Industrial Evolution

© Courtesy of the artist and Meessen De Clercq, Brussels

Travel and research motivate the works of Maarten Vanden Eynde, with the Anthropocene Epoch and the discussion surrounding it as a focal point. Inspired by objects surrounding him, he questions their origins, their materials, their context, and their transformation into “remains”. Exploring various domains, from sociology to anthropology via marine biology and cosmology, his work seeks to deconstruct our methods of interpretation and reveal the multiple transformations at work in our society


The Industrial Evolution series is a set of one hundred photographs of one hundred objects, taken from twenty Birmingham factories that are still manufacturing today; the final vestiges of the glory days of the industrial past. The presentation of each object in pairs references both Noah’s Ark and the production and serial production characteristic of this type of manufacture. However, a more thorough observation will reveal miniature differences in size, colour, and shape, showing the impossibility of mass cloning, of entirely numeric reproduction that runs to the closest nanometre. Was the industrial revolution in fact a failure?