Photographer Sujata Majumdar is the newest artist-in-residence at Crossing Parallels, TodaysArt and TU Delft’s joint platform. Over the coming months, Majumdar will collaborate with Stephen Picken, professor of Polymer Materials, on the project ‘A Cure for Concrete’. Together they will experiment with nanocoatings, such as Picken’s ‘Delft Green Curing Compound’, to explore the pictorial potential of concrete.
Majumdar perceives walls as a potential canvas. In her series ‘Concrete Abstraction’, she captures the degradation of concrete, showing a balance between natural and man-made phenomena. Seeing these photographs, Picken immediately started to interpret the patterns of degradation. Instead of random compositions, he identifies order-chaos systems in the images.
Working on the project together will provide an opportunity to turn walls into photographic plates. Instead of taking pictures of existing, worn-down concrete, they will recreate the effects and steer the process on the concrete by design. Sujata and Stephen are even aiming to go a step further by using light-sensitive coatings, to create dynamic patterns, and work with materials from wastewater treatment processes.
New matching programme
New this year is Crossing Parallels’ matching programme, in which artists and designers with specific questions are matched with academics to exchange in-depth knowledge or to get practical help in the Science Centre workshop. We are pleased that, in this way, we can make TU Delft’s knowledge and machinery more accessible to artists and designers. The first artists who will be matched are Gabey Tjon a Tham and Teun Vonk.
Crossing Parallels brings together artists and scientists to collaborate on innovative projects, stimulate future technologies, and reflect upon scientific inventions and their challenges for society at large. Starting as an artist-in-residence programme, it has developed into a platform also hosting workshops, discussion sessions and exhibitions, in order to share and discuss the parallels between art, science and technology with a broader audience. Last year’s residents were fashion designer Iris van Herpen, collaborating with Jouke Verlinden (Computer-Aided Design Engineering) and artist Mike Rijnierse, working with Aurèle Adam (Optics).
Sujata Majumdar is a British visual artist residing in the Netherlands since 2001. She originally studied Physics at Cambridge University. Later she went on to study Photography at the Fotofactory in Amsterdam, specialising in conceptual photography and graduating in 2012. Since then she has been mixing photography, research, and technology in her art projects, such as for ICT-Art Connect and Textiel Factorij.
Stephen Picken is professor of Polymer Materials at TU Delft and works in the field of liquid crystalline polymers, block-copolymers and (functional) polymer nanocomposites in the section Advanced Soft Matter at the Delft Department of Chemical Engineering. He has published about 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals and about 20 patents relating to the science and technology of polymers, polymer nanocomposites and liquid crystals.
As one of the world’s leading technical universities, the TU Delft seeks a broad perspective on technology. Through Crossing Parallels, artists and academics can look at technology from another angle than the strictly scientific or engineering point of view. In this way, Crossing Parallels can inspire the academic community and broaden the conversation about technology.
Since 2005 TodaysArt has brought local and international artists, thinkers and audiences together. TodaysArt is a transdisciplinary platform for international talent, established creators and pioneers, exploring new possibilities and forms of expression. Inspired by contemporary topics, TodaysArt aspires to promote and foster innovation, creativity and public interest for current developments within arts, culture and society. TodaysArt developed from a festival organisation to a platform committed to creating an environment which facilitates new ideas.