© Lawrence MALSTAF

13th Art Division Excellence Award

Nemo Observatorium

Installation [Belgium]

Lawrence MALSTAF


White particles are blown around in a big transparent cylinder. Visitors can take a seat on the armchair in the middle of the whirlpool or observe from the outside. In the eye of the storm, it is calm and safe. In this spectacular meditation machine, one can follow the patterns, focus on layers of 3D pixels or listen to its waterfall sound. One could call it a training device, challenging the visitor to find peace in a fast-changing environment.

Reason for Award

An armchair is set in the center of a transparent cylinder. As the viewer sits on the chair and turns on a switch, a vortex visualized in the form of a huge volume of foam polystyrene particles is generated by an air draft. The particles that swirl violently inside the cylinder brush against its internal wall, but never hit the viewer, so he or she can appreciate the pattern created by the dynamic movement of these particles while feeling it at the same time. Many works that adopt natural phenomena as a motif, or use physical operations implement them as organic variables for creating music or CG without considering them carefully. However, this work doggedly cuts out the phenomenon itself and presents it in a straightforward way, making me feel a sense of freshness and dynamism. Beyond its concept or logic, what appeals most to me about this work, and never fails to arouse my curiosity, is that I feel I just have to try it out once. Moreover, it also makes me feel that not only is this a sophisticated work of art, but it also evokes a sense of nostalgia of an SF film set or attractions in an old-fashioned amusement park.