Organisation - October 10, 2019

Beetle gets confusing and surprising light

Willem Andrée

An unusual sight: yesterday afternoon, Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Marten Scheffer stood waist-deep in the pond between Orion and Forum. He was working on a new dimension of light around the beetle.

The beetle has been around for some time. Just like the sound “Must Leave” that accompanies this artwork and that can be heard when crossing the “Dream bridge”. ‘In the vicinity of the bridge, one is immersed in a sound landscape that relaxes, enchants and that is ever changing’, says Scheffer from the pond. ‘Right now, for example, we can hear a robin that sings in strophes, never repeating itself. Sometimes, it is a harp playing. The sound is driven by the wind speed, which we measure in real time thanks to the help of colleagues from the Meteorology and Air Quality group. Sometimes, the frogs react to each other. And the beetle can be seen 24 hours a day, via the camera that is hanging above the bridge. Former students from around the world, like those in China, for example, can have a look in Wageningen once in a while.’

Nocturnal illusions
And so, light is now being added to this; a new dimension, according to Scheffer. ‘Nocturnal illusions. A kind of shooting stars above and below water. It will be very subtle. The idea is that everything remains different; it does not become clear what’s above or below the surface. It is confusing and surprising.’ The professor is getting help from the Danish “craftsman” and artist Vagn Iversen. The whole setup should be up and running by this Sunday, 13 October.