Wervel [Turmoil] - Wervel [Turmoil], 2019, is a flowing 20-metre long double-sided videosculpture based on the formal qualities of a tornado and a representation of turbulence in the form of the sculpture. The public art sculpture is saturated in intense colours achieved through video and LED light and follows the architectural contours of the Forum Garage beneath the newly built Forum Groningen by NL Architects in the city centre of Groningen.
Wervel [Turmoil] shows a range of colourful and digitally composed videos that originate from natural phenomena such as turbulence and fluid dynamics and the scientific processes behind them. It shows transitions of colour and nebulous forms undulating across different dynamics of viscosity and fluidity, revealing mesmerising abstract images and organic visual patterns. The visuals are immersed in, what Assmann refers to as hypercolours, which she finds both in nature and the digital colour spectrum, and are characteristic for her work.
Phenomena as turbulence and fluid dynamics create patterns that recur at a microscopic, macroscopic, and cosmic level and Assmann is inspired by visual patterns that arise from such phenomena. The work is inspired by the colourful turbulent patterns that occur in her previous works with liquid soap films, by fire tornadoes that are fuelled by forest fires, as by turbulence seen on a larger scale; such as turbulent patterns seen in solar storms and centuries lasting super tornadoes on the planetary atmosphere of Jupiter, as in the chaotic flow patterns and vortices in fluids, air and eroded into our earth’s surface that multi-spectrum telescopes and space probes can now reveal.
Years of collecting related images and videos viewed at different scales resulted in a personal database and are used by Assmann as input for the two specifically custom-built video synthesizers based on the same principles as these phenomena. Allowing her to compose and alter the continuously-changing visuals of turbulence and fluid dynamics into 22 unique videos. These composed videos are shown in a random and continuous order. Combined with the various angles from which the sculpture can be viewed when walking or driving around the sculpture, placed in the spiral oval shaped centre, allows for a diverse experience upon visiting the Forum Garage.
With Wervel [Turmoil] Assmann is looking at the world around us by means of zooming in and zooming out and by contrasting the micro, macro and cosmic, she discerns recurring images and patterns to gain a sense of reflection and relativity.
Wervel [Turmoil], both refers to these natural phenomena such as turbulence and fluid dynamics and serves as a metaphor for the turbulent and fluid times in which we live.
flexible LED modules, steel construction, steel cables, led control system, power and data cables, power supplies, custom-built video synthesizers, custom-built computer, custom-built software for video control, 22 composed videos
20m x 127cm x 9,4 cm, with a 7m height difference
Wervel [Turmoil] is Assmann's first permanent public art work and was commissioned by CBK Groningen and made possible through the generous support of Gemeente Groningen & Mondriaan Fund.
Concept, research, design, artistic direction, videos: Nicky Assmann
Constructive design, steel construction, placement of sculpture: DOK
Technical design & realisation: Spectro Productions
Co-production videos: Joris Strijbos
Development video synthesizer 1: Nenad Popov
Development video synthesizer 2: Jean-Michel Couturier
Video playback software: Joris Strijbos, Dieter Vandoren
Assistance scale model: Jeroen Molenaar
Additional thanks to:
Art Committee Wervel [Turmoil], Nicoline Wijnja, Jan Samsom, Mare van Koningsveld, Tonneke Mulder, Forum Groningen, Bussel Engineering, BAM, ABT
& NL Architects
Documentation Wervel [Turmoil]:
Video Wervel [Turmoil] by Tanja Busking, Koen Dijkstra
Video Wervel [Turmoil] by Mondriaan Fund: Thijs van Gasteren
Video and film stills made during pre-research Forum Garage: Julia Sterre
Photography Wervel [Turmoil]: Jenne Hoekstra, Knelis, Nicky Assmann
Acorán by Nicky Assmann and Rotor - The film 'Acorán'  by visual artist Nicky Assmann and experimental sound collective Rotor shows a slow moving trajectory through the clouds of Mount Teide on the volcanic island of Tenerife. The continuous movement of the shot highlights the Sun which becomes an important actor due to the infrared filter used while recording the footage. The soundscape which accompanies the film is the outcome of field recordings and electronic experiments which were specifically composed for the film.
