First and foremost artistic research on the Zandmotor
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Satellietgroep (The Hague, 2006) explores through arts the social and ecological impact of the sea and coastal transitions on people, communities and environments in The Netherlands and abroad. And vice versa, the impact of mankind on teh sea, coastal transitions and climate change.
EXPEDITIES ZANDMOTOR - EXPEDITIONS ZANDMOTOR
Building on the experiences of 5 years Badgast - artist in residence at urban surf community F.A.S.T. and the international exchange projects called 'Now Wakes The Sea', starting september 2014 Satellietgroep extends the area for artistic coastal research to the Sand Engine (Zandmotor) south of The Hague in collaboration with Villa Ockenburgh and Nida Art Colony in Lithuania.
Artistic research of the Zandmotor as cultural phenomenon
Satellietgroep redefined the Zandmotor - as building with nature - as the largest contemporary cultural statement of the anthropocene era we now live in. It is a time machine that transports us from holocene (affected by nature) into anthropocene (affected by mankind). This newest innovation is built with sand from the bottom of North Sea which also brought ashore mammoth fossils. The Zandmotor is called building with nature, as we more or less invite the sea as a partner to help shape coastal protection by putting huge amounts of sand on the foreshore. The result is a dynamic extension of the coast, a new controlled wilderness that slowly transforms into a spit and lagoon – similar to the Curonian Spit and Lagoon at Nida in Lithuania where out international cultural partner is based. But the Zandmotor is built to dissolve around 2031.
Awareness rises that the antropocene era we now live in may provide no escape for nature and thus for mankind. Ecosystems have no boundaries. We need to engage with global issues in order to survive. But how do we make these abstract and large topics relevant and actual in our daily living environment? In the Netherlands this means being faced with global prospects of rising sealevels, shrinking lands, disbalance of salt and sweet water, rivers too full of low, a country – mostly below sea level - we need to re-invent coexistence of man and water, develop new insights both on ecology as on technology in order to realize a healthy, sustainable and safe future. The great flood of the southern parts of The Netherlands in 1953 instigated sixty years of Delta Works with dikes and dams - now called building against nature - have recently been completed. As a result of building dikes extra pressure was put on the coast, resulting in a disbalance of salt and sweet water. The Dutch recently made a complete turn around in the way that we now invite the sea as a partner to help shape the coastal protection with the sands we put in front of the shores.
This phenomenon is called Zandmotor - building with nature - rather than building against nature. This shift from holocene era – in which nature was the force that affected changes – to the anthropocene era – in which mankind affects and even directs nature – is a tremendous conceptual shift. The Zandmotor is a time machine that transports us from the holocene (affected by nature) The transitions of the Sand Engine are carefully monitored by scientists and engineers.
Satellietgroep adds the first and foremost artistic researches and invites artists as 'alchemists' to develop artistic research on site, engage with local experiences and scientific knowledge and present their explorations during public expeditions on the Sand Engine.
With special thanks to Stroom, Stichting DOEN, the municipality of The Hague and our partners at Provincie Zuid-Holland, Rijkswaterstaat, TU Delft, STW-NatureCoast, ArtScience Interfaculty and many more!
Images Zandmotor, source: RWS.
VILLA OCKENBURGH 2014-2015
Satellietgroep is proud that the first residents will be hosted at Villa Ockenburgh on walking distance from the Sand Engine. Villa Ockenburgh is an old country house located at the very edge of The Hague near the dunes and sea. It houses thirteen studios and a project space and is the base of operation for artists initiative Location Z, which is founded on the idea that it’s meaningful to bring highly distinctive vocabularies (contemporary art, music, science) together in the same space. The program, the studios and the project space together form an infrastructure for experimentation, confrontation, and reflection.
Locatie Z // http://locatiez.net // The Hague.
NIDA ART COLONY LITHUANIA
LInk to more about the long term collaboration with Nida Art Colony, based on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania
Link to artical 'Liminal imaging of Nature'
EXPEDITION ERIDANOS - travelling through the anthropocene
During 'Expedition Eridanos' philosopher Bram Esser and designer Francois Lombarts are travelling from the Zandmotor in The Netherlands to the Curonian Spit in Lithuania. Their aim is to find the 'making' of The Netherlands by discovering and retracing the geological sand to the origins in the northern Baltic Sea by following the mythological river 'Eridanos' on foot along the current coastlines.
Left: Hemels Gewlf - Celestial Vault by James Turrell; right: Zandmotor.
Connecting the North Sea with the Baltic Sea.
Since the Zandmotor Conference in spring 2014, the Zandmotor is due to its dynamics now called a spit with lagoon.