Rinus Roelofs


28 pages, ringbound
published february 2005

Qua Art | Qua Science
Faculty Club University Enschede

Introduction by Martha J. Haveman:
S T R U C T U R A L - S E N S A T I O N
The emotion of a digital sculptor
a particular way of thinking in three dimensions.
The process of artist Rinus Roelofs starts with ideas. Sculptures that have taken shape in his head. He calls himself a digital sculptor using his computer as a three-dimensional sketchbook. He gains his experiences as he goes along, working on structure. The computer becomes an extension of his thinking - he uses it to develop his ideas.
“Anything that can be conceived, can be made. When I have an idea I can develop it into a virtual image on the monitor within fifteen minutes”.
The virtual world plays an important role in the development of his ideas, especially because an image may call up an immediate reaction. Everything that is on the computer is already a technical drawing, all kinds of things have already been sorted out.

His main subject is structure, he no longer thinks in terms of materials, but in terms of an object. The choice of bronze, silver, textile or whatever need not be made until the moment he decides to materialize his idea. All traditional techniques may serve this purpose. In this way he also develops a different, refreshing perspective on artistic production, because he is not really concerned with it. He is mainly interested in ideas and sometimes that is where it ends.

In mathematics anything flattened is a plane - layers (planes) lying every which way will form three-dimensional constructions.

Rinus Roelofs has always been fascinated by the thought of making something that can no longer be flattened, some crazy idea dating from the time he studied mathematics. The step from two to three-dimensional, that is what he wants to show in his constructions. How structures, not standing in one another’s way but occupying the same space, can be interwoven.

In art as well as in mathematics you make images. He tries to find new ways and with his mathematical background may arrive at e.g. a dual image of a shape. For duality is also a form of transformation, and using this notion he gets to work creating different shapes almost as a matter of course.

At that moment the whole process becomes a particular way of three-dimensional thinking and as far as Roelofs is concerned we are really dealing with sculptures here. And whether or not these three-dimensional objects can ultimately be materialized is irrelevant; they can be shown.

Structure and its sensation play an important role: How to put structures in motion and then use that motion as

His speciality may as yet be of limited scope, but the internet enables him to look at what many others are doing. He is forever surfing the internet using keywords like mathematics, structure, art and science. In doing so he builds up his library of thoughts and finds his buddies - interesting colleagues like Kim Williams and George Hart, a professor of mathematics and artist.

Together with Hart he is now working on a joint sculpture, incredibly interesting. In this way he also got to know Kenneth Snelson who made the ‘Needle Tower’ for Kröller-Müller and who shares his passion. And since a number of years he has taken part in the ‘Bridges Conference’, an exchange which provides him with a tremendous stimulus and an opportunity of meeting artists and scientists from all over the world, every time in an inspiring spot in a different country.
“Working through such a medium may seem calculating and detached, but it often brings you very close to others. In the course of a mathematical demonstration or when searching for structures I can experience quite some emotion, especially when I discover new possibilities. Not until you are working with it do you realize the role of structural sensation. It is something so overwhelming that you would like nothing better than for other people to recognize it.”
Martha J. Haveman, Enschede, February 2005