Models require and facilitate abstract thinking and this brings them close to ideals, but can these ideals ever be fulfilled? How does the promise of perfection inherent in models, regulate our relationship to our gritty realities—from the scale of our bodies to our cities?
These events are part of the 1.5-year-long program Taming the Horror Vacui which broadly takes up the role of the wind in our lives. Models of city masterplans and buildings are used in wind tunnels to anticipate how they will effect and be effected by the wind. However, architectural models are used to project into and determine the future or reconstruct distant pasts. How do models and wind tunnels both relate to a broader attempt to wrestle with uncertainty?
Paolo Patelli (IT, 1984) is an architect, artist, and researcher. Through often collaborative enquiries, he engages critically and by design with the materialities, scenes and atmospheres at the intersections of space and society, technologies and environments. He has exhibited internationally, including in the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in 2018. He led a collaborative project commissioned by MAO and Moderna Galerija for BIO26, the 26th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana. He has a research position at the Design Academy Eindhoven (Associate Lector “Places and Traces”), is a Tutor at the Studio for Immediate Spaces at the Sandberg Instituut and a 2019/2020 Research Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut. He holds a PhD from Politecnico di Milano. He lives and works in Amsterdam.
Haseeb Ahmed (b.1985) is a research-based artist. Originally from the US, he now lives and works in Brussels. He produces objects, site-specific installations, films, and writes for various publications. Often working collaboratively, Ahmed integrates methodologies from the hard sciences into his art production. His recently completed Wind Egg Trilogy blends art and aeronautics, myth and technology, to create new narratives for the present. It was developed with Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) in Brussels for and was the subject of his first solo exhibition Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels who now represents him, his solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary art of Antwerp (BE), as well as the topic of his PhD in practice-based arts completed in 2018 as a collaboration between the VKI, University of Antwerp, Saint Lucas Antwerp School of Art and Design,and Zurich University of the Arts. Ahmed has been a lecturer at the latter two art universities as well as the Royal Academy of the Art in The Hague. His work with the wind and science began during his Masters from the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, completed in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ahmed has been a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (NL), the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting (US), a EU Commission STARTS Vertigo resident at the Brain and Emotion Laboratory at the University of Maastricht, La Becque Foundation among others. His work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (US), The Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art (SE), and De Appel in Amsterdam (NL).