Thursday, December 31, 2009

la chèvre de monsieur michiel

Dit is Sprits (18), de geit van Michiel Hegener.
Sprits slaapt s'nachts in zijn keuken "ivm haar zeer hoge leeftijd".
Ook kijkt ze mee als hij televisie kijkt.
Pleidooi voor de liefdevolle, intelligente geit,
waarvan vele in Nederland helaas geen gelukkige 2010 zullen meemaken.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


While archiving my images on these long 'offline' days I came across a lot of street views, morning lights, surface details and beautiful persons, whom I met throughout the years in all kinds of places. I wish I could be there again.

The instant nescafé was unthinkably sweet and synthetic, yet I still remember this as one of the nicest coffee breaks I ever had. The terrace was in a village somewhere 10 hours driving in a straight line from any other town in Lybia. Maybe it was the emptiness all around that made my small stop in this place so intense and surreal.
Early morning on the Bergweg. There was something incredibly (ongelofelijk) charming about that place, and I still can't tell what it was exactly.
On the beach in Zandvoort, with our Nepalese friends, on their first day here, September 9th 2008. This picture suddenly reminded me of how fragile and close friendships can be.

Rue de la Gare

rue de la gare, emballages.

Rudy is holding a broche, which I asked Monique to make, for his 65 year wedding anniversary.

On January 1 I will drive down to Echternach, Luxemburg, to have a pie with my grandfather Parrain and my grandmother Granny. They used to live in a former hotel Rue de la Gare, with their retail Boutique Krier downstairs. I still sleep there, but the house grows more empty every time I come by. I'm trying to figure out how to make a small, personal documentary of my attempts to get close to them, and to understand what I inherited from their culture, norms, and skills.

Me you and everyone we know is a curator (after thought)

all images of the symposium by Jonas Lund and Anika Schwarzloze
Miranda July, whose work has inspired the title of the symposium,
presented here during Sarah Cook's talk
10.30 am: Welcome word by Mieke Gerritzen
The queue outside just before doors opened (sorry, mara)
I gave a 8 min eye-bird view of important references in my work (such as Francis Alÿs' Paradox of Praxis here) and important decisions in the process of putting together the symposium.

When people ask me how the symposium went, I can't help smiling and saying: it was quite a success. My perfectionist mind has to admit the fact that all speakers were generous in what they shared, their presentations were well thought-out, the visuals were dynamic (with the usual technical disclaimers), and the audience was alert and engaged all day. The Gerritzen-Krier duo (our first) proved fruitful, because Mieke [Gerritzen] can package content like no other - she zips it, labels it and condenses it, so that it remains readable and digestable to all, where I tend to differentiate more and more, at the risk of losing sight of the original stakes of the day. The day got a fresh reset with every Lucky TV interlude, which were selected to fit the day's rhythm.

What were we looking for, originally? We wanted to know how to become 'media savvy' (something both Henk Oosterling and Geert Lovink talk about in the accompanying journal). We also wanted to know if the online world can teach us new modes of critical (read: selective) thinking. Along the way, I hoped that we would be able to identify what a "qualitative online experience" would look and feel like. This question came up while preparing the day's debate (which, due to time issues, had to be greatly shortened, unfortunately) with Henk and Koert [van Mensvoort]. We reasoned over a glass of wine, that if you know how to identify quality online, and you can describe that experience, then you are probably looking at new criteria of quality in of the online-offline visual era. And if you have identified those you also know what kind of (non)infrastructure you need to nurture and foster that kind of quality. But of course it's not that easy.

So did we find what we were looking for? Not quite, as always. Three bloggers plus special reporter Robbert van Strien did track the day's numerous insights here, here, here, here and here. I think that the gathered energy of the day (over 250 people braving a Saturday snow storm, our keynote speaker included, is worth taking note of) has put our question on the cultural agenda (see the Volkskrant article published on the Monday after) - and I think the day simply asks for a second edition next year. My starting point would be "a possible semantics of the visual", a quest which Rick Poynor referred to in his talk, combined with "oxymoron aesthetics" - inspired by Bruce Sterling's invigorating, forward-looking plea entitled Revisions of the Digital.

To be continued...