tropisme

Index



Fios Via

A series of 21 2D and 3D paintings that form the visual basis of an audiovisual of 21 minutes. Bob's so called first 4D painting. Music composition Cris Heyens and Bob van Walderveen. Additional artwork and animation Robin Noorda. The project is in restoration.


Durum Numeris

Audio installation - Alfred Marseille and Jan Baeke


Arbor Orbis

Photo collage, dibond acrylic - Alfred Marseille

A series of images of trees, in which the viewpoint of the spectator has disappeared.


Formica Russus Socius

Short film and film stills on dibond - Bethany de Forest, Robin Noorda, Phantom Frank

Part of Flora Cinema. A stop-motion animation film presenting the metaphor of the flexibility of plants versus the culture of greed.


Flora Sonora

Video demonstration of a flora-audio installation - Robin Noorda

Part of Flora Cinema. The plants' reactions to touch are made audible with the aid of an EEG device.


Flora Magica

Body-paint dance film - Susanne Ohmann, Robin Noorda, Rosel Grassmann, assisted by Erik Schut, Margot van de Stolpe.


Vita Adspectus

Short animation film - Lars Gorissen


Ferro Ornatus

19th century photography - Karl Blossfeldt

Ferro Ornatus or 'Blossfeldt Revisited' consists of a series of deterministic macro-photographs of plants, taken between 1880 and 1932.


Flora Tesla

Kirlian Electrofotogrammen, dibond acrylic - Robin Noorda

Dead or living objects display a kind of halo within a high-frequency electromagnetic field.


Camera Obscura

Pinhole photography, dibond acrylic - Bethany de Forest

Fantasy worlds where plants and insects play the lead, and where everyday objects are presented outside their usual context.


Panorama Circa

Hyperbolic panorama photography, dibond acrylic - Robin Noorda

A hyperbolic panorama is a method for projecting the perception of the convex insect's eye onto a flat surface.


Tego Texi Tectum

Photo collage graphics - Margot van de Stolpe

Collages of photographed plant parts, combined into an associative symmetry.


Structurae Forma

Photo collage graphics - Margot van de Stolpe

The interaction between fractal structures in a natural environment forms the underlying principle for the series 'In between Leafs'.


Herba Cubus Caterva

Photography and illusion, dibond acrylic - Margot van de Stolpe

Herba Cubus Caterva or 'Flocking Shapescapes' are swarming form formations.


Trans Planta

Colored x-ray photograms, dibond acrylic - Arie van 't Riet

Staged still lives of plants and animals in positive X-ray images.


Fungi Dia

Photographic mold, dibond - Robin Noorda

A series of unintentionally moulded slides, which, with tropism present in the emulsion, is the most autonomous art perception in the exhibition.


Micro Ars Ravus

Black white SEM photography, dibond - Frans Holthuysen

Purist compositions of the plant world's micro architecture, such as diatoms and pollen.


Micro Cryo Color

Colour SEM photography, dibond - Adriaan van Aelst, pseudo colour Robin Noorda

Electron microscopy of plant preparations in 'cryo' conditions, i.e. temperatures below -180°C


Infra Russus

Infrared photography, dibond acrylic - Robin Noorda

In infrared photography, the naked plant is shown, the plant unadorned, as insects and birds see more in the ultraviolet spectrum.


Insecta Spectra

Short video - Dr Klaus Schmitt & Robin Noorda

Insect color perception of flowers in ultraviolet.


Dia Herbaria

Direct-prints of plant parts in slide frames - Els van der Monde






Introduction

Tropisms 12 - Photosynthesis,
Shedding new light on plants, Tribute, Plant perceptions,
Photographs, graphics, films and media-art,
Presentation concept, Collaboration, Targets, Contact


Tropisms 12 - Photosynthesis


Tropisms are projects created by art movement Tropism. Photosynthesis is the travelling exhibition that wants to shed a new light on plants. This is the complete catalogue for botanical gardens curators and for galleries that are interested in botany-related art.

Shedding new light on plants


The world of plants as we have never seen it before. That is the essence of this exhibition. Artists belonging to art movement Tropism have been photographing the world of plants, using unusual, often scientific, visualisation techniques. The use of infrared, x-ray, pinhole and electron microscopy give the images a surrealistic and magical touch. The results are unique artistic visualisations that offer a surprising and spectacularly different view of plants.

