Art of Change 21 – What’s new with you?
Thijs Biersteker – Right now, there’s so much going on! I’ve just finished two group shows – Nous les arbres (Trees) at Fondation Cartier, where my outdoor digital installation revealed how trees react to the environment thanks to a series of sensors – and – Continuous Refle(a)ction in Beijing, with Pollutive Ends, a digital art installation on the environmental impact of one single cigarette butt on water. I have an exhibition, on ocean plastic, now running in Dublin’s Science Gallery. Also, I’m preparing for a TEDmed talk in Boston on the need for art and science to work together on the topics concerning climate change and the environment. Last, but not least, there are my classes at Delft University of Technology, where I teach art, ethics, and empathy!

AOC21 – How did ecology become a theme for you?
T.J. – Growing up near the sea, I’ve always had a close connection with nature and the ocean. As pollution has increased, so too has my desire to use my talent to encourage reflection on this serious issue through art. Indeed, it has become a real mission for me! I strongly believe the environment should be THE focus of interest for many more artists. My reflection as an artist on today’s ecological issues, through the lens of science, is a starting point leading to greater overall awareness among the public as the end point.

AOC21 – What about your next project(s)? 
T.J. – I’m working on a few new works all at the same time, based around Mycelium, tree communication, and deforestation data. Also, I’m setting up a new science experience studio called Woven. We build artistic installations and other forms of communication that weave together art and science to help universities and research groups reach the public. The facts on urgent topics such as climate change don’t seem to reach people enough and I believe artists should play a bigger role in heightening awareness. Woven is working on a new piece about the discovery of Dark Matter as well as a secret deforestation show.

More information about Thijs Biersteker here

Interview conduted by Alice Audouin.

Find all the articles from Impact Art News n°15 — January 2020