art periodical - No. 6

74 pages
published 2004

(Page 56-59)

Dutch sculptor Rinus Roelofs, who also studied mathematics extensively, is one of the leaders of the Ars & Mathesis association, drawing on the traditions of M. C. Escher and Piet Mondriaan. In recent years he has turned with great interest towards computer graphics and 3D-modelling. He has won prizes at several international competitions, participated at various exhibitions, and had several of his public statues implemented. In October 2004 Dániel Erdély invited him to Budapest to deliver a lecture at the Intermedia Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Creative Arts and participate in the scientific symposium accompanying the Ornametria exhibition held in the Erdos Renee House.
Dániel Erdély: - What do you think is the reason and/or purpose of people's determination to find convergence between the scientific and the artistic views of the world, nature and reality?
Rinus Roelofs: - There are a few different ways to interpret the attention for the combination of art and science. You can say there is a certain convergence, but in my opinion the aspect of understanding the similarity of underlaying structures is more important. In both art and science you can start with curiosity, an eagerness to understand something about the world that surrounds you. From the wish to be able to express your thoughts and/or feelings, or to communicate about the results of your investigations you can go two ways: art and science. And these two ways can have many things in common as we can see for example in the art of the Renaissance.

Dániel Erdély: - We can say that these days anyone who is an adherent of only one of those world-views somehow feels lonely. Why is that?
Rinus Roelofs: - I don't know if this is true in general. To speak for myself: what really fascinates me is the discovery of new connections. Connections between different theories, or different disciplines. So even new connections between science and art. Trying to find these connections often leads to new interesting ideas. And even with this attitude I sometimes feel lonely.

Dániel Erdély: - Have you ever tried to formulate your creed? What is it that you, personally, find the most important in your work? Why do you invest so much energy in trying, developing, creating and transplanting ever newer models in the virtual and the real world?
Rinus Roelofs: - There is no special creed. There are some themes like structures, transformations and connections. My work has a lot to do with fascination. When I'm not really interested in a subject there will be no development in my thougts. So it always starts with some sort of curiosity: What is it about? What is it that makes it special? How can I understand it? And how can I express my understanding? Because this way of working and living is so much fun and so valuable I'm able to give this all my energy.

Dániel Erdély: - How is the kind of art that you do received in your home country, the Netherlands, and around the world?
Rinus Roelofs: - It's hard to answer this question in general, because I mostly present my work for a special audience. Due to the internet I'm able to attract the attention of other people who are interested in this kind of art. And this often results in interesting contacts, conversations, and sometimes even new projects.

Dániel Erdély: - We know that you respect tradition and you are ready to contribute to the understanding and reproducing the work of the masters of previous ages. Can you draw a direct line that describes the development of these ways of thinking - the ways of understanding and rationalizing sensory experiences -from ancient times to our computerized modern world? Who do you consider to be the most interesting figures along that line of development?
Rinus Roelofs: - It's no secret that Leonardo da Vinci and M. C. Escher are among the persons I admire. Both were able to develop new ideas, to express their ideas and to communicate with scientists. And also these artists had a similar way of working, a way of getting their ideas from their heads to the world outside. Although Leonardo is known as a famous painter, the number of paintings he made is very small. But the amount of sketches in his notebooks is enormous and I think it's the most important part of his work. I also own copies of many sketches by M. C. Escher. And I've learned myself to work in the same way: make many notes of my thought. Once you have your idea 'outside', in front of you, you can reflect.

Dániel Erdély: - In your opinion, where will this kind of thinking and activity go in the future? What are your expectations regarding the reactions of the audience, I mean the public, or even humanity at large, to your activities and other activities of that kind?
Rinus Roelofs: - No idea. It's not my first concern what the people think of my work. I enjoy expressing my fascination. And if there is someone who likes it, it's OK. And if it leads to fruitful conversations, it may help me to extend my fascination.

(Budapest, 2004. oktober)