Michiel Pijpe and the ArtScience Interfaculty

  • Volta by Dick Raaijmakers 

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    Performance: Construction of a large voltaic pile

    In 1800, Alessandro Volta tried, for the first time in history, to construct an electric battery, later to be called the ‘voltaic pile'. In the installation/performance Volta, Raaijmakers repeated the manufacture of the first battery in our history through stacking 2,000 kilos of rags soaked in sulphuric acid, copper and zinc plates to a man-sized column. Once the latest plate is added, this giant battery makes a light bulb lighten up. The audience experiences the difference between the invested labor and the electrical efficiency of this primal element.

    Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013) is widely recognised as one of the founders of the Dutch electronic music with his research at the Natlab (Philips Research Laboratories) in the fifties and as a multimedia artist, he was far ahead of his time. The works and installations, music and theatre performances by Dick Raaijmakers are so original that they are unsurpassed anywhere in the world. His influence on colleagues from his own generation, but especially on subsequent generations of artists is enormous. “By thinking outside the musical frameworks Raaijmakers has succeeded in uniting music, theatre, and visual arts better than anybody else,” said composer Reinbert de Leeuw.

    Volta is re-designed for multiple performances in 2013 by Michiel Pijpe and ArtScience Interfaculty. Co-produced by Paradiso Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw Aan 't IJ, Sonic Acts, BALTAN Laboratories and The Royal Academy of the Arts, The Hague.

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