tschumi-pavilion - LAb[au]

framework f5x5x3, kinetic light art installation
by LAb[au] at

Tschumipaviljoen, Hereplein, Groningen

From 18.12.2008 to 15.02.2009

Following an invitation of: Marinus de Vries

'16n_ f5x5x3' is a sculpture playing through light and kinetics with the architecture of the pavilion of Bernard Tschumi. Alike László Moholy-Nagy's kinetic installations, space is manipulated through light in '16n_ f5x5x3'. '16n_ f5x5x3' exists of a modular structure of three frames of 2 by 2 meters which each are equipped with 125 LED modules which can open and close and can be enlightened and darkened, leading to a play of transparency and reflection within the Tschumi Pavilion.'

'16n _ f5x5x3' is een lichtsculptuur die met LED's en kinetische middelen inspeelt op de architectuur van het paviljoen vanBernard Tschumi. Net als in de kinetische installaties van László Moholy-Nagy's, wordt in '16n_ f5x5x3'' de ruimte door licht gemanipuleerd. '16n_ f5x5x3'' bestaat uit een modulaire structuur van drie frames van 2 x 2 m met daarin een matrix van125 LED modules die zich openen en sluiten. De LED modules zijn daardoor afwisselend licht en donker, waardoor er in het Tschumipaviljoen een spel ontstaat van transparantie en reflectie.'

Marinus de Vries


Bernard Tschumi
Glass video pavilion 1990

In 1990, the Tschumi pavilion designed by Bernard Tschumi was built at the 'Hereplein' in Groningen, the Netherlands, as part of the manifestation 'What a wonderful World'. Situated in the centre of a busy roundabout, the gallery contains five interlocking spaces defined by only horizontal and vertical glass fins and metal clip connections. Located within are six banks of monitors originally used for video screening. The dimensions of the gallery are 3.6 x 2.6 x 21.6 metres.

Bernard Tschumi Architects chose to use the invitation extended by the city of Groningen to design a special environment for viewing pop music videos as an opportunity to challenge preconceived ideas about television viewing and about privacy. Instead of an enclosed and private space, the architects proposed its opposite: a glass video gallery as an inclined, transparent glass structure. The building reverses popular expectations by avoiding the usual cinema architectural type by bringing the event of viewing out into the street and public scrutiny. In an attempt to supersede the hierarchy of structure over surface, architect Bernard Tschumi used structural glass in his Groningen video gallery, employing tactics of reversal and dynamisation. Inside, the video columns displace the traditional meaning of a column as body, into flickering signifiers adrift upon the gallery's night surface.

"I wanted it to be about the movement of the body as it goes through the exhibition and the enclosure."
This project is seminal in a move toward hypersurfaces: in particular, through the way in which it reconfigures traditional architectural assumptions. The appearance of permanence (buildings are solid: they are made of concrete, steel, brick etc) is increasingly challenged by the immaterial representation of abstract systems - especially television and electronic images. At night, the endless reflections of the video screens off the parallel glass surfaces reverse all expectations of what is architecture and what is event, of what is wall and what is electronic image, of what defines and of what activates.


"At night, the space is like many mirrors and reflections, questioning what reality and virtual is, whether the envelope is real or a spectacle. Here the building became the event itself."

Today the pavilion is managed by the foundation Tschumipaviljoen, whose scope is to realise art projects inside. The main projects are those in which multi media is used. Expressions of e-culture are given the chance to be manifested in a public place in the centre of Groningen, in this way being shown to a wide audience.

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