Tribute


The travelling exhibition kicks off on May 10th 2013 in Amsterdam, in the Hortus Botanicus' 100-year old Palm Greenhouse. At the time the greenhouse was built, its director was prof. dr. Hugo de Vries. His microscopic studies revolutionized our knowledge of the plant world. The array of visualisation techniques used in this exhibition is therefore a fitting tribute to the work of this pioneer.

Tropism


The dictionary definition of tropism is: 'the ability of an organism to direct itself towards a stimulus'. The most common example of tropism is a plant growing in the direction of the light. As an art movement Tropism wants to heighten people's perceptions by making use of certain stimuli.

All artists involved in this exhibition are members of art movement Tropism and call themselves Tropists. They want to capture the world around them in a way that both engages and surprises the spectator, who is ultimately sent barking up the wrong tree, having got up on the wrong side of the bed in the first place.

Tropism wants to move, mobilise and lead the spectator towards participation in, and interaction with, the perception that is being presented. In particular those elements that appear in the periphery of perception are the main ingredients of Tropism. The Tropists feel a great affinity with the plant world and all of their works are related to plants, botanical gardens, or flora, in every way imaginable.

Plant Perceptions


The exhibition wants to shed light on plants, using a broad array of (plant-related) perceptions. An example of this is the actual perception of a plant in the 'Flora Sonora' installation, in which the reactions of plants that are being touched are translated into audio. Another example of the twenty or so perceptions is the infrared photography series 'Infra Russus' that shows plants without 'make up'. 'Naked plants', as many insects and birds see them, in the ultra violet spectrum, and plants do dress up in seductive colours in that spectrum. The hyperbolic panorama is a projection of the 360° vision of an insect, and the pinhole photography lets you experience the plant world from the viewpoint and size of an insect.

Photographs, graphics, films and media-art


The exhibition is an initiative of media-artist Robin Noorda. He will be showing infrared photography, electrophotograms, hyperbolic panorama's and experimental films.

Bethany de Forest has created magical surrealistic plantscapes using pinhole-photography, a camera obscura technique. Arie van 't Riet has used x-ray for his biorama's. Margot van de Stolpe has created graphics based on patterns and structures found in plants.

In a series of photographs, fellow-artist, designer and composer Alfred Marseille has combined the many perspectives of a single tree into one image. He is also responsible for the musical compositions that are part of the exhibition. Adriaan van Aelst and Frans Holthuysen will be showing the fascinating micro world of the plant kingdom by means of electron microscopy.

Also on show at the exhibition are several intriguing film productions, such as 'Red-end and the Seemingly Symbiotic Society', the short animation film by Noorda and De Forest, that has won many international film awards.

A film project by Susanne Ohmann combines time-lapse techniques with choreography and body paint. It shows a Hortus visitor who slowly transforms into a forest nymph. Noorda will also be showing an installation with a singing plant that can be touched.

The Karl Blossfeldt Archive has given its special permission to include this remarkable pioneering photographer's architectonic photographs of plants, published in 'Urformen der Kunst' (Archetypes of art, 1929). A source of inspiration for many Tropists.

All the works in this catalogue are a selection of those available. More works and new perceptions are still being created with great enthusiasm and without any funding.

Presentation concept


The exhibition consists of a hundred works, the majority of which have been especially created for this occasion. The presentation of the works aims to optimise a 'wow'-experience for the visitors. The spectacular images raise the question: 'what do we really see?' Explanatory texts inform the visitor on subject and technique, and on the vision of the artist. All works are realized in botanical gardens or emerged by the inspiration of plants.
The works are also for sale as limited edition dibond-acrilycs.

A singing plant concert will be performed during the opening of the exhibition, and on various (scheduled) Saturday evenings. Musicians will play the plants by touch. This concert is also bookable as a separate event.

Collaboration


Tropism is a cooperation of fourteen artists. In realising this exhibition, the Tropism movement has worked together with the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Dutch art academy ArtEZ, and the University of Wageningen, department of WEMC (Wageningen Electron Microscopy Center), thus creating interaction between the disciplines of art, science, botany, architecture, history, media, music, dance, theatre and film.

Targets


*   To show visitors of the various botanical gardens the mysterious world of plants and present them with a surprising and artistic array of plant perceptions.