The title 'Acorán' originates from the now extinct language of the Guanches, the indigenous inhabitants of Tenerife, before being colonised by Spain centuries ago. Acorán refers to their ancient God who according to legend saves the Sun and brings back light after having been imprisoned inside the volcano which caused the world to plunge into darkness. While filming, the volcano on the neighbouring island La Palma erupts, giving new life to this local saga.
This film is made possible through Klankvorm with the generous support of Creative Industries Fund NL, City of Rotterdam and Mondriaan Fund
Solace – a soap film apparatus - Solace  is a cinematic installation that explores the mental process and physical activity of seeing. At regular intervals a handcrafted apparatus creates a monumental soap film as a spatial intervention. Through precise lighting the inner movement of the soap film is revealed, showing a turbulent choreography of iridescent colour and fluid motion. As gravity slowly gets a hold of the membrane the viewer can be fascinated with the phenomenon, until inevitably the fragile film bursts.
Solace is embedded in a context of visual music, expanded cinema, synesthesia and what Assmann refers to as hypercolours, which can be found in both nature and the digital colour spectrum, and are characteristic for her work. In creating her own screens made from thin soap films and the specific use of lights, she's playing with the different elements of the cinematic apparatus in the lineage of expanded cinema. The analogue imagery created in Solace refers to abstract and experimental film, but also to digital visual language.
The monumental transparent screen is lifted as an intervention in the space. It creates a temporary layer that can be seen as a metaphorical reflection on augmented reality. Set against this backdrop of our visual culture, where the perception of reality increasingly occurs in the virtual domain, Assmann returns with to the physical foundations of seeing in which the embodied experience is central.
Solace is the first installation in the triptych Assmann made on soap film, from which the soap film installation Solaris is the following installation and the video installation Liquid Solid, made together with artist Joris Strijbos, the final part of the triptych.
Photo by Aad Hoogendoorn
The Abysses of the Scorching Sun - In the kinetic light installation ‘The Abysses of the Scorching Sun’  Nicky Assmann refers to the ideas that consider the earth and the sun as ever-turning perpetuum mobiles that will still be rotating long after we are gone. It examines the passage of time, the finite and the infinite, global warming and the changing climate of our planet, how we humans are part of this earthly existence, and how accidental and ephemeral our existence is when compared to the cosmos.
In this creation the artist was inspired by the early work of light art pioneer Thomas Wilfred.
The work came about after reading texts by James Lovelock, Timothy Morton and Donna J. Haraway and joining the Dark Ecology journeys, a three-year art and research project in the Arctic regions of Norway and Russia co-organised by Sonic Acts and derived from the Dark Ecology concept introduced by Timothy Morton.
Next to making several research journey and artist-in-residencies through different landscapes. Visiting both arid deserts and the melting ice of the sub-arctic region and dealing with these feelings of anxiety of the current climate change and ecological apocalypse we're in.
The installation is a light machine which is pointed towards the sun and follows its trajectory by using a sun tracer. Its telescope traces the path of light and moves slowly, almost invisibly, throughout the day. The machine is based on the concept of a sun dial, but instead of indicating time, it projects light back to the sun. The light travels through several reflective and diffractive elements before projecting its rays onto the white walls of the space. The light projection is immersed in, what Assmann refers to as hypercolours, which can be found in nature, brought forward by the light of the sun and are characteristic for her work. The visuals move throughout the space as the installation follows the sun and are accompanied by a score composed of perpetual drones.
The different cycles lead to an ever changing prismatic coloured visual output, that, together with the moving wheels and cones, is reminiscent of the eye of a storm. It is the calm before the havoc, the moment prior to reaching a state of entropy.
