Slow Train

Slow Train

Commission for Into Nature, Bargerveen, Drenthe, NL

Curator: Hans den Hartog Jager

After two fascinating editions in Northern Drenthe and Frederiksoord, this Summer the visual art biennial Into Nature flocks to the province's Southeast corner. The Bargerveen near Emmen provides the moorland setting for visitors to walk and cycle around in, while searching for spectacular artworks by internationally renown artists.

Slow Train is a railway system, consisting of a rail track made of construction wood and a one person rail capsule which can be activated by visitors. The capsule is operated by human power. Narrow gauge railways were used in Drenthe for transporting peat. Here the railway become a low energy, small scale, local transport system used for observing nature. Its modern reflective mirrored surface suggests gives a futuristic image and hides the person riding it. It glides quietly through the natural environment, bringing the landscape into motion.

Around 1921, in the Bargerveen region of Drenthe, very long trains with relatively light locomotives were running at what was, for that time, high speeds, meandering over a field railway network in order to transport extracted peat to the peat litter mill, or to loading bays for further transport over local waterways.

Slow Train is a state-of-the-art capsule for Into Nature as part of their ongoing research into train travel (2003-present), combining it with a railroad track made entirely of wood, just like the first narrow gauge track in the Netherlands. The Slow Train is futuristic, flashy and very slow.