- Ciska Swaak
- Sjoerd van Rijsbergen
- Jermaine van der Kolk
- Robin Hendriks
- Tineke van Hilten
What's worth stealing?
What does a team of designers want to steal? A whole work of art? Or just a tiny detail?
One of the things that sparked out interest was the texture and contours found in the various works of art. Textures like the strokes of a brush and grooves found in different materials. We set out to find a way to capture these and reproduce them as a tiny detail from the work of art. The capturing of textures requires a high resolution and bright light. If we build a rig that hold several lights around a mobile phone to serve as a ring flash, are we able to get away with lights in the museum? Will the resolution be high enough, how many lights do we need? After our research we still had many questions and the Heist was the next day, we realised there wasn't enough time to execute this project in the way we wanted.
So what is the essence of a work of art? Most works can be identified with only one line. We decided to capture the contour of various works of art and experiment with reproducing them in various ways, like 3d printing, laser cutting or wire. And present them on spinning platforms to create a new work of art from the stolen lines.
It's not the Kunsthal, so we can't just walk in... Can we?
Our tool couldn't be too big and easy to hide. For capturing the contour of the art works we chose to use metal wire, we tried various types of metal and a thick coated aluminium was our favourite. It's easy to manipulate, but sturdy enough to keep it's own shape.
To hold the wire in place a wooden handle was made, by drilling a hole through a wooden cylinder and with a little notch around the base to secure the wire.
The Heist part I
After a few preparations we were ready for the Heist! Robin was wearing the pre-cut metal wire around her wrist like a bracelet and the handles were tucked away in our pockets. The plan was to capture as many contours as we could.
Sjoerd was the first one to try and captured the shape of a Dali painting, Tineke was documenting the Heist on photo. Robin, Ciska and Jermaine kept an eye on the security guard, who kept roaming around after he guided a restored painting to another hall. After the first success we got more bold and with the second attempt Jermaine captured the 'Toren van Babel' by Ted Noten in front of a security guard, he got some weird looks, but nothing happened!
We roamed the museum to find things worth stealing, until all the wires were no longer formlessly hanging around Robin's wrist.
For the reproductions we chose 3 works, the 'Toren van Babel' by Ted Noten, the 'Willem standard lamp' by Patrick Reuvis and the 'Milking Machine' by Fabrique Nationale D'Armes de Guerre. These contours were laser cut from wood and plastic and formed with thick copper wire. And to be presented on a spinning platform, though the hardware for the presentation turned out to become problematic.
After the presentation the decision was made to return to the museum and steel one more work of art and focus on the capturing of it with a video.
The Heist part II
A short movie about stealing
The last day before the exhibition we went through the museum one more time to capture in film how we were stealing. In feedback moments our different way of capturing got attention. So we were told to focus more on this moment in the museum. Sjoerd, Jermaine, Ciska and Robin sneaked into the museum again with metal wires and a filmcamera. We chose a Dali artwork, looked around and Sjoerd opened his jacket and began. Robin walked around with her camera and Jermaine and Ciska kept an eye on the security guys. After a few attempts we got a lifesize wire of the artwork!
Here you can see for yourself: