Edward Clydesdale Thomson Bio
wild care tame neglect Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands current
poster club Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2017
The Society Machine Malmo Konstmuseum, Malmo 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016
The Society Machine
Documentation, ‘dead-standing, bark-peeled, clear-cut, windthrow, lumber, pulp’, wallpaper, repeat 200cm by 70cm, 2016

Apprentic/Master exhibition #16: Static Gravity

The Society Machine explores the contemporary image of Sweden by looking at the effects of the cultural transformation that served as foundation for the world-famous Swedish welfare state—industrialization. Works by more than 30 contemporary artists are exhibited together with objects selected from Malmö Museer’s cultural, natural and technical history collections. In dialogue with these historic collections, the contemporary art projects portray a fundamentally changed society, today in the midst of its next large-scale transformation.

The term "industry" is used in the exhibition as a prism through which different images of society become visible. From the mining town Malmberget in the north to the limestone quarries in the south, we encounter vast clear-cut forests, monumental slag heaps and pre-fabricated housing projects. Many of the artworks examine the global consequences of local histories, in the form of conflict, migration and environmental destruction, as well as international aid and solidarity projects. But the exhibition also demonstrates how art has drawn inspiration from the materials and aesthetic possibilities of industrialization, which have continuously pushed the limits for what has been considered art.

The modern Swedish welfare state was made possible through a trade-off: industrialization lifted the country out of profound poverty, while the environment, human bodies and consciousness in return were colonized by the pursuit of productivity and efficiency—for better or worse. The new life in the spirit of functionalism was implemented at high speed and with dizzying efficiency, at the factory as well as in the home. A rationalized welfare society emerged, where standardized production and faith in progress became a model for modernity’s ordering of all facets of life. For decades Sweden was hailed internationally as modernity’s success story. But what kind of society did the extensive standardization and efficiency really create?

The Society Machine exhibits contemporary interpretations of Sweden’s development that complicate the image of a modern society defined solely in terms of progress and prosperity. By examining the term "industry" as ideology, aesthetic, materiality, and metaphor, as well as production and economy, the exhibition shows how the industrial approach did not simply open quarries and factories, but also other, more existential, sinkholes. Today, industry developers in the northern steel mill town Luleå are working to have global data replace iron ore as the region’s most important raw material—through the establishment of gigantic server farms. The information economy has changed the nature of work and transferred the production processes from the factories to our brains. But even if the high industrial era has become history, it does not mean that society has been liberated from the extractive logic of industrial capitalism. As we are currently entering the fourth industrial revolution—a time when digital, biological and physical worlds are melding in a way which will once again transform humanity—the exhibition asks if the era of the conveyor belt has truly ended, or simply been displaced to instead exist within us.

Clydesdale Thomson has in previous works concerned himself with the ideological notions behind particular landscapes, exploring for example the history and aesthetics of environments such as the 19th century topiary garden at Earlshall Castle in Scotland, or the abundant overgrowth of a Danish summer house area built in the 1960s. During an extended stay in Stockholm his attention turned to the Swedish forests. Commonly cast in the double-natured role of exploitable resource and cherished cultural symbol, the forest holds a central position within Swedish society. It is, however, seldom discussed as an aesthetic expression of a particular ideology. In the commission for Malmö Art Museum, Clydesdale Thomson combines his research into the cultural history of the Swedish forest with his longstanding interest in wallpaper as a material and aesthetic medium, posing the question if and how the escalating industrialization of the forest in Sweden between the beginning of the 1800s until the 1970s might have crossed over with shifts in aesthetic practice and representation. Using historical wallpapers as reference, the final work is a speculative reflection on the possible relationship between wallpaper as an industrially manufactured wood-based product, and an aesthetic link between societal change and the domestic interior.

Curator: Lisa Rosendahl

The Society Machine

Static Gravity Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam 2016
Crossing Borders Expanding Frontiers ramfoundation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2016
As the lake said to the boat Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands 2015
Nothin Shakin but the Leaves on the Trees Marabouparken konsthall, Sunsbyberg, Sweden 2015
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain CCA Derry~Londonderry, Lismore Castle Arts St Carthage Hall 2015
Belief and Productivity: A Play in the Forest O&O funding, CBK, Rotterdam current
The Non Urban Garden: tuinen van de 21e eeuw Afdh & Kunstvereniging Diepenheim 2014
iaspis Open House, spring 2014 iaspis, Stockholm 2014
The Distracted Gardener & The Plumbing Subverter Yeo Workshop, Singapore 2013
Late Nights & Early Mornings Kunstraum, London 2013
25 Years Rotterdam City Collection Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam 2013
Here is always somewhere else Forum Triangulare, Oud-Rekem, Belgium 2013
Abilities Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam 2013
Lost & Found at the Flügelbus Lost & Found, Amsterdam 2013
causa finalis Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam 2012
As if an entrance is over there- Lecturis, Eindhoven 2012
Rijksakademie Open 2012 Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdamm 2012
The research and destroy department of the Black Mountain College W139, Amsterdam 2012
We are rolling galerie-j, Geneva 2012
There was a Country where They were all Thieves Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam 2012
Secret Gardens TENT, Rotterda, 2012
FlowerCASTLE Kasteel Keukenhof Art Foundation, Lisse 2011
Rijksakademie Open 2011 Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam 2011
a green thought, in a green shade Art Amsterdam MK Gallery 2011
Prix de Rome 2011 Smart project space, Amsterdam 2011
Borderline Picturesque & the Recounting Prospect Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway 2010
New Graffiti, Old Revolutions MK gallery, Rotterdam 2010
A group show Croxhapox, Ghent 2010
Done to a dead end & the dead or alive sale SD&G, Rotterdam 2010
Edward Clydesdale Thomson SECONDroom, Brussels 2009
A Leopard, Some Monkeys, Numerous Butterflies, Dozens of Peacocks and a Sublime Vista 4th Issue NOWISWERE, Contemporary Art Magazine, London 2009
Open Office for Words ADA, Rotterdam 2009
Imaginary Cinema - Discussion WDW 653, Rotterdam 2009
Residency at Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam WDW 653, Rotterdam 2009
Impromptu Affairs DEK 22, Rotterdam 2009
Selbstzweck Private Collection 2008
Residency at Kysten Tromsø Kysten Tromsø 2008
Small Talk with the Janitor Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam 2008
My Travels with Barry, MA Graduation Show Tent, Rotterdamt 2008
Just what is it that makes that thing so different, so appealing? Expodium, Utrecht 2008
Observing Construction NEST, Netherlands Architectuurinstituut (NAi) Rotterdam 2007
This is how it must feel to be there Pakhuismeesteren, Rotterdam 2007