LabPortal 2: Arne Hendriks, The Incredible Shrinking Man


Glazen Huis | 19 May – 14 July Opening 19 May

The Incredible Shrinking Man is and ongoing speculative research project into the possibility of creating a human which is more ideally suited for our earth. We become increasingly taller. As a result we need more energy, food, water and space. What happens if we use our knowledge to shrink the human to 50 centimeters so he only needs 5%  of the food he currently needs? Although on a global scale humans continue to grow, there is proof that it is possible to be a lot smaller. During Zone2Source Arne Hendriks explores which specific factors from the habitats of, for example, the Mbuto in the Ituri rainforest in Congo, who are on average 1.35 cm., and can actually stop their growth, to discover if we can reproduce this to  alter our own seemingly uncontrollable growth. Audiences are being invited by means of human images in clay to assist in imagining what this smaller person of the future might look like. The Amstelpark is very suitable as a location for exploring micro agriculture and livestock breeding: through several research installations the relation between human measure and consumption will be mapped out. During the exhibition a workshop and lecture will be organized in which the audience participates in the experiment and the debate around it.

Together with scientists, designers and specialists in various sectors, Arne Hendriks explores since 2010 the possibilities to decrease a human being, The growth ideal in all facets of life is so deeply buried in our consciousness that alternatives are often not discussed much less thought. The Incredible Shrinking Man takes shape in the form of texts, lectures, workshops and in public situations in which the research is presented and continued within the specific context of the exhibition. There already is a fish nursery, a sunflower table, a chicken farm on a home garden balcony, to reflect on the consequences of a smaller human being (

Archive, Exhibitions