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Aspen Art Museum



Fragile Future Aspen
Dandelion Seed Picked in Aspen, Phosphorus Bronze
48 x 27 ½ x 43 ½ in (122 x 69.5 x 110.5 cm)
Kindly donated by the artists and Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
Estimate: $80,000–$120,000


In collaboration with the Aspen Art Museum, DRIFT has created a unique light sculpture as part of their Fragile Future series: Fragile Future Aspen, 2022. The museum and the Aspen community collectively collaborated on the creation of this work with the artists, a cross continental initiative, harvesting the heads of the locally Aspen sourced plant Tragopogon dubius, known as salsify, the seed head of which resembles a giant dandelion. These flowers have been integrated into the structure of the artwork, immortalized and illuminated. The work will be exhibited at the museum for five weeks.

Since The Fragile Future series began in 2007, it has fused the boundaries between art, nature and technology into a multidisciplinary light sculpture. For each light sculpture, the seeds from a dandelion head are meticulously hand-adhered one by one onto LED lights, which are connected to a three-dimensional conductive phosphorus bronze frame carrying an electric current - creating a utopia of light-emitting dandelions.

Fragile Future captures DRIFT’s signature aesthetic: a distinct mix of high-tech and poetic imagery. These exquisitely beautiful light sculptures see nature frozen in time, its ephemeral beauty captured and reconfigured. The fast pace of technological change represented by the ingenious engineering of these light sculptures is brought into check by the slow, labor-intensive process, integral to their creation. The Fragile Future series challenges our throwaway culture and invoke sustainability, the symbolism of their light suggesting a future for a harmonious and respectful co-existence with the natural world.

DRIFT has been exhibited globally in many institutions, and the Fragile Future series has been widely academically acclaimed, with examples of the series held in permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Stedelijk, Amsterdam, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, The High Museum Atlanta, the Museum Fine Art Houston, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. This fall, November 2022, DRIFT will receive the prestigious Collab award at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, simultaneous to a solo exhibition at the museum.

Artist Bio

Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn (1980) and Ralph Nauta (1978) founded DRIFT in 2007. With a multi-disciplinary team of 64, they work on experiential sculptures, installations and performances.

DRIFT manifests the phenomena and hidden properties of nature with the use of technology in order to learn from the Earth’s underlying mechanisms and to re-establish our connection to it.

With both depth and simplicity, DRIFT’s works of art illuminate parallels between man-made and natural structures through deconstructive, interactive, and innovative processes. The artists raise fundamental questions about what life is and explore a positive scenario for the future.

All individual artworks have the ability to transform spaces. The confined parameters of a museum or a gallery does not always do justice to a body of work, rather it often comes to its potential in the public sphere or through architecture. DRIFT brings people, space and nature on to the same frequency, uniting audiences with experiences that inspire a reconnection to our planet.

DRIFT has realised numerous exhibitions and (public) projects around the world. Their work has been exhibited at The Shed NYC (2021); Stedelijk Museum (2018); Art Basel (2017, 2021) Victoria & Albert Museum (2009, 2015); UTA Artist Space (2019); Garage Museum (2019); Mint Museum (2019); Biennale di Venezia (2015); Pace Gallery (2017); Burning Man (2018, 2021) amongst others. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the LACMA; Rijksmuseum; SFMOMA; Stedelijk Museum; Rockefeller Center, Dallas Museum of Art, and Victoria & Albert Museum. DRIFT was awarded Dezeen designer of the year (2019) the Arte Laguna Prize, Venice (2014).

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