Liquid Properties

Sculptural Installation


The sculptural installation ‘Liquid Properties,’ realized in collaboration with Toril Johannessen, consists of hand-blown glass objects in a variety of shapes, reminiscing of lab equipment, glassware, buoys, ecospheres, and water lenses.The glass spheres are containers for samples of water taken from various sources and are held by a meandering metal framework. Each of the spheres has one or more lenses integrated into the glass body, slightly magnifying the organisms, particles, and pollutants inside.

Studied up close, each glass sphere is an isolated ecosystem. As a total installation, they might remind of models within a taxonomic structure or even globes within a planetary system.

Liquid Properties, detail, installed by Akerselva, Oslo, for Munchmuseet on the Move.

The ecosystems in the glass spheres are changing over time, displaying natural processes where some organisms will thrive, others will not; some will be clear, others dense. Bacteria might take some over, and others may see algae growth or perhaps the reproduction processes of creatures like tiny worms or shrimp.

Natural conditions, randomness as well as deliberate interaction will influence the live processes within the spheres. As such, the installation is an experiment that ultimately looks at how we relate to (microscopic) life, questioning what is considered attractive, natural, resilient, repulsive, toxic, or harmful.

Built as a modular structure, the size and form of the sculptural installation change slightly for each realization. The water and live inhabitants in the glass spheres are sampled from local sources, changing with each setup of the sculptural installation.

Liquid Properties, Installation at OSL Contemporary, NO (2019)

Collaboration with: Toril Johannessen
Produced in collaboration with glassblower Vidar Koksvik
Assistants glassblowers: Tanja Burkhardt, Ida Louise Dybdal and Peter Theodorsen
Technical realisation installation: Maarten Vanden Eynde, Marcus Bering (welding)
Materials: Hand blown glass objects, welded metal structure, lab clamps, corks, brackish water samples
Dimensions: Variable

Commissioned by: Munchmuseet on the Move, curated by Natalie Hope O’Donnell, Munch Museum, Oslo, NO

Liquid Properties was originally commissioned by The Munch Museum for Munchmuseet on the Move, 2018, together with the thematically related film Reclaiming Vision.

Liquid Properties at Malmö Konstmuseum, SE, 2021 (photo © Helene Toresdotter)
Liquid Properties, Installation at OSL Contemporary, NO (2019)
Liquid Properties and Reclaiming Vision, Installation at OSL Contemporary, NO (2019)
Liquid Properties, RADIUS CCA, Delft, the Netherlands, 2022
Liquid Properties, Installation at OSL Contemporary, NO (2019)
‘Liquid Properties’, site-specific installation for Munchmuseet on the Move, Oslo, 2018