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Times Square Arts: Drifters | 1

Times Square Arts: Drifters

Nov. 22, 2021

One moss-covered block floats through a forest; another emerges, dripping, from a peaceful lake; still another hovers above sheer cliffs and remote greenery. Juxtaposed against the natural backdrop, the constructs represent life-forms attempting to find purpose and context within a world to which they don’t belong. As they travel through misty vistas and the ruins of cities, thousands of these blocks eventually come together, seamlessly integrating into a built structure, offering up questions about whether the individual can truly disengage from the collective. Synchronized on over 80 electronic billboards each night in December, the film both contrasts and connects to the built environment of Times Square.

These floating concrete blocks have come to define DRIFT’s oeuvre, which uses kinetic and experiential work to illuminate parallels between human behaviour, technology and nature.

Drifters is included in DRIFT’s current solo exhibition titled ‘Fragile Future’ at The Shed, presented by Superblue and The Shed. In the exhibition, the artists take audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations – exploring the universal search for origin, destination, and connection, as well as the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change. DRIFT offers hopeful futures and alternative perspectives to our understanding of the Earth’s makeup.


Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta have been collaborating as the collective DRIFT since 2007, working with a multidisciplinary team of 64, to create sculptures, installations, and performances that raise fundamental questions about the origins, processes, and meaning of life, and explore positive scenarios for the future. DRIFT manifests the phenomena and hidden properties of nature with the use of technology in order to learn from the earth’s underlying mechanisms and to re-establish our connection to it. With both depth and simplicity, DRIFT’s works of art illuminate parallels between man-made and natural structures through deconstructive, interactive, and innovative processes. DRIFT’s work is not bound to the parameters of an indoor gallery space. Their award-winning aerial drone ballet Franchise Freedom was shown at Art Basel Miami 2017, Burning Man 2018 and for NASA (2019). DRIFT has realized numerous exhibitions and projects around the world.

Their work has been exhibited at Stedelijk Museum (2018); Amos Rex Helsinki (2019) Mint Museum (2019); Victoria and Albert Museum (2009, 2015); Met Museum (2010); UTA Artist Space (2019); Garage Museum (2019); Biennale di Venezia (2015); Pace Gallery (2017), amongst others. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the LACMA (USA), Atlanta High Museum of Art (USA), Victoria and Albert Museum London (UK), Rockefeller Center (USA), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (NL), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL), San Francisco MOMA (USA), Carnegie Museum Pittsburg (USA), The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (USA) Museum Voorlinden (NL).


In his films, music videos and new media projects, Dutch native Sil van der Woerd combines exotic locations, stunning cinematography and visual effects to tell heartfelt stories about ecological, humanitarian and inspirited subjects. Sil’s recent works brought attention to topics like deforestation, overconsumption, global warming, and the plastic soup, and collected many awards & recognitions.

Source: Times Square Arts

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