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Client: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

IJsfontein brought the artwork Waxing Arcs by Richard Serra to life and designed a multimedia experience of approx. 14 minutes, including pictures, film clips and sound. The experience allows the audience to gain insight into that which is normally hidden.

A brief description

Waxing Arcs by Richard Serra (San Francisco, 1939) is perhaps one of the most famous works on display at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. At the same time, it is also one of the least understood works. Few visitors know the history and stories behind these striking rusty arcs.

In collaboration with the museum, IJsfontein brought this artwork to life thanks to a unique multimedia experience of approx. 14 minutes, including huge projections of historical material and poetic artwork and accompanied by the music of Erik Henze. During the experience, the audience moves along in the room and literally explores the different views and visions of the artwork.

The story

Serra’s rationale behind creating the artwork was that the visitor would experience space in different ways because of the way in which the arcs are placed within the room. This would be further emphasised if he/she would walk through the room. However, since the eighties, the Serra room has changed several times; in terms of size, style and logistics. Even the restaurant was located next to the arcs for some time. This to great dissatisfaction of the artist. Today the room is empty, but also twice as large as it was first. The current artwork is a new version, which is a lot larger and once again dominates the room.

The “In Constant Motion” multimedia experience tells the moving story in text, music, sound and large projections.

The multimedia experience

Thanks to a floor projection of 20 x 30 metres, the history of Richard Serra’s work comes to life. In this experience we project actual-sized architect drawings, in which you can see past visitors walk. You’ll be able to see how visitor flows have changed over the past 25 years. At the same time, you can view historical images on the walls of the room and on the artwork itself. The sound moves through the room thanks to an 8-channel audio system. This also allows the visitor to freely move through the room. After all, to experience the artwork to its fullest you have to walk around it.

Visitor Cor Noltee wrote about his experiences on his blog Design Thinking By Doing.

Technical marvel

52 beamers were required to fill the hall with as many projections as possible. These beamers were all required to be in sync in order to play the same animation. All this at a high resolution, with synchronised sound, light and automatic dimming. In order to make this possible, IJsfontein developed special software that can play real-time (3D) animation from a single computer onto 52 beamers that are each provided with a Raspberry Pi (a mini computer) with special animation software. The system also allows one to precisely determine which part of the animation appears on which beamer, so that shapes and animations can be played across multiple devices. The system works in real-time. Furthermore, thanks to the built-in AI, every show is slightly different.


Unfortunately, ‘In Constant Motion’ can no longer be viewed by the public.


What can we do for your organization? Contact us at info@ijsfontein.nl or  +31 (0)20 33 00 111.