Research & concept: Nicky Assmann
Sound composition: Joris Strijbos
Realisation: Nicky Assmann, Jeroen Molenaar, Spectro Productions, Joris Strijbos, Daan Johan, Dieter Vandoren, Christian Friedrich, Joep de Jong, Joris Rockx
Co-production: Werktank / With support of The Creative Industries Fund NL & The Flemish Government.
Radiant - Radiant  is a kinetic ‘mobile’ sculpture in which optical moiré patterns and colour effects appear, due to the precise balance between space, geometrical shapes, movement and light. The spatial installation continuously transforms in shape and colour, and the whole room changes along with it. The 24-hour sequence for the light is based on a day and night rhythm. Colours appear and disappear, and put observation to the test, comparable to the effects of Op Art and ZERO Art. The observer is tempted to question its perception. Moiré and interference patterns very often occur on computer screens as an unintentional side effect. By applying undulating lines to the perspex plates, Assmann tries to transform this digital phenomenon into a physical experience. This provides an interesting combination of materiality and immateriality.
material: perspex plates, plastic films, engines, motor and light controllers, theatre spots, LED lighting, kinetic sequence, dimensions variable
Photo by Aad Hoogendoorn
Liquid Solid - Liquid Solid  is a collaborative project between Nicky Assmann and Joris Strijbos in which they explore the cinematic qualities of a freezing soap film and resulted in both a film and video installation.
Liquid Solid came forth after attending the Ars BioArctica residency at the Biological Research Center in the sub-Arctic Region of Finland. During this residency they shot footage of the freezing process of soap films and made recordings with self build VLF antennas to pick up the electro magnetic signals from the Aurora Borealis, the Northern lights. The footage and recordings functioned as the basis for a single channel video and a video installation.
The residency has an emphasis on the Arctic environment and art and science collaboration and deals with the impressions of the sub-arctic, the melting ice and changing surroundings. Since weather conditions like wind and temperature varied each day, with temperatures ranging from minus 6 to minus 25 degrees Celsius, the freezing process of the soap film differed in behaviour and appearance during their filming process.
Video installation: 2015, Full HD, 1920x1080, 18'09" (loop)
The video installation Liquid Solid is an eighteen-minute-long film about the freezing process of soap liquid. Soap only freezes at very low temperatures, because the water remains protected by the soap acids for a very long time. Within a number of minutes, the colourful soap slowly sinks down in the film of soap, until a vacuum of a very thin layer of water remains, in which frozen crystals whirl round. The constantly shifting iridescent quality of the liquid soap membrane disappears as it freezes, leaving a solid, crystallized colourless surface. Only at a very low temperature, an accelerated freezing process occurs, during which ice crystals transform into fractal-like patterns.
Single Channel Video: 2016, Full HD, 1920x1080, 7'02" [The single channel video is distributed by Eye Experimental]
The single channel video Liquid Solid focusses on the conditions where the temperatures are around -20 degrees Celsius and all colour has disappeared from the soap film, it shows a precise montage of the accelerated freezing process of the soap films during which ice crystals grow into complex fractal-like patterns.
For both the video installation and the film Strijbos and Assmann composed a soundtrack with a mixture of soundscapes, ranging from singing whales, recordings with self-made instruments, such as VLF antennas and monochords played with electromagnets.
Below a trailer from the video installation of Liquid Solid
Liquid Solid was made possible with the generous support of:
Creative Industries Fund NL, Gemeente Rotterdam, The Finnish Society of Bioart
Liquid Solid is the final chapter in the triptych Assmann made on soap film, from which the monumental soap film installation Solace is the first part and soap film apparatus Solaris the second chapter.
Sinking in Between – Light composition for a floating form - 'Sinking in Between'  is a composition for a floating form in the water.
It is searching for the tension between layers of liquid and light.
The inflatable is made of a special reflective material that together with druplets of water and the use of light brings forward iridescent colours, reminiscent of ice crystals.
The floating form changes in colour, shape and shadow with the different phases of light during the composition.
The work is a meeting between artists Nicky Assmann and Cocky Eek in air, liquid and the interference of light.
