Simon Heijdens’ artistic career is built on a paradox. He uses technology to bring us closer to nature.
The 36-year-old Dutchman’s works are like systems. The inputs are often elemental: things like wind, rain, sun. What comes out, translated via Heijdens’ self-built hardware and software, are new, heightened versions of that natural world.
Shade, an installation which just wrapped up in London, is one striking example. It’s a 1,500 square-foot facade of curved glass, fragmented into small triangular cells. Wind outside is measured at several points along the facade. The gusts are interpreted by a program, triggering individual cells to change from opaque to transparent. The result is an ever-changing ballet of light on the gallery floor. In the morning hours, the pattern is hard and angular pattern. As the sun moves overhead, the floor glows with a softer mosaic of sunlight.