Ref: FLUVIAL STORM BY NED KAHN STUDIOS

This is a large rotating glass bessel is filled with water and sands. When rotate the glass ball, the swirling water sculpts the sand into an amamzing pattern of underwater dune and an unexpected hurricane (like cloud) generate.

From studios’ description of this work, “My artworks frequently incorporate flowing water, fog, sand and light to create complex and continually changing systems. Many of these works can be seen as “observatories” in that they frame and enhance our perception of natural phenomena. I am intrigued with the way patterns can emerge when things flow. These patterns are not static objects, they are patterns of behavior – recurring themes in nature.”

There is a common point with other projects like The Weather Project, Rain Room, etc: natural phenomenon are replicated in a reachable way that audience can get cloese to and experience them, and they no more far away from us. Also, the form of natural phenomenon are all in aesthentics, maybe because of the original phenomenon are astonished as well. Beauty is vital for the notion of sublime.

Ref: The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson

The Weather Project created an immersive space for people to enjoy the sunshine which is powerful and impressing. From the perspective of form, Olafur chose the sun as a medium to convey his concept through this project. When people stepped into the space, it likes that you are entering a new age / world, which is totally different with the weather outside. Sunset definitely is a beautiful and romantic moment that people can enjoy it and thus no more concerns about the ending time. However, behind the stage, the concept what Olafur wants to express to the public is how important weather is in people’s daily life.

“The weather acts as ‘nature’ in the urban context, for, even though it is possible to control the climate inside buildings, it remains out of human control and can never be forecast with certainty.”

In another words, the society where we live is lived for weather forecast by analyzing yesterday’s weather and them tomorrow’s possibilities. Thus, the concept of “now” is expanded in this project. And a public space for mediating weather and environment created.

It was not the goal of the project that imposes the notion of sublime to its viewers, but to explore through the engagement and immersive experience, to consider how weather influences human being’s culture, society and also self-awareness. Therefore, to some extent, the perception of the sublime is changed and still works.

The Technological Sublime (Second Version Proposal Feedback )

The second version proposal is related to Marxism. Based on the book Marx’s Theory of Human Nature Concept with the combination of ecological environment crisis at the present, to think about how to deal with the relationship between human beings and the nature both socially (social influence) and objectively (the existing problems).

However, the suggestion from the tutor is that Marxist would be complicated as a main study subject. “The technological sublime” (by Mario Costa) could be considered.

So, what is the technological sublime?

According to Mario Costa, the notion of the sublime (beauty and emotion) should be replaced by the epochal novelty of technologies and its production such as new medium and computers. He believes that the new technology is creating a new meaning of sublime called the “technological sublime”. As Jos De Mul says, “Human beings are less and less willing to be controlled by nature. Instead, they take technological command of nature”. At the present, the computer becomes to the dominant tool in human being’s daily life, almost everthing is going to a giant database. People are experiencing the power and  feeling the unlimited possibilites from technologies everyday. To some extent, the technology becomes a driving force for social advance in post modern age.