Initiated by: Marjolijn Dijkman
Invited guests so far: Raf Custers, Jeroen Cuvelier, Zheng Li, Sammy Baloji, Femke Herregraven, Karin Lurvink, Patricia Fara, Sven Beckert, Wouter Elsen, Eric Vanhaute, Remy Jungerman, Helen Elands, Christine Chivallon, Alioum Moussa, Jean Katambayi, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Li Bin, Juntai Shen, Lu Ding, Sun Zhengfan, Miao Qihao, Jia Qin, Zhu Dayi, Tang Fei, Liao Fei, Benny Shaffer, Tian Liu, Michael Garrett, Taede Smedes, Daniela de Paulis, Roy Smits, Jaap Beuker, Alice Smits, Enno Bregman, Peter Pels, Dirk van Delft, Dorien Zandbergen, George van Hal, Jaap van de Herik, Maarten Lamers, Cathy Haynes, Stephen Boyd Davis, Jay Griffiths, Maarten Speekenbrink, Magda Osman, Jamie Ward, Ramon Amaro, Emily Penn, Philip Sheldrake, Mark Fisher, Caroline Edwards, Owen Cotton-Barrat, Murray Shanahan, Rebecca Bligh, Erwin Fiala, Ulrich Hohenester, Mary Margaret Rinebold, Richard Sheldon, Malcolm Dick, James H Andrew, Deirdre Kelly, Chris Ramsden, Rex Harris, Clive Dutton, Tony Harvey, Ruth Reed, David Tittle, Felicity Allen, Nancy Evans, Colin Gale, Kate Iles, Steve Bell, Tom Freshwater, Paul Wells and many others.
Produced with: IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK
Thanks to: Jonathan Watkins, Helen Legg, The Soho House Museum
Carpenter: James MacDonald
The Lunar Society’s members have been called the fathers of the Industrial Revolution. The importance of this particular Society stems from its pioneering work in experimental chemistry, physics, engineering, and medicine, combined with leadership in manufacturing and commerce, and with political and social ideals. Its members were brilliant representatives of the informal scientific web which cut across class, blending the inherited skills of craftsmen with the theoretical advances of scholars, a key factor in Britain's leap ahead of the rest of Europe. – Jenny Uglow
LUNÄ is a facsimile of the original table around which an influential group of industrialists, poets, inventors, doctors, writers, physicists, chemists and thinkers known as the Lunar Society met each month in Birmingham between 1765 and 1813. Members included James Watt, Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley and Erasmus Darwin and they forged strong links with Bristol based contemporaries including Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Beddoes.
The society was given its name by the monthly meeting of the members at full moon during which the participants discussed their latest research, with the aim of learning from each other and sometimes they would develop projects collaboratively or support each others projects. Since January 2011 the table is used in different locations including England, Austria and the Netherlands for an ongoing series of critical discussions updating topics that occupied the Lunar Men as new scientific and industrial developments, but also art, education and social rights.
LUNÄ collapses the optimistically progressive value systems that were enthusiastically promoted during the Enlightenment into the mass production and globalised retail environment that can be seen as their legacy today. LUNÄ is a replica of the Lunar table in the Soho house combined with a set of eight IKEA chairs.
LUNÄ has been presented and activated at: IKON Gallery in Birmingham, UK (2011); Spike Island in Bristol, UK (2011); NiMK in Amsterdam, NL (2011-2012); Forum Stadtpark in Graz, AT (2012); Onomatopee in Eindhoven, NL (2012); Enough Room for Space HQ in Brussels, BE (2014 - ongoing); Fig. 2, ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), London, UK (2015); Museum Boerhaave, Leiden, NL (2015); Drents Museum, Assen, NL (2016); ASTRON, Dwingeloo, NL (2016); 11th Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai, CN (2016-2017); Performatik Biennial, Brussels, BE (2017); Bozar, Brussels, BE (2017); Contour Biennale 9, Mechelen, BE (2019).