Photo: Loek van Vliet
Sunset in Delft reenacts the everyday phenomenon of the sun sinking into the horizon, only it does so within the urban perimeter. The glowing body of light is placed on the water, precisely at the crossing of two canals in the idyllic town of Delft, where scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and painter Johannes Vermeer possibly met, while pioneering experiments with optics in the 17th century.
The 360º panoramic view of this sun sinking on water subverts the usual perspective of the celestial star moving over the horizon. Sunset in Delft lingered for three evenings, inviting for a durational experience. The public was instigated to see, walk around it, relish, and perhaps feel its warmth–therefore, to be in the present.
As philosopher Byung-Chul Han writes in The Scent of Time: “What we experience today as acceleration is only one of the symptoms of temporal dispersal. Today’s temporal crisis is caused by a dyschronicity which leads to various temporal disturbances and irritations. (…)
The feeling that life is accelerating is really the experience of a time that is whizzing without a direction. (…) it is the atomisation of time which is responsible for dyschronicity. It is also the reason for the feeling that time passes much more quickly than it used to. Due to the temporal dispersal, no experience of duration is possible.”
Mike and Ludmila have been collaborating since 2011, sharing a fascination for the ways human perception is constructed. In their works the audience takes an active role in sensing and constructing the experience. This involves moving, listening, often touching and always reflecting on our biological, somatic, cultural conditioning. The experience becomes a proposition for expanding and rewiring our sensory skills.
Sunset in Delft is supported by LucoLed, ProVlot, Stroom Den Haag, Jolly Roger boats, Rollema Logistiek, Publi air and TodaysArt Festival. 3D visualizations by Rob Bothof. Special thanks to Donny Koolmees, Remco van der Velden, Teun Verkerk, and all the Highlight Delft team who made it possible; to Toon Kennedy and Jelmer for coming up with fantastic solutions on water; to Jan van Heijn and Natasja van der Vlist, from ProVlof for their generosity; to Olof van Winden from TodaysArt for trusting the project; and to Ingrid Rollema, Sofia Chionidou, René Bakker, Louis Braddock Clarke, and all the friends and strangers who visited and shared their photos.
Press: Sunset in Delft op AD.nl 19-11-21 (Dutch only)