Simon Denny’s Berlin Blue (2020) reframes industry, invention and locality in a new silk scarf design.
This unique edition channels formats developed in Denny’s “Document Relief” series, which uses corporate patent applications to shed light on unseen developments in tech, and in his sculptures made earlier this year from the politically loaded scarf collection of Margaret Thatcher.
Berlin Blue overlays an image of the Tesla “Gigafactory” currently being built outside Berlin with drawings from two recently filed battery patents, one by Tesla and the other by Silicon Valley energy storage giant Natron. The latter describes a product that uses Prussian Blue – also referred to as ‘Berlin Blue’– a synthetic pigment developed in Berlin in the early 1700s that became famously popular among artists. Recently, this chemical compound has emerged as a lucrative alternative to cobalt: a controversial key ingredient in electric batteries, known to rely on supply chains linked to unjust mining practices, child labor, and contested trade monopolies.
Designed in faux Cyanotype, a photographic process also derived from Prussian Blue, the scarf overlays claims to technological development directly over Berlin. Through the occupation of place, abstract notions of intellectual property become tangible as powers with real impact within a changing city. As part of a program that provides infrastructure for artists, Berlin Blue highlights the complex interplay of forces shaping Berlin in 2020.
All proceeds of this edition sale support BPA’s free progam.
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