On campus of the Technical University of Eindhoven, TU/e (NL) the art project SOH19 States of Nature is being realised.

A group of physicist students have developed a special technique to convert solar energy into a magnetic field, enabling objects to be moved vertically upwards and downwards. They have invited Alex Vermeulen to create a work of art incorporating this technique. In the period from 2001 to 2006, the artist and the students are combining efforts to develop this project, which will be revealed during the10th anniversary celebration of the University mid 2006

Eighty-eight sun cells, mounted on egg shaped floats, drift on a pond of eighteen hundred square meters. They generate the electrical energy which is converted into a magnetic field. In the middle of the pond a transparent cylinder is situated, containing a large anthropomorphic egg shaped figure which can move freely on a reel. The magnetic field surrounding the reel lifts the egg figure up. During optimal light conditions, such as under clear skies, the electrical current will increase, pushing the figure up through the magnetic field. In cloudy conditions its position will be noticably lower. At night the figure will disappear under the water level altogether. The eighty-eight objects playfully interact with the elements. They catch light and transform it into currents, spurred on across the water by the wind.

The sharing of knowledge and experience has taught us empirically how to beneficially exploit and master the elements. In this light the sculpture can be seen as a metaphor for cooperation leading to a coming together of energies; and ultimately to where science and the arts dynamically meet. With united efforts the central egg figure, the human kind is lifted to a higher level.

SOH19 States of Nature
A sculpture that works on solar cells
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
April 2006

opening 12 september 2006