The Fall Experiment


Handmade clay from local soil, smelted iron from local source, 18th century physics experiment, video re-enactment.

A collaboration with Christine Borland.

The outcome of a residency at Stroom Den Haag in the Netherlands, The Fall Experiment was influenced by re-creations of 18th century Dutch physics experiments and the ‘Theater of Physics’, represented at Museum Boerhaave in Leiden.

In 1722 Leiden professor Willem‘s Gravesande publicly demonstrated a controversial experiment; dropping metal spheres into clay to measure the ‘life force’ of a body in motion. This experiment disproved an established Newtonian theory, sparking both popular and scientific debate concerning the relation of spirit to the material world.

Their time at Stroom den Haag involved a series of symposia and public events with active presentations by craft and academic experts on the sourcing and processing of local raw clay, preparing locally dug iron, live anatomical dissection, legal philosophy, the history of physics demonstrations, Medieval kiln construction, among others.