In 2007 I made a book PIG05049, it showed the staggering number of products a single average Pig ends up in. Now, in 2021, I am curious to find out, what am I made of? Where do my elements come from, and where do they go to? And how do I relate to all these elements of matter around me?
The project explores in a playful, poetic way that us humans are not above matter, we are matter.
With Sharing Elements Christien Meindertsma researches how much we are physically connected to the world around us. Matter is the basis of everything: it is what makes us human, we use it to design our products, to fabricate our clothing, to construct roads and buildings. Matter is not only the oxygen we breath in or the chalk in our bones, it is also the iron in apple syrup or the plastic fibres in our drinking water. These elements of matter are constantly moving around, they circle around like dust and travel between us, the world we live in and the waste we create. Some matter is crucial and healthy. But more and more matter is damaging. Our knowledge on matter is however very limited, and that needs to change. Because the matter used for our products, food system, clothing or buildings is also part of us. Only when we start seeing the physical connection between ourselves and the many goods that surround us daily, we can start making new choices: as consumers, but very importantly also as designers.
Experience what you are made of in the interactive installation and exhibition Sharing Elements
Together with interactive designers Joel Gethin Lewis and Reza Ali, Meindertsma is designing an interactive installation that blends the analogue and the digital to create a powerful universal statement about the elements that make up all of our bodies. The installation will be a place where visitors can see themselves reflected as an interactive cloud of elements that they are made of - from the abundant elements like Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen and Calcium, but also rarer elements like Phosphorus and Copper and even elements like Silver and Gold in tiny amounts. The digital installation is accompanied by an exhibition that visualises the elements in our bodies, how much we need as human beings and how much of these elements is available on earth.
For DDW 2021, Meindertsma is invited as ambassador to develop new work that deals with the relation between people and objects, to reflect on the subtheme of this year Things that Matter. The interactive installation and exhibition Sharing Elements will be on show from 16-24 October at Microlab Hall (Strijp-S).