Multidisciplinary Studio DRIFT collaborates with one of the oldest Operas still performed to this day, L'orfeo in order to design a special instrument that mimics the stillness, downfall, and fluidness of humans expressing a wider range of human emotions.
The idea began when In 2018, Opera director Monique Wagemakers initiated the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk (all-embracing form of art) for L’Orfeo (1607) by Claudio Monteverdi. And thus it came that contemporary artist Lonneke Gordijn collaborated with the director Wagemakers and choreographer Nanine Linning on a new concept, wherein a transforming sculpture performing as a soloist.
Making of EGO
According to the studio, "EGO is a block handwoven from 16km of reflective Japanese fluorocarbon, which represents the rigidness of our human systems and its nuances. Ego has the faculty to express stillness, downfall, and fluidness of humans; thanks to motors attached to the eight corners of the block, allowing the block to appear both in a rigid or loose state. This transforming installation can then portray a much wider range of emotions."
In order to weave a block of such size, the studio developed its own weaving loom. As the block performs completely in sync with the dancers and singers, it is directed via algorithms and software by a puppeteer. With its continuously changing shape and state, it rightly portrays the shifting perspectives of the protagonist.
Artist Lonneke Gordijn explains the idea, “Absence of fluidity is one of the most striking differences between man-made objects and natural ones.” While in the natural environment, objects can take any form without any limit, human creations get a more limited range of variation. Squares, the ultimate embodiment of mankind, with their rigid lines, angles and static state, are everywhere. Books, houses, bricks are exemplifications of humans’ need to control, calculate, divide the space they have at disposal. The outcomes of many months of research and experimentations led to the creation of EGO."
About Studio Drift
Studio Drift is an Amsterdam-based artist duo founded by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn in 2007. It specializes in choreographed sculptures and kinetic installations, with the focus to re-establish the connection between humans and earth.