testing ground for art & ecology
Outdoor artwork


area for unknown rituals

Rob Sweere

As part of the Shadow Floriade, Zone2Source invited a number of artists and architects to design temporary outdoor artworks for the Amstelpark.

Photography: Thomas Lenden.

Contemplatorium: area for unknown rituals

Rob Sweere is known for site-specific sculptures and installations that allow visitors to experience the world around them in an intense way. Awareness of the world around us, of the complexities of nature or even of the immeasurable universe, makes us get to know ourselves and our dependence on our environment better and take better care of it. Sweere’s installations are intended as tools for concentration and exercises for attunement to the natural environment. Meanwhile, Sweere invites people all over the world to enter into “conversations” with the sky or with trees. We need new rituals to recalibrate ourselves. The Contemplatorium offers a place for this.

The Contemplatorium is a combination between sculpture, landscape design and experiential art that is modular and can continue to evolve and manifest itself in the natural environment of a park. The outdoor work is placed deep in the Amstelpark, next to the Amstel river, past the Stadshout Pavilion and next to the Vlindertuin. The Contemplatorium, which is publicly accessible to the public at all times, is a place where the public can find out for themselves how they want to use the artwork to allow personal and as yet unknown rituals to take place in connection with the natural elements. The Contemplatorium consists of several walkways that connect different objects. The whole thing is modular. This means that per location the walkways and the objects can be placed differently and it can be expanded in the future. The walkways and objects direct the visitor to new experiences and perceptions of the environment in a playful and inquisitive way – an area for developing yet unknown rituals that can lead to a deepening experience of our bodies in the environment.

Shadow Floriade

The outdoor works were inspired by pavilions designed for the Floriade horticultural exhibition. The architectural pavilions were shaped by the theme of the expo, the theme of the Shadow Floriade being the rediscovery of human imaginations about nature. At a world exhibition, pavilions are places to experience and discover. These temporary park pavilions function as instruments to better attune ourselves to the natural environment. The outdoor works are not only built for human interest, but also to pavilions for other-than-human organisms.

Contemplatorium was made possible by a contribution from Adviescommissie voor de Kunst (ACK) of Gemeente Amsterdam, Stadsdeel Zuid

Contemplatorium: area for unknown rituals – Rob Sweere