Copper Country, 2016
Copper Country, 2016
Copper is the first metal that was melted from its ore and the first metal to be cast into a shape using a mould. The majority of mined and recycled copper is currently used in electronic devices because of its conductivity. It is the most present metal in telephones and computers, accounting for more weight than all the other metals combined.
Copper Country is a series of three topographic drawings from the largest copper mines in the world: Bingham Canyon (Utah, US), Chuquicamata (Antofagasta, Chile) and El Morro (Atacama, Chile). The drawings are made on a printed circuit board (PCB) using the etching technique to make copper circuits with ferric chloride for electronic appliances. The chemical process is interrupted and frozen with varnish, creating an unpredictable variation of the ‘natural’ background in contrast with the graphic human intervention of open pit mineral mining.
This work is part of the artistic research project Triangular Trade in which Vanden Eynde investigates the influence of transatlantic trade of pivotal materials like rubber, oil, ivory, copper, cotton and uranium, on evolution and progress, the creation of nations and other global power structures. The project traces back the origin of the different materials and follows their (r)evolutionary path as they are processed and transformed into 'world changing wonders'.
Maarten Vanden Eynde (BE)
Maarten Vanden Eynde's practice is embedded in long term research projects that focus on numerous subjects of social and political relevance such as post-industrialism, capitalism and ecology. Since 2003, Vanden Eynde has been developing an invented field of research called Genetology – the science of first things – that investigates the future legacy of humankind. His work is situated exactly on the borderline between the past and the future; sometimes looking forward to the future of yesterday, sometimes looking back to the history of tomorrow.
Recent exhibitions include Belgian Art Prize Bozar, Brussels, Belgium (2017), 2050. A Brief History of the Future at Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy (2016) and The Royal Museums of Fine Art, Brussels, Belgium (2015), In_Dependence at Performatik Biennale, Brussels, Belgium (2017), Realitiés Filantes, #4 Biennale de Lubumbashi, D.R. Congo (2015), Beyond Earth Art at Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, United States (2014), Ja Natuurlijk/Yes Naturally at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands (2013), The Deep of the Modern, Manifesta9, Genk, Belgium (2012).
In 2005 he founded Enough Room for Space (ERforS), an interdependent art initiative that initiates and coordinates events, residencies, research projects and exhibitions worldwide, together with Marjolijn Dijkman.