RONALD VAN DER MEIJS

Parthenocarp

source: ronaldvandermeijsnl

‘Parthenocarp’ by dutch artist Ronald van der Meijs is a large-scale musical art installation whose sound is affected by the growth of growing cucumber plants. The work consists of three sound cabinets, each with its own steel string suspended over a small black wheel sunken into the top face. These cables are connected at one end to an electric drill and at the other to a metal cage housing a living cucumber plant; a mechanical teflon ‘finger’ against the string changes position depending on the length of the vegetables as they grow. Thus each cabinet, functioning something like a mechanical hurdy-gurdy, plays a tone that mutates slightly over the course of the exhibition, relative to the cucumbers’ growth. The installation is representative of the transformation of the urban zone of Overstad in Alkmaar, Netherlands, which has shifted from a farming region to an industrial area to now a modern downtown center, ‘a slow urban transformation process’, van der meijs reflects, ‘not only associated with changes in the built environment but also include the surrounded noise, the skepticism and opposition from residents and political opposition parties.’ Likewise, the ‘combined sound of the Parthenocarp system transforms very slowly during the exhibition, and is subject to a variety of harmony and discord.

The modern greenhouse cucumber is processed so thorough that no male flowers remain. Only female flowers create beautiful glossy fruits without spines or irritating hairs. The cucumber grows without any form of pollination and fertilization is required, this phenomenon is called parthenocarp.
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source: verbekefoundation

Het werk van Ronald Van der Meijs concentreert zich op de metaforische en conceptuele behandeling van geluid, ruimte en materiaal. hierbij wordt gezocht naar de relatie die we als westers mens hebben met techniek. dit staat voor het geheel van ingrepen waarmee de mens probeert zijn omgeving te beheersen. Naast onze productievoering vallen hieronder ook menselijke relaties zoals beleid en communicatie technieken, het effect hiervan op de mens in de vorm van geconditioneerdheid en onze neiging tot het beheersen van de natuur zelf. Het is de manier waarop we in het westen zoeken naar een leven van ‘perfectie’ middels technologie…