How can small drops of flavour create curious suspense?

As a little girl I loved going to the carwash with my father. The automatic brushes and gigantic fluffy rollers were enchanting to me.

I enjoyed sitting inside, staying dry and feeling the gentle shakes of the machinery and the wet foamy mess outside. I dreamt to experience a human-wash one day. A similar experience sized fur humans. You stand or sit on a conveyor belt naked or in your bathing suit. Nah… naked. and get scrubbed and bushed by huge wet foamy rolling and moving brushes.

The carwash experience, in a very light way inspires all my installations with ribbons or string. The haptic quality when engaging with the work is subtle and powerful at the same time. You cannot ignore it but it doesn’t really obstruct you either. It is silently present to stroke you. Or you activate it to stroke you by walking through.

Teardrop is an installation with 5 kilometres of rope. In the center of the rope forest you find a ring with 24 pipettes. All of them are filled with a different water soluble flavour.

when you take position in the middle of the installation with your mouth open and your head up you can catch a drop of flavour. The Flavours and the pipets are connected to a few specific strings. You can discover them by looking at strings with a tag on them.

The person in the middle cannot reach the strings connected to the pipets so he’s dependant on another person to pull the string and release a drop. Taking away the power over the release of the drop, even when it’s just one single drop, creates a tension in the experience. By shifting the power balance, one drop can seem much bigger than it actually is.

We were honoured to have you in Moscow. Within two days of the event we had about 5000-7000 visitors, which exceeded the expected numbers. Teardrop experience was unforgettable!

Masha Lutsenko Polytechnic museum, Moscow

The strings that are connected to the pipets had tags with poetic lines written on them. They seemed not to make a lot of sense so our brain will try to make a connection with the flavour and the text. Creating a gap between flavour and text made space for visitors to create their own interpretation. It appears the installation is made for two but actually I enjoyed most to be a 3rd actor: to observe the interaction between the two inside.

The way people communicate when they are collaborating but just a bit far away from each other. To see who is going to be in the middle and who will pull the strings. Those things I find fascinating to observe. It might not be a carwash but now I think of it, perhaps it’s a kind of brainwash with taste.

Created for

Dordrecht, the Netherlands

Presented at

Eating design solo exhibition
OCT gallery, Shenzhen, China

Presented at

Martini time festival
Polytechnic museum, Moscow

Presented at

Saudi Design Week

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Presented at

EAT ME exhibition

TRAPHOLT museum, Denmark

Technical design

Robin van der Werff

and pictures by Henk van Dijke

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