A Sense of Gravity

'A Sense of Gravity' (2019) is an installation by Teun Vonk, developed with support from a.o. V2_.

With ‘A Sense of Gravity’, artist Teun Vonk has created an installation that lets you experience gravity anew. For two years, Vonk researched how our human bodies perceive and react to gravity. Without us being aware of it, the body continuously adjusts itself to the pull of gravity, maintaining balance. This process seems effortless and self-evident. Teun Vonk asked himself: How can I challenge the logic of gravity, of the bodily perception of gravity, with a machine or installation? Can I expand the boundaries of our everyday perception of gravity? Lying on his back on an elevated, floating platform in his studio, Vonk reflected on gravity and weightlessness. He realized that our bodies anticipate and adjust to what you see around you and the surface you walk on. It seems self-evident, especially since we spend most of our everyday life in interior spaces, with level floors. The artist set out to create a space that is not static, but that changes in size and shape. This interferes with the logic of spatial perception, ‘waking up’ your body’s sensory system and influencing our perception of gravity. Vonk experimented with visual and bodily sensations, taking his own physical reactions as a starting point. In close collaboration with designers and programmers, the artist developed this prototype immersive installation. This technological, futuristic looking machine harbours a dynamic, soft space that invites the viewer to submit to a very personal physical experience. All of the body’s senses are engaged, giving the viewer an awareness that changes their sense of gravity in a spectacular yet subtle way.

The installation was shown at a.o. FILE, Sao Paulo 2019

Text from file.org.br/file_sp_2019/studio-tony-spark-teun-vonk-4/

Credits: ‘A Sense of Gravity’ was developed with the support of CBK Rotterdam, the Mondriaan Fund, V2_lab for the Unstable Media, and STRP.
Photo: Teun Vonk/Tallieu Art Office and Hanneke Wetzer

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