these big events. Do we have any influence or are we just spectators?

I used the concept of a sinking cruise ship as a metaphor for our society as a whole.

This artwork is partially based on the work of Étienne-Louis Boullée, the visionary French architect from the 18th century. He designed a gigantic 150 meter tall monument to celebrate the work of Isaac Newton, who 50 years after his death became a symbol of Enlightenment ideas. The monument has never been built, but it represented the new wind of rationalism and science that was blowing in society in the 18th Century.

The monument of Boullée is a mirror of the changes that were going on in the 18th century. I was wondering how can I could design a monument that is a reflection of the changes in our time.

 

Above: entrance of the monument

Cenotaph 1 – Form Follows Fiction

pieter leon vermeersch project cenotaph 1

This artwork is inspired by the work of Etienne-Louis Boullée, the French architect and theorist from the 18th Century. One of his best known works is his design for a gigantic monument for Isaac Newton. The building has never been built, but the concept is very interesting: it is a place where people can almost physically experience the construction of the universe. Boullée pays homage to the rationality and enlightenment of the 18th Century. He sees knowledge as a form of divinity.

etienne louis boullee cenotaph isaac newton 001

Cenotaph for Sir Isaac Newton by Etienne-Louis Boullée

Some of the greatest evolutions of our time are artificial intelligence, 3D (nano)printing and the new virtual and augmented realities. All these evolutions have the capacity to shake our society to its core.

If a monument would bare the changes of our times, what would it look like? My work tries to give a glimpse on how the line between fact and fiction may disappear in the future.

The image underneath shows a part of the creative process.

 

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