About the Artist

Helmut Smits believes that every situation, thought or object has the potential of being a good work of art. Going back to the basis, looking for inner contradictions, he is always looking for these works of art. This has resulted in hundreds of works since 2001, the year in which he completed his studies at the Academy of Arts in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Smit has been creating free work and has also been working under commission. His work includes spatial installations, work in public areas, and publications.

About the Search Question

Helmut Smits is collaborating with KesselsKramer to launch a campaign for the Department of Search to encourage drinking tap water. From his interviews with Prof. Dr Ruud Schotting, he learned that probably the best tap water in the world is produced in the Netherlands. More than 70% of the drinking-water is made from groundwater. Bottled water is about 1,000 times more expensive than Dutch tap water. Additionally, the regulations and checks on Dutch tap water are considerably stricter than those concerning water sold in a bottle. Dutch tap water is checked for over 500 substances. The water footprint of 1 litre of Dutch tap water is 1.1 litres; that of 1 litre of bottled water is 3 to 5 litres. Dutch tap water is available everywhere. You do not need to buy it in the shop. All you have to do is turn on the tap – so no transport of bottled water and no plastic waste.




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Department of Search

The initiative of the Department of Search was taken by the Aardschap Foundation and the municipality of Utrecht in collaboration with the Utrecht Science Park Foundation and Universitity Utrecht. The Zero Footprint Campus programme is also made possible by The Art of Impact, Mondriaan Fonds, provincie Utrecht, K.F. Hein Fonds, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds and Stichting Doen.


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