VOLTA2013 | Dick Raaijmakers [1930 - 2013] | 2013 - 2014
In 1800, Alessandro Volta tried, for the first time in history, to construct an electric battery, later to be called the 'voltaic pile'. Dick Raaijmakers' performance VOLTA, conducted for the first time in 1995, aims to repeat this invention on a gigantic scale: In the presence of an audience, a small group of workers construct a giant pile of zinc and copper plates, alternated with clothes drenched in acid. After placing the last plate, this colossal battery will produce the energy for one light bulb. Thus, the audience can experience the relation between the invested labor and the resulting electric energy. And also, how and why the original visual quality of this 'proto-element' has been lost in favor of the efficiency of the modern battery. VOLTA intends to recreate this lost plasticity, if only for a single moment...
In 2013 I was invited by Sonic Acts and Baltan Laboratories to revisit VOLTA in several venues in the Netherlands. The re-enactments took place between 2013 and 2014. Dick Raaijmakers conducted Volta for the first time in 1995 in the Gemeentemuseum, the Hague. Follow this link on UBUWEB for the documentation (by Kasper van der Horst) of the original installation.
Operators: Áron Birtalan [HU], Marit Mihklepp [EE], Ronald Schelfhout [NL], Roel Heremans [BE], Ludmila Rodrigues [BR], Nicole Urban [DE], Charlotte ‘t Hart [NL], Panagiotis Tomaras [GR], Alexander Vinther [DK], Manuel Beltran [ES], Angela de Weijer [NL], Marius Mathisrud [NO] and Philip Vermeulen [NL]