‘’The work reminds us of the ‘Socle du Monde’ (1961) from Piero Manzoni, a funny yet poetic and scientific underpinned work (ref. Galileo) which can be interpreted as a tribute to the earth in all its imperfection.

The nano engineered cube(-s) of De Wilde is rather a tribute to Malevich’s so called non-objective art and world. Even if we look at De Wilde’s blacker-than-black volume(-s), which consists of 99,9% ‘empty’ space and 0,1% carbon, it seems to appear rather flat. In its own way quite similar to ‘Socle du Monde’, yet different. It’s not about upside down etc., but rather questions the fabric of reality and how we perceive it (or not). If the fundament of reality is a projection of a ‘flat’ surface into multi-dimensional reality then De Wilde is doing exactly that, reverse engineering, and by doing so not only playing tricks with our retina and brain, but more profoundly allowing us to glimpse into nothingness. The cube as a voxel of dark matter with an ever expanding -and accelerating- dark energy.’

Growing structures into space -also as a way to democratise outer space- is closely related to the concept of the space elevator. In his 1979 novel Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke described an impossibly tall tower that would ferry humans from the Earth’s surface into orbit. Nearly forty years later, space elevators still have the ring of science fiction. But against all odds, a small community of engineers is pushing the idea closer to reality.

The key concept of the space elevator appeared in 1895 when Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He considered a similar tower that reached all the way into space and was built from the ground up to the altitude of 35,790 kilometers, the height of geostationary orbit. Tsiolkovsky’s conceptual tower was a compression structure, while modern concepts call for a tensile structure (or “tether”).

One of the (only) candidates for a cable material are carbon nanotubes, the synthesised material De Wilde is creating and using for his art.


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