Gertjan Adema
klassiek gitaar, improvisatie & performances


Fragmented Appearances

A giant humming top with mirror mosaic plays with movement, light and sound

Click here for the Mosaictop-demo on YouTube:


This humming top really is huge and brilliant. The mirror mosaic gives spectacular reflections in the surrounding of the top. With the reflections and changing of colors a dazzling and alienating ambience is created. The slowly turning of the top works reflective and relaxing, attracts the audience and fixes their attention, like watching a campfire. Meanwhile the surrounding seems a turning starry sky. People can listen to the soundscape, which is based on manipulated sounds from humming tops and sounds from breaking glass. It is both attractive and alarming. In this way the installation is both alienating and reflective and the audience has to find its own relation to the work.

Mirrors represent reflection, here they are broken and change the original image. The slow turning works repetitive and reflective. In contrary alertness is needed for the sharp shards and sounds of breaking glass. In this way mirrors are used both for alertness and reflection. Using the shape of a toy is an ideal way to combine these contradictions in a playful manner.

From a long distance the reflections can be seen. In water the appearance of the installation is doubled by the reflections in the water. The installation gives in its reflections a beautiful connection between light, water and the sky. From a distance the top appears to be metallic and less far it seems to have a fluid surface due to the altering direction of the mosaic fragments. More close one can see the details in all mutual reflections.

The mosaic is made in different spiral-shaped layers, with each layer its own density of fragments. With transparent patterns in the mosaic, in opposite direction of the spirals, light patterns are made, with continuous changing colors. With this light patterns the installation does not only give reflections, it is also open and gives light by itself.

In this installation mixing and combining of structures are used, also changing and manipulating these structures are important to make this work complete. The way light, sound and movement are used gives a strong connection between the work, its surroundings and the audience.

The installation is called ‘Fragmented Appearances’, due to the different appearances of the humming top.

Dutch: nederlandse vlag

photo photo photo


Luminale Frankfurt (Germany): 12-15 March 2020

Aftermovie: Orbit Groningen (The Netherlands): 21-22 December 2019 (Artist in Focus), with workshop, performance and installation.

De Tuin der Lusten (The Netherlands): 12-14 December 2019

Jyväskylä City of Light (Finland): 26-28 September 2019

© 2014 Gertjan Adema. All Rights Reserved