The Long Drop by Studio Glithero


London designers Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren of Studio Glithero created a table by pouring coloured concrete down a spiral chute at Experimenta in Lisbon earlier this month.

Buckets of the coloured material were poured down the chute from the top of a ladder, creating a surface textured with drips and spills.

The mould was then removed, leaving an imprint from the wooden panels in the bottom and sides of the table top.

"We're always trying to capture this moment when something becomes what it is from nothingness, so we're trying to create that moment in the purest gesture," says Simpson.

"The material is perfect for it because you can see what the movement of the material was at that moment that it froze into becoming a table," van Gameren explains.

The performance took place as part of an exhibition called Lapse in Time, curated by Hans Maier-Aichen.

Here's some more information from Studio Glithero:


The Long Drop

We stand on a ladder, marking a point, high up in the air where it all begins. Where the pen first hits the paper and the story starts. From this point, the substance for our design flows like lava, brought down by gravity to eventually settle in its new shape.

The long drop is a concrete table cast in a wooden pouring chute shaped like a rollercoaster. From a ladder buckets of fluid concrete are poured down the chute until it sets rock-hard. When the wooden mould is filled, the chute is dismantled leaving a table that is forever married with its pouring channel spiralling up in the air.

The lower part of the table is faceted with the wood imprint of the mould, while the surface is unpredictable and organic.
Big lazy tongues of concrete, drips and spills are frozen in the moment; A lapse of time.

The aim of our work is to capture and present the moment things are made, when an object becomes what is from nothing. In our earlier works such as Big Dipper (2007), a machine that dips candle wax chandeliers, the end products served as an artefact of the performance. The drips and nuances of the pieces are informed by the moment they were created, but the object and process, in this case the machine, were separate parts.

The idea for The Long Drop arose when we were looking for a way to capture the actual moment of creation within the object itself. We wanted to create a table that would always be connected to the channel from which it derived. The twelve meter long table disregards the idea of design being determined by cost or transport efficiency. Our aim is juxtaposition.

The individual pieces of the mould are brought into a building and assembled; creating an enormous solid piece that is too large to leave through the doorway in which it came.

The Long Drop was conceived as a space filling, sight specific installation, and at Experimenta 09 we present our first half-size experiment that will take place during the opening week. The visitors are invited to witness the creation of this first trial from beginning to end.

With the support of Funds BKVB, we are researching The Long Drop for 2010.

Posted on Sunday September 27th 2009 at 11:13 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • B

    this is a lot of fuss for a table no?
    I like the simplicity of Jerzy Seymours drips a lot better..makes much more sense in his installations…in his case it is the result of keeping a production proces simple..and accepting the drips..This is a lot of effort to make something look sloppy…(actually my main problem with the whole craft-punk thing that is happening now if you ask me)

  • Matz

    …looks like the Model of the Monument to the Third International by Talin. On purpose…? Anyway nice!

  • GiantD

    Back in my day we used to call this the poop chute!

  • Booh

    the Tatlin Tower was way cooler- if russian suprematism played on Nickelodeon GACK.

  • Compare ‘Expansion’ series by Cesar Baldaccini (Cesar), French sculptor, who travelled this ground in the early seventies.

    (The structures seem to have much more visual interest, in spite of the Tatlin connotation, than what is produced from them.)

  • a lot of words for seeing the visual end results. agree with B

  • jlen

    Can anyone tell me why this is a table?

    So you didn’t want it to be determined by cost or transport efficiency… Or anything else for that matter like functionality, or to have any point what so ever.

    It raises no questions or debate and throwing the word juxtaposition in to a sentance doesn’t make it ok! A juxtaposition between what?

  • Matthew

    B, what do you define as craft-punk?
    and what do you mean you have a problem with it happening now? you suggested I ask you, so I’m asking, I’m curious.

  • B

    craf punk was an exhibition in milan this year sponsored by fendi
    just google it…its all over the web…. apart fom that specific exhibition I think it is a good name for all them designers that prefer the less perfect and the hand crafted over the machine produced and other wise industrially produced stuff.
    a lot of designers that don’t want to be designers but they found out to late …after their graduation.
    of course there is some good stuff in it too.

  • *matt

    this definitely isn’t a highly efficient piece of furniture, is that what design is?
    Apparently some people judge pieces entirely on dymaxian value and miss the point completely.

    Their ideas about design are different than Bucky’s, no? They seem to view design as a process that makes something from nothing; the designer’s role being a transformer of material from one useless thing to a ‘functional’ or meaningful thing.
    Thats pretty cool. Esoteric? yea for sure.

    Its a performance in design, I don’t think the final piece can be judged the same way we would judge something mass produced- where efficiency really matters.

  • jlen

    So what makes it design and not sculpture or performance art?

    Calling it a table?

    I’m still missing the point…

  • Matthew

    Thanks B, i see what you mean. however i dont know what you’re implying now about them not wanting to be designers? I know a few of the designers that exhibited at Craft Punk, and they all seem happy and obsessive about designing, even from before their graduation. they are just as dedicated and focused as a furniture designer that relies on industrial manufacturing. Do you think that craft punk is inspired by complacency and half-heartedness? or could it be a more romantic and humble approach to designing, and one that doesn’t rely on mass manufacturing which could be considered a cause for concern with today’s ecological and financial problems? or are you arguing your point from a position of aesthetic snobbery that demands ‘perfect’ production?

  • g

    i like it! It might be just a story yet, but it makes me curious enough to follow how it continues. very nice and fresh point of view

  • g

    Design has broadened itself to visualization, performance, story telling, experiment, etc. That doesn’t make it art. It has a clear platform, search and mission. It’s telling you about design, creation and designing in a very poetic way.

  • *matt

    Maybe calling it a table does make it design.
    good question…

    there is a creative process in Design and Art
    my guess is what makes something more design is research into utilitarianism and mass production within the process,
    whereas art is investigating and communicating any ideas or emotions to an audience

    I would say this is a piece of art or performance investigating and communicating ideas about design.