exhibition ‘Above and beneath the VU Campus’

11/01/2018 | 01/18/2019

Main Building Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1st floor, around the Aula

exhibition ‘Above and beneath the VU Campus’

curator Liselotte Neervoort via l.l.neervoort@vu.nl

University Library



From 1 November to 18 January, visitors to the exhibition ‘Above and beneath the VU Campus’ can gain a glimpse of what lies beneath Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The exhibition also traces activities on the uppermost soil levels over the past 1,000 years – and looks at what is yet to come – from reclamation of the Buitenveldert polder up through the initial and ongoing development of the VU Campus.

Drilling to a depth of 162 metres
In 2017, in connection with the installation of a geothermal heat pump (GHP), deep drilling – as far down as 162 metres – took place at the VU Campus. Simon Troelstra, senior lecturer emeritus in the Earth Sciences, ensured that optimum scientific use was made of this rare opportunity. He asked the drilling firm, Tjaden, to collect sediment samples at intervals of 1 metre. Under the supervision of Troelstra and his colleague Kees Kasse, three Geology students analysed these sediment samples for the purpose of their Bachelor's thesis research. Their results are on display in the exhibition.

From primeval rivers to an ever-changing university
This exhibition takes you all the way from the distant past (2.6 million years ago) to the relatively near future (2030) of this modest tract of land. Go on a journey that will take you from primeval rivers, ice ages, sea level rises and marshland reclamation through to Amsterdam's ongoing expansion and the ever-changing university.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is constantly evolving
With an expanding student body and transformations in society, changes are imperative to not only our teaching and research, but also our physical environment. Lecture halls, research labs, offices and restaurants are continually being upgraded to fit the shifting needs of students and staff, and new development plans and buildings are always in the works. As the Zuidas develops from an office park to a residential district and destination in its own right, the VU Campus is gaining new dimensions as well. It is becoming a lively and green urban campus where living, working, studying and cultural activities all come together.

Art by Femke Herregraven
The exhibition also includes works of art by Femke Herregraven. In her pieces, Herregraven explores the new materials, geographies and value systems created by today's financial technologies and infrastructures. The artist's focus lies on the relationship between financial value, geological instability and self-organising systems, both biological and technological. Her work entails digital and online components and takes the form of games, drawings, prints, sculptures, videos and installations.

Join us as we journey from a depth of 162 metres to a height of 63 metres above the ground, and from 2.5 million years ago to the near future, and encounter first-hand these unexpected stories from above and beneath the Campus.

Above and beneath the VU Campus: past, present, future
Around the Aula, 1st floor, VU Main Building
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

1 November 2018 until 18 January 2019

Want to learn more?
Contact curator Liselotte Neervoort via l.l.neervoort@vu.nl