‘LUNÄ Talk’ and performance ‘Electrify Everything’ at group exhibition ‘Power Up’, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, FR

Marjolijn Dijkman participates in the group exhibition Power Up, Technical Imaginaries, and Social Utopias at Kunsthalle Mulhouse from 15 February to 28 April 2024. The exhibition refers to energy infrastructures from a feminist perspective. This collaborative project explores links between technical worlds, common goods, and connected representations.

She presents an installation and activation of LUNÄ with a large wall installation of Earthing Discharge (Panorama). On the 25th of March, a LUNÄ Talk will take place, and on the 8th of April, she will perform Electrify Everything together with composer Pom Bouvier b.

The live performance ‘Electrify Everything’ translates the seductive and captivating magic of demonstrations of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment into a critical exploration of the origins of the units and language used to measure electricity. The field of electricity has been developed, manipulated, and named for three centuries to control and apply it. 

LUNÄ Talk: Energy (In)Dependency
25 March 2024, Time: 18:00 – 21:00h.

LUNÄ (Marjolijn Dijkman, ongoing since 2011) is based on the Lunar Society of Birmingham, which was formed from a group of amateur experimenters, tradesmen, and artisans who met and made friends in the Midlands from 1765 till 1813. The original Lunar men (there were hardly any women joining the society) gathered together for lively dinner conversations, the journey back from their Birmingham meeting place lit by the full moon.

Members included the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, the entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, the perceptive engineer James Watt, whose inventions harnessed the power of steam, the radical polymath Joseph Priestley, who, among his wide-ranging achievements, discovered oxygen, and the innovative potter and social reformer Josiah Wedgwood. Their debates brought together philosophy, arts, politics, science, and commerce. As well as debating and ‘discovering,’ the ‘Lunatics’ also built canals and factories, named plants, gases, and minerals, managed large businesses — and changed the face of England. Many members were also influential figures concerning the abolitionist movement, female education, and social rights.

“I SELL HERE, SIR, WHAT ALL THE WORLD DESIRES TO HAVE — POWER.” – Matthew Boulton on the Boulton & Watt Factory, Birmingham, 1776

On the evening of 25 March, when the moon is complete, the LUNÄ Talk will focus on transitioning from one energy to another, from one infrastructure to another. How can we envisage transitions without considering the need to bring history to a close before embarking on new projects? The history of energy is written as a race towards the new, towards renewal, without ever questioning the possibility of moving towards solutions of repair or transformation. It’s about turning pages and arguing that the future will be more efficient, appropriate, or cleaner.
These political choices will be discussed over a few hours, involving the guest speakers and anyone else interested.

Marjolijn Dijkman, artist and moderator of the LUNÄ Talk
Maarten Vanden Eynde, artist and co-host of the LUNÄ Talk
Fanny Lopez, historian of architecture and technology, curator of the Power Up exhibition
Clémence André, engineer in charge of urban planning and connections at Territoire d’énergie Hautes-Alpes
Marie Lechner, teacher-researcher at L’École supérieure d’art et de design d’Orléans, author and exhibition curator
Stéphanie Schmitt, partnership relations manager, UEM

With a written letter to the participants of the LUNÄ Talk to catalyze the discussion by Cara New Daggett (Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech, author of ‘The Birth of Energy’)

Exhibition: 15.02–28.04.2024

Location: La Kunsthalle Mulhouse
Centre d’art contemporain
La Fonderie
16 rue de la Fonderie
68093 Mulhouse Cedex, France

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Artist, Researcher, Co-founder Enough Room for Space

Marjolijn Dijkman (1978, NL) is an artist and co-founder of Enough Room for Space, living and working in Brussels (BE) & Saint-Mihiel (FR). Dijkman is a research-based and multi-disciplinary artist whose practice focuses on the points where culture intersects with other fields of inquiry. The works themselves are speculative, partly based on facts and research, but often brought into the realm of the imagination. She is part of the artistic research cluster Deep Histories Fragile Memories as a Ph.D. candidate at LUCA – School of Arts Brussels / Leuven University under the supervision of Wendy Morris and Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou (2023-2027).