Drifters still, masthead

(NEW YORK, NY — November 18, 2021) — Times Square Arts, the largest public platform for contemporary performance and visual arts, is pleased to present ‘Drifters’ by artist duo DRIFT, consisting of Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, with filmmaker Sil van der Woerd, for the organization’s Midnight Moment program this December. DRIFT and van der Woerd’s Midnight Moment is co-presented with Creative Exchange Agency, a creative and cultural agency representing multidisciplinary artists across the fields of art, culture, design, photography, and film. Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on over 80 electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight.

DRIFT creates kinetic and experiential work that illuminates parallels between human behavior, technology and nature. In ‘Drifters,’ the iconic floating concrete block that has come to define the artists’ oeuvre appears for the first time. The recurring monolith functions as a symbol of our built environment. In this film, the element searches for context, as a new life-form attempting to find purpose and origin in a world it does not belong to. Taking place against the backdrop of the surreal and dreamlike landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, these natural and man-made elements collide to generate images reminiscent of science fiction.

The work reevaluates our current culture, our interconnectedness, and hierarchies within our environment, and opens the mind to dream about alternatives to the world we currently reside in. In the final scene of the film, the block seamlessly integrates into a built structure, offering up questions about whether the individual can truly disengage from the collective.

Drifters is included in DRIFT’s current solo exhibition titled ‘Fragile Future at The Shed, presented by Superblue and The Shed. In the exhibition, the artists take audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations – exploring the universal search for origin, destination, and connection, as well as the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change. DRIFT offers hopeful futures and alternative perspectives to our understanding of the Earth’s makeup.

Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta have been collaborating as the collective DRIFT since 2007, working with a multidisciplinary team of 64 to create sculptures, installations, and performances that raise fundamental questions about the origins, processes, and meaning of life, and explore positive scenarios for the future. DRIFT manifests the phenomena and hidden properties of nature with the use of technology in order to learn from the earth’s underlying mechanisms and to re-establish our connection to it. With both depth and simplicity, DRIFT’s works of art illuminate parallels between man-made and natural structures through deconstructive, interactive, and innovative processes. DRIFT’s work is not bound to the parameters of an indoor gallery space. Their award-winning aerial drone ballet ‘Franchise Freedom’ was shown at Art Basel Miami 2017, Burning Man 2018 and for NASA (2019).

DRIFT has realized numerous exhibitions and projects around the world.Their work has been exhibited at Stedelijk Museum (2018); Amos Rex Helsinki (2019); Mint Museum (2019); Victoria and Albert Museum (2009, 2015); Met Museum (2010); UTA Artist Space (2019); Garage Museum (2019); Biennale di Venezia (2015); and Pace Gallery (2017), amongst others. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the LACMA (USA), Atlanta High Museum of Art (USA), Victoria and Albert Museum London (UK), Rockefeller Center (USA), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (NL), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL), San Francisco MOMA (USA), Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh (USA), The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (USA), and Museum Voorlinden (NL).

Creative Exchange Agency (CXA) is an artist management, production, and creative content agency representing multidisciplinary artists in art, culture, design, photography, and film. CXA reimagines the cultural landscape by creating fully integrated campaigns and experiences for brands who want to enrich their narrative and cultivate their community through collaborations with artists who share their ethos and creative spirit, while embracing the values of diversity, environmentalism, and sustainability.

Transformative artist-brand activations and applications include limited-edition product designs, immersive environments, brand campaigns, in-store installations, short films, stage design, speaking engagements, public art, and digital media, all of which cultivate an endless connection to contemporary culture.

In his films, music videos and new media projects, Dutch native Sil van der Woerd combines exotic locations, stunning cinematography and visual effects to tell heartfelt stories about ecological, humanitarian and inspirited subjects. Sil's recent works brought attention to topics like deforestation, overconsumption, global warming, and the plastic soup, and collected many awards and recognitions.

In ‘Fragile Future,’ multidisciplinary artists DRIFT transform The Shed with sound, movement, and film. Their experiential installations play on our senses and help us imagine positive, alternative solutions to the problems our planet faces. DRIFT’s monumental exhibition and series of special experiences inspire a reconnection to our planet and its natural processes, as well as empathy towards non-living objects.

Featuring a soundtrack created by ANOHNI, ‘Fragile Future’ takes audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations, exploring the universal desire to seek out connection and the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change. Since their early careers, DRIFT’s founders Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta have addressed urgent environmental themes in their work in order to challenge their audiences to think differently about their connections to Earth. The exhibition’s installations—from multitudes of shimmering lights that traverse the gallery like glowing seeds caught in the wind to massive concrete blocks, or ‘Drifters,’ that magically float on air—offer a hopeful atmosphere for imagining a different world.

The Shed is a new cultural institution of and for the 21st century. It produces and welcomes innovative art and ideas, across all forms of creativity, to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society. In its highly adaptable building on Manhattan’s West Side, The Shed brings together established and emerging artists to create new work in fields ranging from pop to classical music, painting to digital media, theater to literature, and sculpture to dance. The Shed seeks opportunities to collaborate with cultural peers and community organizations, work with like-minded partners, and provide unique spaces for private events. As an independent non-profit that values invention, equity, and generosity, The Shed is committed to advancing art forms, addressing the urgent issues of our time, and making its work impactful, sustainable, and relevant to the local community, the cultural sector, New York City, and beyond.

Superblue is a groundbreaking new enterprise dedicated to supporting artists in realizing their most ambitious visions and engaging audiences with experiential art. Its network of artists encompasses the leading practitioners of experiential art, whose practices catalyze engagement with the most pressing issues of our time and generate new perspectives on our world. Through its experiential art centers, which are specifically designed for presenting large-scale, immersive art installations, Superblue provides artists with expanded opportunities to transport audiences to the new worlds they create. Superblue additionally acts as an advocate and agent for experiential artists by fostering opportunities for them to expand the reach of their work through collaborations with museums, collectors, visual and performing arts festivals, architects, municipalities, and place-makers. Superblue provides these partners with unparalleled expertise and support for the production, installation, and presentation of large-scale experiential works, through collaborative presentations, public and private commissions, and acquisitions. In the coming years, Superblue will open new experiential centers across the US and internationally and is developing augmented and virtual reality platforms for artists who are exploring our rapidly evolving relationship with the digital realm.

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators, such as Mel Chin, Tracey Emin, Jeffrey Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity.

Ali Rigo
Senior Account Executive, Cultural Counsel

Lauren Gagnon
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel