When visiting one of Art|Basel’s most adorable places, the «Collectors Lounge» on 2nd Floor, it is very hard to ignore Audemars Piguet’s shiny and gleamy «Ice Cycle Lounge», the homebase of Switzerland’s oldest watchmaking company on world’s best art fair. The object in the spot of this photograph is the «ice tank», composed of illuminated acrylic rods which will flash to mimic the regular rhythm of a heartbeat – and has been designed by Sebastian Errazuriz who is, by the way, responsible for the booth’s complete design.
Short before the press conference is about to start the journalists celebrate a relaxed form of open queueing in a professional manner – ça veut dire that they pretend being interested in something else.
In the background there is one piece from Dan Holdsworth’s ‹Continuous Topography› series to be seen. Later, during the press conference, we will learn that Holdsworth’s pictures are the result of a mixture between analogously manufactured photographs and digital imaging. The artist says that everything is a matter of precision.
And that fits perfectly to skill #1 when it comes to watchmaking: precision. As a visitor of Audemars Piguet’s booth you can also gain a deep insight into the richness of detailed work that needs to be done when creating or repairing watches with mechanical clockworks:
It’s a bit of a surprise but all journalists made it to their seats unfrozen.
Audemas Piguet’s CEO, François-Henry Bennahmias, introduces the design of the «Ice Cycle Lounge» and it’s creator, Sebastian Errazuriz, to the audience.
The artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz explains the way he works. He calls himself «a prodigious and obsessive workaholic». Or, according to Henry Ford’s most famous quote: «Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success.» About his creation for Audemars Piguet specifically he announces: «I was humbled by the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the Audemars Piguet watchmakers in Le Brassus. the work they have been doing for almost two centuries is so incredible that any creative person who visits their installations will feel inspired to hold themselves to a higher standard of gravitas, beauty, and precision. the new lounge will hopefully become an experience for its visitors, managing to steal their attention and offering them a space to take a moment to think about time.»
According to his website: «Sebastian’s work has been featured in multiple magazine covers and portrayed in thousands press articles by the specialized art and design media. He has also received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, Art+Auction. In addition, his work has been featured in mainstream TV in BBC, CNN, ABC, and NY1. Multiple books and catalogues feature his projects and his first monograph The Journey of Sebastian Errazuriz was published and distributed internationally by Gestalten in 2012.»
The artist Dan Holdsworth’s explains that his photographs deal with the phenomenology of technology, place, and consciousness, and are reflective of his profound engagement with photographic history. Holdsworth’s scenes are shot on site at exotic locations around the world, chosen for their pre-historic, futuristic, or metaphysical resonance. According to Patricia Low’s website «it takes up to one year to produce, the otherworldly effects of his landscapes are achieved through both analogue and digital processes; his images never falsify information, but rather enhance the invisible ‹truths› that are normally imperceptible to the human eye but can be visually evidenced on film. Holdsworth’s work has been featured at museums such as Tate, Photomuseum Winterthur, and the Pompidou Centre.»
Monsieur François-Henry Bennahmias cannot help but stating that «the awe-inspiring detail with which Holdsworth’s images are created echoes the precision and accuracy at the heart of Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking.»
Jasmine Audemars, the VR-President of Audemars Piguet, states that «Dan’s work portrays the Vallée de Joux in the Jura Mountains, the watchmaking company’s home, in all its glory and perfectly embodies Audemars Piguet’s philosophy: ‹to break the rules, you must first master them›» She continues that «each of Holdsworth’s works reveals millions of minutely calibrated measurements, showing the surfaces of the Vallée de Joux.».
She also says that «bridging the worlds of science and art, each image is created with the latest photogrammetry and geomapping technologies. It is the result of weeks of meticulous fieldwork in conjunction with a research geologist, amassing hundreds of photographic images. Through a specially configured computer programme correlating these images to GPS coordinates, Holdsworth has created astonishing three-dimensional models of the landscape, which offer us a new form of what he calls ‹future archeology›».
François-Henry Bennahmias and Sebastian Errazuriz.
A soundproof room serving as a private vault is enveloped with custom-designed panels illustrating icicles, stalactites, and stalagmites and feature a series of timepieces on display. At this place you can hear the mechanically ticking clockworks as if they were directly implanted into you ears. This will definitively help to make plastic surgeons jobless. More about this amazing «Ice Cycle Lounge» on designboom.
More about Dan Holdsworth’s work on Audemars Piguet’s website.