Artworks

“Lawn Centrifuge” – a revolving patch of lawn. Buried underneath the grass, a platform spins a four-metre diameter disc of soil. Due to the centrifugal force, the spinning grass grows outwards and forms a unique pattern. A piece of kinetic land art, an astrobotanical machine, and a green thrill ride.

In 1982, Lithuanian scientists revolutionised astrobotany by world-first successfully cultivating a plant from seed to seed in microgravity. This thought-provoking project invites contemplation on the intricacies of space gardening and the ever-shifting ground beneath our very feet.

It not only evokes a sense of disorientation but also challenges our perception of a stable horizon. Traditional ways of seeing and experiencing are rendered obsolete, and our sense of balance is disrupted. The horizon line swirls and spills out, destroying the modernist constructs of subject and object, time and space.

Special thanks:
Paulius Vitkauskas, Rokas Tarabilda, Magenta Festival, Lithuanian Space Agency, Lithuanian Council of Culture, Lithuanian National Museum of Art

Supported by:
European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, European Capital of Culture Kaunas 2022, Creative Europe

Julijonas Urbonas is an artist, designer, researcher, engineer, founder of Lithuanian Space Agency, associate professor at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Former Prorector at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Former Director of an amusement park in Klaipeda.
For almost a decade, working between critical design, amusement park engineering, performative architecture, choreography, kinetic art and sci-fi, the artist has been developing various critical tools of negotiating gravity: from a killer roller coaster to an artificial asteroid made up entirely of human bodies. In these projects he coined the term gravitational aesthetics, an artistic approach exploiting the means of manipulating gravity to create experiences that push the body and imagination to its extremes.

Julijonas Urbonas homepage
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Photo by Karlas Ramusis, Dovaldė Butėnaitė