- GROW by Daan Roosegaarde, the beauty of agriculture
A thorny issue that Daan Roosegaarde addresses with his GROW light installation, bringing to it the Dutch artist’s renowned elegant, poetic approach. Red and blue lights create a kind of light-filled ripple effect across a vast 20,000-square-metre field surrounded by darkness. The artwork takes the form of dancing lights that shine across the farmland where leeks are grown.
On the one hand, the light installation is a sight to behold. On the other, it has a solid foundation in science because it is inspired by advances in the science of photobiology demonstrating how some combinations of blue, red, and ultraviolet light can boost plant growth and reduce the use of pesticides by up to 50%.
The GROW video (you can see it here) shows how this luminous dreamscape came into being and how the beauty of light can help crops and agriculture as a whole. GROW also sends a ray of hope to people, emphasising the innate beauty of technology and science when used to help humankind, and confronts us with some fundamental questions: How can cutting-edge light design help plants grow more sustainably? How can we also change the way we perceive the farming profession?
In practical terms, GROW consists of a precision lighting system, focussed horizontally in a controlled area. It works with solar batteries and can extend the sunlight for a short time. It is visible only from nearby, which makes it in balance with the environment.
GROW is part of the artist-in-residence program of Rabobank. Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and experts developed GROW over two years, informed by learning sessions at Studio Roosegaarde, Wageningen University & Research, Springtij Forum, and the World Economic Forum in Davos. It is the first in a series of dreamscapes by Studio Roosegaarde which show the beauty of combining art and science to create a better world.
With this installation, which is described by the artist Daan Roosegaarde “Not as a utopia but as a protopia, improving step by step”, gives a new meaning to the word “agri-culture” by reframing the landscape that humans have turned into farmland dedicated to feeding us as a living cultural artwork. This poetic action finally “highlights” one of the jobs that form the pillars of our civilisation.
Project: Studio Roosegaarde
With special thanks to Wageningen University & Research, BioLumic and MediaMonks.
Location: The Netherlands, worldwide
Images: Ruben Hamelink and Daan Roosegaarde