An Afternoon on Ruins

With backyard artist Arne Hendriks and Ruchama Noorda

3 Mar 2022

Arne and Ruchama are both building structures in the backyard of Mediamatic with natural material. Structures that are build-to-collapse, and transform into ever-changing cycli. In this afternoon the artists will have a conversation about ruins and decay. How can we integrate decay as part of an artwork? And how to collaborate better with materials of unstable and unpredictable nature? 

Free entrance


Collapsing Pigeon Towers - Arne Hendriks

Ruchama will talk about how she integrates decay as part of her artwork outside. How many of her works are allowed to rain away over time, how they collaps and disintegrate under the influence of the elements. She will show images of her art installations and the Tumulus garden at Mediamatic in different seasons and stages of growth and decay. 

Arne Hendriks will talk about how decay is part of the design of  the mycelium pigeon towers. He will talk about how the moment something is built it already starts to fall apart: a short burst of becoming, followed by a long stretched-out process of un-becoming, or becoming something else, depending on your perspective. The pigeon towers are just one moment in a constant process of one state of being moving into the next, from growth to decay into growth again. He will talk about how he is experimenting with different shapes and methods to build this living cycle, while investigating and staging decomposition as part of the design process. 

Ruchama Noorda

Ruchama Noorda is an artist who uses diverse media and materials in performances and installations. She received a PhD degree from the University of Leiden, where she researched the early 20th-century Lebensreform (Life Reform) movement. In her practice Noorda recycles elements of Reform pedagogy, arts, crafts, dance, diet and ritual practices in performance and installation works that both engage and challenge contemporary communitarian and counter-cultural aspirations, practices and beliefs. By highlighting the mystical and magical elements within the Reform tradition along with other undigested and ‘irrational’ material her works perform a séance-function- excavating, the repressed and buried histories within the Modern in ways that set out to complicate hard and fast distinctions between progressive and conservative social and artistic movements.

Arne Hendriks

Arne Hendriks is guiding a long term project on building pigeon towers with waste mycelium. He is an artist and artistic researcher on human ecology. He explores the borders of specific cultural values that define our relationship with the planet. His projects include The Incredible Shrinking Man that researches if it is possible to downsize the human species to better fit the earth and Fatberg, the building of an island of fat. As a regular Mediamatic collaborator, he directed several projects to draw attention to our (sometimes twisted) relation with the planet and its resources, like Kool Abundance, The Starvation Experiment, and the building of a prototype pigeon tower out of recycled newspapers.


An Afternoon on Ruins
Conversation with backyard artists Arne Hendriks and Ruchama Noorda
3 March, 17:30 
Free Entrance
Mediamatic, Dijksgracht 6, 1019 BS Amsterdam

At 16:00 we also celebrate the opening of the Tumulus Hermit Hut II and the start of a new cyclus in the Tumulus installation of Ruchama Noorda. Come early and join us! More information here