This site supports a research project called The Fountain: An art-technological-social drama. Our focus is a large public art work named LTH-Fontänen (The LTH Fountain) on the campus of Lund University in southern Sweden.
Inaugurated in 1970, LTH-Fontänen was anticipated as a modern “artistic-technological cathedral of steel, glass and water without parallel in the world”. Yet it proved frustrating as a fountain: leaking, fracturing and never effectively carrying water. Today it remains inert on campus; neither an artwork nor a ruin. Our research initiates a recommitment to a substantially state-funded public artwork after a 25-year hiatus and introduces new questions––not about how to get the fountain to work as a fountain––about whether LTH-Fontänen offers a platform from which a new public artwork can emerge.
The project is funded by Formas (a Swedish research council for sustainable development) and creates a partnership between HDK-Valand: Academy of Art and Design at Gothenburg University, Lund University's Faculty of Engineering (LTH) and Skissernas Museum–Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art.
Project Leader is Maddie Leach (HDK-Valand), participating researchers are Professor Lars-Henrik Ståhl (Department of Architecture and Built Environment, LTH) and Professor Mick Wilson (HDK-Valand). We are a multidisciplinary team, combining our knowledge of artistic and architectural design practices; practice-based research; critical and theoretical perspectives on aesthetics, public space and art in the public sphere.
Title image: LTH-Fontänen, Spring 2019. Photo: Maddie Leach