A farmed field submerged in the haze of sunset: the sun's light disappears behind the horizon and, suddenly, a wave of blue and red light runs through the leaves, giving the impression of that they waver as one, restoring the dynamic pulsation of the extensive stretch.
This is GROW, the work that Daan Roosegaarde developed during the artists' residency sponsored by Rabobank, a Dutch cooperative bank that focuses on rural, agricultural and foodstuffs activities.
Daan Roosegaarde's work pays homage to the beauty of agriculture: a beauty whose value is not just aesthetic but also ethical. The artist aims to illuminate not only the visual impact that agriculture has on the earth's landscape but also its key role in the survival of humankind. Roosegaarde's project stems from a reflection: we are so used to co-existing with highly humanized land that we almost aren't aware of the extent of surface land we use to feed ourselves. How can we all conceive of a sustainable agriculture, that places at its centre both human and plant evolution based on cooperation and not on the exploitation of resources? How can we make the farmer the hero of this new story?
The artist aims to illuminate not only the visual impact that agriculture has on the earth's landscape but also its key role in the survival of humankind.
Daan Roosegaarde's answer, who worked to establish a collaboration between the Studio Roosegaarde, the Wageningen University, the Springtij Forum and the World Economic Forum in Davos, lies in the installation of this high-density LED system that projects red and blue lights which, as they move up and down, create the sensation of a wave crossing the field, moving the leaves on the plants. The play of light, that comes to life in the Netherlands, in a field of twenty thousand square metres where leeks are grown, can only be seen up close, in order to prevent light pollution in the area.
GROW is what the artist defines not as landscape but as dreamscape: a landscape that brings with it not only the dream, but also the proposal of a new pact between humans and nature. This is because Roosegaarde's artistic project is corroborated by sound scientific research that demonstrates how combinations of light can improve growth and reduce the use of pesticides by at least 50%. GROW gives life to a landscape that is not just a utopia, but a protopia: an imaginative proposal, resulting from the close collaboration between art and science, aimed at improving our coexistence with the planet on which we live, on a daily basis.