___ Once a coal mine, the Grand Hornu monumental complex finds its roots in the industrial heritage of Europe. Now one of Belgium’s distinctive cultural centers, the site remains intrinsically bounded to technological, social and human developments over time. Today, it is with a shared sense of scientific rigor, aesthetic sensitivity, pleasure of discovery and knowledge that Grand Hornu Images and Transnatural join their mutual aspirations to pursue a reflection on contemporary art and design, and their relationship to our technological, social and natural environment into an inspiring exhibition.

Following Transnatural’s annual 2014 theme ‘Teaming Up’, the Linking Parts exhibition offers the Grand Hornu’ s visitors a chance to look at different kinds of collaboration and organization with artists, designers and scientists – which collaborations can lead to systems of combined cleverness. What happens if we throw the capabilities and features of humans, animals, plants and machines all together and consider them as possible parts of new entities? Without any rules and pre-occupations about where a new combination should fit in, we let these new entities lead their own course into newly combined systems, shaped by the merging of modern and classical components.

From micro-organisms that degrade plastics into harmless material, machines that give suggestions during the design process or bee burrows made from city wood waste, to beautifully executed symbiosis between two fungal organisms that can turn man-made synthetic materials into harmless bio-mass. Photo luminescent skins developed to convert waste energy back into visible light, or even 3D printing combined together with organic growing material – the exhibition will present enchanting and daring new works from young artists and designers; a dazzling experience for the senses.

Works include amongst others: Erik Klarenbeek’s Mycelanium Chair, Jalila Essaidi’s 2.6g 329m/s(Bulletproof Skin),  Maurizio Montalti’s  System SyntheticsChristian Fiebig’s Comuputer Augmented CraftsMike Thompson and Gionata Gatto’s Trace Light, Tim van Comvoirt’s Thermophores and Studio 1:1’s Biological Clock.

Linking Parts is curated by Arjen Bangma in thematical editorial cooperation with Klaas Kuitenbrouwer.