*   To enrich the botanical gardens visitors experience and to create awareness of the beauty, relevance, significance and vulnerability of plants.

*   To let botanical gardens visitors enjoy the special photographic artworks realised with stunning visualisation techniques.

*   To generate new target groups for botanical gardens, such as art enthusiasts.

    Target groups:

-   regular visitors of botanical gardens
-   young people
-   nature lovers
-   art gallery visitors
-   art and photography enthusiasts
-   experts on botany and nature
-   science and technology enthusiasts
-   locals
-   tourists

The strategy of this project is not only to cover the costs, but also to establish a broad platform of public interest. In addition to funding from several Dutch art funds, corporate funding and participation, the revenues of gallery sales contribute to the project as well. We also make use of crowd funding, which serves as a PR tool as well. The artists involved, some ten associated companies, an art academy and a university are also investing in the project.


Contact


If you are interested in this travelling plant-oriented art collection for your venue, gallery or botanical garden, please contact the curator:
Robin Noorda telephone: +31 6 53228858 email: perceptions(at)morphosis.nl



  "TROPISMS 12 - PHOTOSYNTHESIS" THE CATALOGUE





Works



Fios Via

A series of 21 2D and 3D paintings that form the visual basis of an audiovisual of 21 minutes. Bob's so called first 4D painting. Music composition Cris Heyens and Bob van Walderveen. Additional artwork and animation Robin Noorda. The project is in restoration.



Durum Numeris

Audio installation - Alfred Marseille and Jan Baeke

Solid Data is a literary project by Alfred Marseille and poet Jan Baeke, about the famous collector and classification expert Bob Tagge. After his mysterious disappearance he quickly fell into oblivion, but now his traces can be followed on the Dutch language website hardecijfers.net.

The audio installation Durum Numeris was developed for the Tropism exhibition in the Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus. In the Palm house next to the Cycad vitrine one can listen to diary entries and memories of Bob Tagge, and parts of his extensive audio archives are on display: prime numbers, shipping forecasts, coded radio transmissions, catalogued film music, the number pi, instructions for post office inspectors, hints for the eradication of plant diseases and harmful weeds.

As Public Thought, Jan Baeke and Alfred Marseille create since 2006 cinépoèmes, data poems, moving shorts and practice the art of speculative analysis. Their work counts among the most prolific digital poetry in the Netherlands.

Harde Cijfers (Solid Data) was made possible by a grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

A radio play broadcasted in 2012, length 1 hour



Arbor Orbis

Photo collage, dibond acrylic - Alfred Marseille

Alfred Marseille shows a series of images of trees, in which the viewpoint of the spectator has disappeared. In a labour intensive process, he puts a large number of images of the same tree on top of each other and combines them into one image. The viewer's perspective and the surroundings become diffuse, while the stature of the tree remains.



Formica Russus Socius

Short film and film stills on dibond - Bethany de Forest, Robin Noorda, Phantom Frank

Formica Russus Socius or 'Red-end and the Seemingly Symbiotic Society', a 9.30 minute stop-motion animation film presents the metaphor of the flexibility of plants versus the culture of greed. In a freezing marl cave, ants collect sugar cubes to build a palace. This appears to be a greenhouse for maggots, which turn into bizarre, marching gluttons. The ant Red-end is different and performs an experiment.

The film has won many international awards and was nominated for a Gouden Kalf at the Dutch Film Festival in 2010.



Flora Sonora

Video demonstration of a flora-audio installation - Robin Noorda

Flora Sonora or 'the singing plant project' is one of the first Tropistic projects (1982-1986), and has returned now by popular request. The plants reactions to touch are made audible with the aid of an EEG device and a modular synthesizer.

While the plant is in a state of rest there will be a friendly rippling sound. After watering the plant the sound will become higher pitched. Stroking a leaf will provoke a cooing sound. Pulling a leaf creates a panicky sound. And tearing off a leaf...?

Flora Sonora performance

Video by Erik Schut

'Flora Sonora or the singing plant, or rather the whining shrub' is a performance by Susanne Ohmann based on the installation by Robin Noorda. This performance was created specially for the Amsterdam museum night 2012 as part of the Tropism Art program.








Flora Magica

Body-paint dance film Susanne Ohmann, Robin Noorda, Rosel Grassmann, assisted by Erik Schut, Margot van de Stolpe.

