Looking for Stigmergy → Episode II: Sempitèrno

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Looking for Stigmergy presents the installation Sempitèrno, a tridimensional composition of one of the most famous flowers in the world — the tulip. A flower of many colors and variations which empathically has been stimulating humankind's eyes and emotions as much as the politics of its productions. The Tulip, is the flower symbol of two countries, The Netherlands and Turkey which economic value mutated in centuries from being an expensive traded bulb to a mass produced natural and artificial “subject”of interest, inspiration, representation and consumption —consequently inspiring industrie, creativity, supply chains and markets both at a local and a global scale.

Sempitèrno reflects on how natural events simultaneously trigger or are appropriated by new economies, market sectors and speculative narrative where empathy plays a fundamental role. The narrative confronts the Semper Augustus —one of the virus mutated tulip varieties in the 17th century — with the cultural legacy and its derived images cumsumption left behind its extinction. Being the historical Tulipmania of a well known and diffuse narrative, the project starts looking for the links between the natural environment and global supply chains via contemporary markets. Tulips are possible to be found in the shape of bulbs, flowers, vases, souvenirs, lamps, pixels, decorative tiles and cultivated lands.

A project by Minji Choi and Martina Muzi with the local production of Supernormal Studio.

Level 1 ✺ External Side N°1–5

“Currency 30.July.2021”

1 NL mass produced tile (8 € each) = 10 TR mass produced tiles (8,00 TL each)

Level 1 ✺ External Side N°6

“Pattern and Variation in Delft tiles”

Original Delft tiles replicated in a modern tile, mini magnetic, and costar

Level 1 ✺ External Side N°7

“Patterns in Turkish tiles and mini magnets”

mini magnets made of traditional Turkish tile images

Level 1 ✺ External Side N°8

“Applications of Delft tile motives”

An image of Delft tile is replicated in various applications – Replica tile, Paper napkin, Postcard and mini magnetic

Level 1 ✺ Internal Side N°1–8


National brandings and institutional identities created with tulips both in NL and in TR.

Level 1 ✺ Internal Bottom Plate

“Markets and landscapes shaped by tulip productions”

(Photo: IURII BURIAK via Shutterstock)

Level 2 ✺ External Side N°1–8

“Tulip images in a set of playing cards”

Level 2 ✺ Internal Side N°1–8

“3D printed Sempre Augusts in a mirror garden”

Inspired by Adriaen Pauw (1564–1636), not only a rich merchant, but also a Mayor of Amsterdam who planted a few rare tulips in his garden surrounded by several mirrors positioned strategically to fully reflect the flowers’ beauty.

Level 2 ✺ Internal Bottom Plate

“Gardens of Tulips”

Gardens that are implemented by a desire for tulips both in NL and in TR.
Left image: Naḫıls with overlapping round layers in the 1720 imperial festival. Seyyid vehbi efendi, Sūrnāme-i Vehbī, ca. 1730. tSmk a. 3594, fol. 6a. (photo: courtesy of the topkapı palace museum library)
Right image: Hortus Botanicus Leiden in 1610. Print by Jan Cornelisz. Woudanus and Willem Isaacsz. van Swanenburg. (Public Domain)

Level 3 ✺ Globe N°1

“Sempre Augustus”

Sempre Augustus paintings in 17th-century and reproduction of images in objects”

Level 3 ✺ Branch N°1A

“Tulip bulbs in cans”

Level 3 ✺ Branch N°1B

“Wooden tulips”

Level 4 ✺ Globe N°2

“Pixelated Tulips”

Tulips built in Minecraft video game

Level 4 ✺ Branch N°2A

“Tourist souvenirs from NL and TR”

Level 4 ✺ Branch N°2B

“LEGO tulips”

Level 5 ✺ Globe N°3

The tulip island is a peninsula shaped in the form of a tulip extending from the coast of Zeewolde in NL and where 150,000 tulip bulbs are planted.

Level 5 ✺ Branch N°3A

“Tulips on Christmas balls”

Level 5 ✺ Branch N°3B

“LED tulips”