Life and work
He was born in The Hague, The Netherlands. He Studied Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Art and for some years Cultural Sciences and Philosophy. After painting for many years, he started in 1985 the Weightless Sculpture Project. In 1990 he began to use the Internet to work with virtual reality, such as head-mounted displays and Datagloves with tactile feedback, at The Technical University in Delft.
Since 1998 he has been developing an Art and Educational Project using interactive 3D technology with vrml in collaboration with the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands. His main project is Weightless Sculpture, which he began in 1985 with the concept " A Line in Outer Space - Visible from earth - with the naked eye - At clear nights."
Sjardijn made an animation at the Digistar Planetarium Computer in the Omniversum in The Hague and exhibited in the Municipal Museum of The Hague.
His latest concept is called ArtSpaceLab, which contains a virtual exhibition, a database and a proposal for an artproject inside the International Space Station. The virtual Coop Himmelb(l)au Pavilion gives access to a database, containing a big collection of free software and (video)tutorials as used by Sjardijn.
"Weightless sculptures" are a type of kinetic sculpture. Martin Sjardijn proposed the first Weightless sculpture as a conceptual artwork in 1985 as a line in outer space to be an extension of the manmade satellite. He started the Weightless Sculpture Project with the statement:
- A line in outerspace visible from earth with the naked eye at clear nights.
This would use the device of a highly reflective grit, to be launched into space using standard piggyback payload technology, and brought into a 30.000 km/h sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 200-400 kilometers. The grit is then spread out over a 100 meter long and 1 meter wide area so that a clearly recognizable line will be visible with the naked eye at clear nights during 15 minute intervals at every point on earth.
The precedent for this is from the Belgian painter Paul Van Hoeydonck who created "Fallen Astronaut", an aluminium statue about 8.5 cm long that was sent to the moon with the Apollo 15 mission. It is not a weightless work of art because of the gravity on the moon.