A Hortus visitor falls asleep on a bench. After closing time she wakes up. The woman gradually changes in colour and texture until she, camouflaged as a forest nymph, is completely assimilated by the greenery, and is only visible when she moves. In making this film, stop-motion animation and body paint techniques have been used.



Vita Adspectus

Short animation film - Lars Gorissen

Vita Adspectus or 'Living Landscape' is an animated, 'vegetable' choreography by guest-Tropist Lars Gorissen, consisting of rampant fingers, hands and arms. Originally meant as a 'loop' it depicts the endless cycle in the plant world of day and night, the seasons, and the living landscape, in one handy short film.



Ferro Ornatus

19th century photography - Karl Blossfeldt

Karl Blossfeldt (1865 - 1932) was originally a sculptor, but became famous through his systematic collection of plant photographs, made with a self-built camera. He was convinced that a plant was both art and architecture. In 1928 he published 'Archetypes of Art'. By using hard 'orthographic' film material he made his plants remind us of cast iron Art Deco and Jugendstil ornaments. From 'Urformen der Kunst', 1928, Facsimile 2003, courtesy Stiftung Ann en Jürgen Wilde / Pinakothek der Moderne, München.



Flora Tesla

Kirlian Electrofotogrammen, dibond acrylic - Robin Noorda

Around 1986, while doing his research for the plant project, Robin Noorda became fascinated by the Kirlian electro photogram technique. Some call it aura photography, but actually the photosensitive material is exposed to tiny electrical discharges. Devotees of esoteric matters claim the red glow signifies emotion. There are, in any case, certain areas where the small streams, for some unknown reason, choose the path of the red-sensitive emulsion. In the oldest work, the triptych of fingerprints and begonia leaves on a roll film, the rare 'phantom leaf' effect can be seen. The tip of the last leaf had been cut off (at film edge number 1), but its faint echo remains visible.



Camera Obscura

Pinhole photography, dibond acrylic - Bethany de Forest

Bethany de Forest creates fantasy worlds with plants and insects in the leading role, whereby everyday objects are presented out of context inside a mirror-walled model, thus acquiring a totally different meaning. Using a pinhole camera (camera obscura, a camera without a lens) she photographs surrealistic landscapes from the viewpoint of insects, with life-size plants, and with infinite depth of field. For this exhibition Bethany has built a model of the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam's palm greenhouse, full of life-size carnivorous pitcher plants.



Panorama Circa

Hyperbolic panorama photography, dibond acrylic - Robin Noorda

A hyperbolic image is a projected form, in which a 360° panorama is projected onto a flat surface. This can result either in a convex or a concave world. It simulates the visual perception of an insect with its bulging compound eyes, that provide almost 360° vision, limited only by the blind spot caused by the insect's own body.



Tego Texi Tectum

Photo collage graphics - Margot van de Stolpe

From the 'Shields' series, collages of photographed plant parts, combined into a spectacular, new and strangely associative symmetry. 'Surprisingly green objects in which to take shelter and find peace amid the urban bustle.'



Structurae Forma

Photo collage graphics - Margot van de Stolpe

'Patterns are the foundation, the direction, the informative code, through which all living things take shape. Patterns ensure an organism's growth by repeating fixed basic form such as fractals.

Patterns derived from nature, form the underlying structure. And it is exactly this structure that is under pressure and that is kneaded and shaped into a new reality with a, sometimes, surrealistic stratification.

The patterns then lose their predictability, and will start to behave in an entirely new and unique way, as if they are somehow forced to behave in an eccentric way, to grow, to move, to take themselves less seriously and maybe to expose themselves in a promiscuous manner'.

For Margot van de Stolpe Tropism is a philosophy that prefers to deviate from the predictable and that reacts against patterns that are endlessly repeating themselves. Renewal, transformation, changing perceptions, and a world upside down, are the ultimate goals in her work.



Herba Cubus Caterva

Photography and illusion, dibond acrylic - Margot van de Stolpe

Swarms of insects in apparently random formations, leaves and seeds and the synchronous choreography of swarming birds, and schools of fish, were the inspiration for a series of illusionary photographs of landscapes with swarming grass cubes. Other form formations on show are moss balls, branch tetrahedra, and fern surfaces.



