Danish artist Amitai Romm’s work is both jarring in its execution and puzzling in its application.
His work calls into question the nature of materiality in regards to sustainability and the use of such material in creating a sustainable future.
Romm uses a designation of systems, namely, systems art. Systems art is characterized by the negotiation of natural and social systems, and how humans interact with said systems.
By delegating his art into ecological systems, Romm engages in the ongoing negotiation of systems art, using commonly sourced materials such as fabrics, clothing, pvc tubes, water tanks, magnetic rods, osmosis filters, stainless steel, salt, and tap water. He also frequently employs 3D printers in his work in order to produce material. In using these materials, he calls into question the ecological consequences and what is at stake when doing so.
In Romm’s 2018 exhibition “ILOVEWITHNOLIMITATION,” one can visibly see the use of systems theory at play. In his 2017 work entitled Parable, viewers are greeted by a large, imposing cylinder composed of steel. The cylinder consists of five sections, with six panels flanking each. Parable invites the audience to contemplate the dramatic use of steel and its ecological implications in the space therein, and Romm’s innovative use of other materials in the exhibition further dramatizes this point.
Romm also seeks to examine the contextuality of such materials. The meaning of a material changes when it is placed in a different context, the application of a particular material disrupts the way in which it is perceived.
Furthermore, Romm explores the idea of technology and its relevance to the material world through various mediums. Technology can be used as a catalyst for change, particularly when applied to sustainability in the art space. As Ursula K. Le Guin writes in A Rant About Technology (2004): “Technology is the active human interface with the material world.”
Amitai Romm’s work harkens to the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities and Communities. Through his artistic practice, he offers a critical lens through which to view the application of these materials, and the conscious use of such.
By engaging with and supporting socially conscious artists such as Amitai Romm, one can ultimately push forward an agenda premised upon environmental consciousness, and sustainable social change. Furthermore, in doing so, we push against plateauing and further stimulate growth in both the ecological and cultural economy.
See more of Romm’s work here.