Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons, 2006

Marble, video
10x28x28 cm, 01'07" loop

It is common practice in natural history programmes to represent natural phenomena such as the movement of tectonic plates, the eruption of a volcano, or the formation of a mountain range with short, computer-generated animations. This work – which is named after the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, on Mars – seems to fit into the aforementioned category. However, I did not want to create a didactic animation that flirts with the field of science. Instead, I wanted to play with the genre’s forms of visual representation to talk about time, and in an indirect way, about sculpture. The conceptual origin of the work clearly implies that I do not represent natural processes on the basis of knowledge gained through observation or experience, but on the basis of preconceived mental processes. When we view the forms that result from these processes, we find that they remind us of the original, natural processes. In order to recognize this, the viewer must also possess a similar body of knowledge and understanding of the world, as without this knowledge, the work would not function.

Video downloads (2.8MB)
Stills from the video