Aspect Ratio

The human being as the measure in a constantly expanding technological universe

22 jan 2009
8 mrt 2009
  • TENT.
  • Witte de Withstraat 50, Rotterdam

A psychedelic dance of graphic patterns, an infinite expanding sea of humanity, a solitary photographic particle of silver enlarged to a cinematic format, a panoramic vista of an other-worldly landscape, a series of mirrors with cinematographic image dimensions, a metres-long enlargement of a subatomic tube, an animated manipulation of Google Earth, a dazzling parade of thousands of colourful jpegs, a series of close-ups of the CERN particle accelerator, or indeed a profound human melodrama, reduced to the screen of an iPod: all these images belong, in any case, to the same universe that constantly invites better understanding.


Charles & Ray Eames, The Powers of Ten,1977, @ TENT. -

The point of departure for the exhibition Aspect Ratio is The Powers of Ten (1977), the legendary, and still highly popular film by designer duo Charles and Ray Eames. In the short film, a simple photo of a picnicking couple provides the starting point for a journey through the cosmos and the tiniest molecules of the human body. Based on an original idea by the Dutch educationalist Kees Boeke (The Cosmic View, 1957), this film version also illustrates the size of things by the effect of constantly adding or subtracting a zero. Ten years ago the Eames’ film was selected for the Library of Congress because of its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance. As of old, the ‘tenfold leaps’ remain a useful educational tool for visualizing the relativity of the cosmos; us in the universe and the universe in us.

By now the technology has progressed so much further and artists are also finding new forms to explore classical notions such as dimension and relationships of scale. From nanotechnological close-ups to cosmic majesty, the exhibition Aspect Ratio examines how visual art and science enter into dialogue around the central issue: the human being as the measure in a constantly expanding technological universe.

With: Simon Starling, Charles & Ray Eames, Carlo Zanni,
Joachim Koester, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Jodi,
Roman Ondák, Simon Norfolk, Roy Arden, Ken Jacobs,
Louis De Cordier, Morgan Fisher.

Exhibition runs from 22.o1 until o8.o3, 2oo9. Opening at 18.00 on 21.01.09 at TENT. Rotterdam.