Studio Swine launches living and breathing scientific sculpture at Eden Project
In the heart of Cornwall at the Grimshaw Architects-designed Eden Project, the London-based multi-disciplinary creative duo Studio Swine – made up of Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami – opens a new permanent installation on 25 May. ∞ Blue (Infinity Blue) is an 8.5m high ceramic sculpture containing 32 vortex cannons, programmed to exhale synchronised scented fog rings, inspired by the earth’s prehistoric atmosphere from five billion years ago to the modern age.
As part of a new permanent exhibition, ‘Invisible Worlds’, set within the Core educational building, the sculpture, which weighs in at 20 tonnes, is the result of the studio’s research into cyanobacteria, a photosynthetic bacteria identified as one of the first and smallest organisms on the planet to produce oxygen. The work becomes the living (and breathing) embodiment of that complex scientific thought.
‘We’re particularly interested in the typology of fountains, something we explored in our Cos installation New Spring at last year’s Salone del Mobile,’ says Murakami. ‘Especially how fountains celebrated the life-giving nature of water and the sculptural depiction of Roman gods and mythical sea creatures.’ Groves continues, ‘We were really interested in cyanobacteria, tiny ocean organisms that are invisible to the naked eye, but account for the largest biomass on our planet and creating 70 per cent of our earth’s atmosphere. Our piece Infinity Blue is a fountain for the atmosphere using fog instead of water to celebrate the air we breath.’
The steel-framed installation’s surface is clad in oxide glazed, deep blue clay ceramic tiles, its texture created from an algorithm inspired by reaction-diffusion systems found in creatures, such as zebras and coral. For the vapour rings, Paris-based fragrance and flavour specialist Givaudan has created a bespoke scent.
A signature component of a Studio Swine project is an accompanying film, which for this work has been co-directed by the studio and filmmaker Petr Krejčí. The film focuses on Murakami and Groves’ research in the sea close to the Cornish coast and will be released in June.
∞ Blue is commissioned by Future\Pace, a partnership between Pace Gallery and cultural placemaking agency Futurecity, which delivers multidisciplinary artistic projects in the urban landscape. For more information, visit the Eden Project website, the Studio Swine website and the Future\Pace website
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