Materials: reflective fabric, raft, steal cable, blower, tube, lights, light controller
Dimensions: 320 x 370 x 400 cm
Aurora - Aurora  Aurora traces the oxidation process of copper plates. Assmann treated the copper plates with a gas burner, and subsequently treated the surface with patina, due to which the range of colouring slowly changed. The hand of the artist is subordinate to the laws of nature: the natural process of corrosion determines how the work will finally obtain its visual identity. Aurora is the Latin name for polar lights, the coloured glow that sometimes occurs in the night sky in the polar regions. The oxidation process of the copper reminded Assmann of the breath-taking flickering of the aurora borealis. Aurora is embedded in a context of visual music & expanded cinema and shows through these mirroring screens a distorted reflection at reality. Just like her other installations, this work is about bringing forward in the material what Assmann calls hypercolours, which are characteristic for her work and are intensified by the light of the sun. Aurora deals with some form of transition; in the case of the Aurora, a very slow, barely perceptible transition. material: patina, combustible materials, copper, wood, [sun]light. dimensions: variable, per object: 200 cm x 100 cm x 30 cm
Fading Shadows - Fading Shadows 
'Fading Shadows' is a kinetic light installation by Joris Strijbos and Nicky Assmann which is the result of their since 2013 ongoing research project Moiré Studies, under which the duo creates installations and performances based on grids, kinetic light and the principles of the moiré effect. The moiré effect is the phenomenon of spatial interferences provoked by the superimposition of two patterns. These works continue the rich history of moiré art in movements such as kinetic and Op art. In this installation the artists tune the phenomenon to the limits of human perception and use the effect as a method for composition.
Two opposing horizontal static grids placed against a white background. Several kinetic light machines are positioned in front of the grids each with their own motion: 'Circular Motion' and 'Horizontal Motion & Vertical Motion'. Thus creating different movements and field of depths in the visual patterns. Complementary colours, that are oscillating through the colour spectrum, flicker to create a state of mental uncertainty. The screens are transformed into optical fields of interference showing a hallucinatory choreography of shadow, hypercolour, and stroboscopic light.
A single horizontal static grid is placed against a white background and a kinetic light machine is positioned in front of the grid. The light machine has a circular motion. Depending on the distance of the viewer different field of depths in the visual patterns appear.
The screen is transformed into an optical field of interference, showing a hallucinatory choreography of shadow and white stroboscopic light.
'Fading Shadows' consists of different set-ups, with different light machines, visuals and screens, each adjusted to the space.
Video from the installation set-up as shown at Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh in 2017.
Photo by Joris Strijbos as shown at Maquina Mistica in Madrid in 2022
Solaris - Solaris (2013) is an apparatus existing of multiple soap films that can be lifted up manually. It is a machine that explores the mental process and physical activity of seeing and creates soap films as a spatial intervention. Solaris shows 6 screens placed behind each other to fully experience the play with light and reflections that occur in between the different frames of the soap films. Through precise lighting the inner movement of the soap film is revealed, showing a turbulent choreography of iridescent colour and fluid motion. As gravity slowly gets a hold of the membrane the viewer can be fascinated with the phenomenon, until inevitably the fragile film bursts.
Solaris is embedded in a context of visual music, expanded cinema, synesthesia and what Assmann calls hypercolours, which are characteristic for her work and in this work are brought forward by the use of light. In creating her own screens made from thin soap films and the specific use of lights, she's playing with the different elements of the cinematic apparatus in the lineage of expanded cinema. The analogue imagery created in Solaris refers to abstract and experimental film.
Solaris is the second installation in the triptych Assmann made on soap film, from which the monumental soap film installation Solace was the first chapter and the video installation Liquid Solid, made together with artist Joris Strijbos, is the third part of the triptych.
Solaris was shown amongst others at the Saatchi Gallery as part of an art triptych curated by Piet de Jonge.
Solaris was developed during the year of receiving 'the stipend for emerging artists for visual and fine arts' by Mondriaan Fund.
Photo Gert van Rooij