London-based designer and artist Arthur Analts of Variant Studio has unveiled his interactive installation “Matter to Matter” to represents Latvia at the 2018 London Design Biennale. Latvians live in harmony with nature. 52% of the country is covered by forests which are surrounded by lakes, rivers and the Baltic Sea. Arthur Analts ‘ installation reflects on the Latvian relationship with nature with his use of materials, wood and water, and the sophisticated recreation of a natural process. The result is an interactive platform for the transition of matter to matter: gas to liquid.
Artist was inspired by his native city of Riga and its surrounding forests; an area which has its own unique atmosphere and climate due to proximity to the Baltic Sea. This capital city has a constant humidity, or moisture, which often leads to condensation. Analts recreates this physical process using a large green-glazed glass surface. The visually laconic glass wall with some ‘magical effect’ will invite visitors to communicate and interact by leaving their own message.
The installation is a calm, meditative space; a floor of Latvian bark and a large bench of solid birch add a sensory experience, allowing everybody to feel something of Latvia’s sprawling forests. Besides, this art object reflects the state of Latvia, which despite being in a constant state of transition, has a serene and solid core. Latvians are known for being resilient and reserved, their deep roots in Baltic history evidenced by the Latvian language, one of the oldest in Europe.
The apparent simplicity of the design conceals a refined technological solution behind the main feature (the large glazed surface). All elements of the exhibition were developed and manufactured in Latvia, a country increasingly recognized for its ability to harness innovation.
Latvia’s leading innovation in sustainable forestry ensures the continuation of natural ecosystems, creating a benchmark for global ecological developments. Analts identifies that Latvian design, architecture and technology in the 21st century have to be socially and environmentally responsible to maintain Latvia’s coexistence with nature.
“With the rapid development of modern technologies and cities, it is important to be aware of our interaction with an impact on the natural environment, which is essential to Latvian culture,” explains Analts.