In her artistic practice, Rikke Luther explores how various interactive systems such as language, politics, law, and economics influence the way we relate to the natural world. Her latest series of artworks deals with the extraction of sand, one of our era’s greatest environmental threats and a fundamental component in the production of both concrete and digital technologies. Luther’s work illustrates how the philosophical, scientific, and legal systems that separate nature from culture are preconditions for the industrial extraction of the raw materials, on which the expansion of urbanized society depends. In its wake, the habitats of many organisms at the foundation of the food chain are being undermined.
In the film Concrete Nature, Luther explores concrete’s political and aesthetic history in relation to modernist architecture. Luther’s story weaves together historical pictures with newly filmed material from places such as New York, London, and MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The story unfolds from the “discovery” of concrete in the early nineteenth century and its connections to modernist ideology, to contemporary plans to build 3D-printed concrete settlements in space.
Rikke Luther (b.1970 in Aalborg, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen. Recent presentations: CPH:DOX, Copenhagen (2019), Kunsthall Trondheim (2018), 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016).
Supported by Danish Art Foundation.
The Sand Bank: Sand:Mining (Left), The New World Order (Center), Land: Sand (Right)
Screen printed canvas
375 x 215 cm each
Courtesy the artist
Concrete Nature: The Planetary Sand Bank
Courtesy the artist
Gothenburg Museum of Natural History: The Sand Bank (Sand: Mining, The New World Order, Land: Sand)
Göteborgs Konsthall: Concrete Nature: The Planetary Sand Bank
Image: Rikke Luther, The Sand Bank: Sand:Mining (Left), The New World Order (Center), Land: Sand (Right), 2018–2019. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler