Been home for a week now. Want to finish up the Dutch design week posts and get that nagging tea ceremony post finished. (No disrespect to the tea ceremony, of course!) It’s awesome being home and holing up feels all kinds of right for me here. I think the cats are helping me out on that front. I’m finally sleeping normally, from 10:30 to 6:30, and I feel rested. YES. The first few days were tough because I was waking up at 4. I’d make my tea as quietly as I could and turn on AC Origins, also quietly, and would play until Ryder woke up. Usually though, it had me hooked until noon… the way video games tend to do.
My work took a strange turn when I got to the Obras Holland residency. I landed on drawing the images of historic sculptures of Medusa because I liked the rage in her face and I was relating that to the way I feel about our privacy rights being whittled away. I thought that’s what I was going to focus on while I was in Renkum but I found myself dissatisfied with the results. Now, if you were my student, I’d tell you to push through that idea. Keep scratching it like an itch and eventually it will welt up and bleed for you. No… Wait. If you were my student I’d tell you never to go with your first idea. I’d say, “Come up with ten more ideas and then we’ll talk. You need to brainstorm.” Well shit. I LOVE brainstorming! So, back to the drawing board I went. No… that’s not right… Away from the drawing board! Time to research.
Really, I think I only saw about half of the venues at DDW17. I did, however, get my fill. By the time I left I was definitely designed out. Parts of Dutch Design Week feel like an enormous Maker Faire as this and a few future posts will confirm. Starting with robots, we begin our journey into the amazing world of design. I never quite got what the “robot love” thing was about, but to procure one of these sweet stickers I had to sign a document promising that I would indeed love robots. Wondering what that means exactly and if I’m going to be paid.
I’m overwhelmed guys. Now I’m back in Renkum and I’m still overwhelmed. I took 631 photos in two days at Dutch Design Week. Let me put that into perspective for you. On my phone right now from 2011-2012, I have 26 photos, 2013 – 112 photos, 2014 – 267, 2015 – 198. I don’t take a lot of photos… usually… and in two days I just did what it took me 5 years to do. I’m not even sure I totaled that many photos in my beloved Japan!
This could be another weird/cool stuff post but I’m just going to go with A’dam 2. I took this trip with friend, Eleonora Tammes, another gracious Dutch artist willing to spend her day with me. (Big shout out to Eleonora for understanding every privacy related topic I threw at her. She doesn’t have a smart phone and she pretty much stays off of the internet. The downside of this is that she doesn’t have a current website I can show you.) We spent the day looking at art and ducking into coffee sh… places where you drink a cup of coffee to avoid sudden downpours of rain. This will be my last trip to Amsterdam with the exception of heading to the airport to fly home on Halloween. I realized it costs me at least $40 to go each time. It’s getting expensive…
Perhaps it was because it was so cold when I arrived that I didn’t get outside for a walk until yesterday. It got up to 75 and it was marvelous. I had been anxiously watching the weather forecast for days with plans to walk in the nearby forest. I first went to my grand overseer’s house to ask which direction to walk. (I don’t have regular phone service so google maps won’t work if I want to plan a route.) Josien and her husband Peter warned that it was easy to get lost in the wooded area to the North and to try to listen for cars on one of the larger roads if I did. I felt confident that I would be just fine.
SO… there was a pokemon go event near Amsterdam and OMG I’m going to Amsterdam that day. Doing the math, that means I’m going to this event, in a foreign country, to catch a kangaroo. This stupid pocket monster is normally only available in Australia so it’s an amazing opportunity for me to catch two regional pokemon (Europe has a mime) in one place without having to purchase a ticket to Australia. I planned my visit to Amsterdam with an overnight stay with friends Margaret and Rene who live a little north of the city in a converted house that used to receive small ships. Margaret and Rene are the Dutch couple I met in the residency in Onishi, but being such a huge people-hater, it took me over 2 hours to warm up to them. Margaret is a top photographer and Rene is a consultant who helps brand companies to make them more successful and then guides them towards being a better and more responsible business ecologically. (I had to say this out loud here because I know that Margaret gets patted on the shoulder at the very least and most likely gets a kiss for communicating correctly to me what Rene does.) I think the Dutch have one of the most ecological cultures I may have ever seen. They are very ready to embrace ecological responsibilities.
I have some tiny movies for you.
Tokyo Edition! I still have so many images to share from Japan. Let’s get right to it.
Ok, ok. I’ll show you the sumi-e work I’ve been doing… but prepare to be underwhelmed. I’m going to contrast it with the work of my instructor, Sanae Aiba, so you can see why I’m embarrassed.
Wow, I can hardly believe it. Here it is! A little info about the work: My initial idea was to make sculptures of everyday objects that have cameras on them, such as bumpers, phones, video game consoles etc. and exaggerate the camera portion by putting a surveillance camera “growth” on the spot in which the camera appears on the object. I tinkered with a raspberry pi for weeks before I left the country with plans to have it power an actual camera and put it inside of the sculpture. It would be attached to a monitor which would show you looking at the piece and the piece looking at you. Well… the raspberry pi made me want to murder people in the face. I never solved the issues I was having no matter how many youtube videos I watched and tutorials I read. I still love the idea so I may revisit it when I get home if I can get a living, breathing tutor to help me figure it out.
Just so you know… in addition to participating with the community, eating, sleeping, pooping regularly, riding a bike as my means of transportation (including riding 2 miles every other day to get groceries or supplies… no it’s not far, but it takes a big chunk of time out of my day), and writing about all of it daily, I’m making art each day as well. I don’t have anything too exciting to show for it yet but I figured I’d fill you guys in.