Trans Planta

Colored x-ray photograms, dibond acrylic - Arie van 't Riet

Arie van 't Riet presents a couple of works showing the nature around him, works which he created using x-ray. In his job, in which he uses x-ray for medical purposes, he became fascinated by the possibilities of the medium. So very different from light, for which we have a refined sense. We are able to see light images because the object reflects light back to our eye.

X-ray is quite different. X-ray penetrates the object. The image is formed behind the object, as a kind of shadow. What do our surroundings look like, seen through x-ray glasses? That is what Van 't Riet tries to present.

The silver bromide x-ray film which provides a black and white negative image, was digitised and reversed to a positive image, after which colour was added manually to certain areas of the image.



Fungi Dia

Photographic mold, dibond - Robin Noorda

Tens of thousands of slides dating back to Robin Noorda's childhood had been blighted by mould. This is unintentional tropism in its most natural and elementary form, affecting the essence of the photographic image by eliminating the emulsion. And in addition to this, new elements were created in the process.

Those 'literal' spores of the fungus apparently responded to visual elements, as can be seen in the ring of mould around the sun. The liquefaction of air that flows across the meadow, gives rise to creationist musings.

The slides add a disturbing dimension to tropism, where fungi even react to light that has been captured on film.



Micro Ars Ravus

Black white SEM photography, dibond - Frans Holthuysen

Frans Holthuysen, whose very artistic SEM (scanning electron microscopy) photographs of pollen and diatoms were on show in MoMA, New York, in 2008, is a purist who only works in black and white. Original SEM photographs are never in colour. His credo is: 'making the invisible visible'. Especially for this exhibition, he created SEM pictures of palm pollen from the Hortus and diatoms (unicellular algae). Frans uses his employer's electron microscope, and therefore cannot generate additional income from his work. The proceeds from his photographs will go to the Kika Fund (to help combat childhood cancer). Robin Noorda compiled a couple of series from the extensive collection.



Micro Cryo Color

Colour SEM photography, dibond - Adriaan van Aelst, pseudo colour Robin Noorda

Adriaan van Aelst working at Wageningen University, as head of the WEMC department (Wageningen Electron Microscopy Center) has been taking photographs of a large collection of plant preparations in 'cryo' conditions, i.e. temperatures below -180°C, using an electron microscope. Plants and plant parts are very rich in water and owe their form mainly to the presence of water. With the aid of the 'cryo' technique, the preparations are able to retain their natural form, even on a nanometre scale. Van Aelst has selected a number of attractive plant structures, which were subsequently coloured by Robin Noorda.



Infra Russus

Infrared photography, dibond acrylic - Robin Noorda

In the so-called 'near infrared spectrum' leaves, plants and grass colour blue to white, as if there were frost on the branches and leaves. The detail in the shadows remains much more visible. The blue sky gets a deep burgundy red colour. All this creates an extraordinary contrast range.

Insects are not able to see red, and, just like birds, are able to see more clearly in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. Plants use this ultraviolet part to achieve even brighter colours with which to attract insects for pollination, and to alert birds to fruit, berries and seeds. What we see in infrared is actually the plant in a pure way, without the colours that are designed to lure animals. The unadorned plant, stripped of make-up, the shamelessly naked plant, as it were.

But perhaps it is also the perception of an alien creature that views our blue-green planet as, respectively, a red and light blue fairytale landscape. Or conversely, it may resemble a once lush landscape on Mars, with dark red skies and alien, icy blue vegetation.



Insecta Spectra

Short video - Dr Klaus Schmitt & Robin Noorda

Simulated Butterfly and Bee vision.

The way insects see the colorful world of flowers differs from our perception. Human vision is based on the colors red, green, and blue. Insects however, can also see in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the spectrum. Plants make use of this phenomenon by advertising secret messages to those who can see in UV. These can be messages of how to spot the nectar, where the pollen is, or landing strips on how to approach the flower. And so, during millions of years, a mutual beneficial relationship evolved: honey for being pollinated.


Dia Herbaria

Direct-prints of plant parts in slide frames - Els van der Monde

Els van der Monde collects transparent parts of flowers, plants and seeds and frames them between the glass of a slide. These slides are printed directly, thus creating a projected photogram without the use of a camera. The enlargement shows structures, veins and cells that gained deep warm and saturated colours that evoke a feeling of tenderness. As a spectator, you will become bewildered by the force that nature reveals as a source of inspiration, and the lush design that is so typical of procreation.