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Archive for April, 2017


About How Glowing Is Not Easy


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Yoga has been part of my life for the last 7 years supporting me in the toughest times, helping me heal in the most painful ones, bringing me joy and opening my eyes when I needed it. I understand what yoga brings into my life and I understand the benefits it can bring to people since I witnessed it myself. And yet, something about a lot of yoga teachers I met always made me feel… Intimidated ? “Intimidated” may not be the right word but something invisible about them intrigued me. It was something that I had a hard time understanding or even pointing out which is why I decided to contact a yoga teacher.

Skadi is a dutch yin and vinyasa yoga teacher. I attended a couple of her classes last year but had never actually talked to her before I started working on the design assignment. She is the perfect example of a glowing, radiant human being. Even before I had the opportunity to meet her in person and have an actual conversation with her, I could feel all of the love and kindness and patience and generosity that was shining around her. There was something flawless, some kind of purity about her that I could not explain and that I was almost afraid of. That something became even more powerful once I met her.

Our meeting was generally good. Nothing exceptional happened, nothing terrible happened. We talked about yoga, life and how she experienced both. We had a nice conversation, we got along well. To be honest I was excepting some kind of grand revelation, an explosion of inspiration which would put me directly on the right path for the development of the assignment when in fact, I felt completely lost. My mind was blank and inspiration was nowhere to be found. The more I thought about what I could do, what I wanted to do and the more I got frustrated both with myself and with her. The frustration was not directed towards her as a person but towards the expectations I had going into our meeting.

crown tree

first sketch. > second sketch, very representative of my state of mind at the time > below: What my first idea would have resulted in.

cape

I knew I had to start somewhere in order to find my way. I started thinking of how I could communicate the feeling of frustration I was dealing with. What material could I use to represent Skadi ? How could I materialize the negative mindset I was in ? How could I detach myself from it ? My first try out was pretty literal. I used velvet to represent the flowy and soothing energy that radiated from Skadi and added to it my element of frustration represented by small pieces of metal wire. The result was supposed to be some type of cape, a protective piece of clothing.

Here lies the remains of the material of my first try-out.

Here lies the remains of the material of my first try-out. The more I looked at it, the more I tried to work with it and the more I hated it. I ended up "destroying the evidence".

That is when I realised I needed something light. I needed something fun to transform that frustration into something positive. I thought, why not try to actually make that strange and yet soothing energy I was so curious about ? Why not represent it and materialize it from my perspective ? After freeing myself from this negative mindset by not so simply breaking the barriers I had surrounded myself with, I finally found the material I needed to work with. I was immediately drawn to balloons. The idea came after seeing a 5 year old child riding a bike decorated with party balloons. This is when I connected with this material which, to me, breathed lightheartedness. This was exactly what I needed.

Rainbow Waterfall

A rainbow Waterfall,
result of a first try out with a material full of lightness and playfulness.

I saw the energy that glowed around Skadi and other yoga teachers as something that was natural to them now. Something they had in them. But I believed that most of them probably had to struggle in the past to earn what was now simple. This is what I chose to represent.

The following video offers my interpretation of this experience.


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Wrestling with Lightness


Analyzing Modern Religious Writing


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

 

Time Spend Analyzing After Meeting A Modern Cult (The Introduction).

Recently, I have been looking at language while diving into modern religious or cult-ish writing techniques and aesthetics. This is mainly the language used by Scientology and the way its founder L. Ron Hubbard confuses the reader, which then, makes it possible for Hubbard to arrive at simpler conclusions. I have looked at the writings of William S. Burroughs in his book The Job, where he argues for the seemingly nonsense idea of language as a virus.

The following is a result of these readings made with the agenda of publicizing these techniques for us to advantage of.

 

I: Using “Mental Fogginess” To Simplify Conclusions

In the first chapter of the very first scientology book, Dianetics: the original thesis (1948), L. Ron Hubbard concludes after a small, compact and confusing rant on topics such as heuristic science, workability contrasting idealism, semantic difficulties, psychosomatic ills, the unknowable/the knowable, spiritualism, deism, telepathy, clairvoyance, the human soul, field of thoughts, dynamic principle of existence, that the first cornerstone of what for the reader seems to be everything, is for the human to SURVIVE!. This is just after the section entitled important notes, placed on page four, where the church informs the reader that:

 

“Trying to read past a misunderstood word results in mental “fogginess” and difficulty in comprehending the passages which follow. If you find yourself experiencing this, return to the last portion you understood easily, locate the misunderstood word and get it defined, using a good dictionary or the Glossary at the end of the book.”

 

The problem is not that these difficult concepts such as telepathy, dynamic principle of existence, etc. are hard to grasp. The problem is that Hubbard is using them as a sort of “mental fogginess”, so when he finally concludes that the essence of all this is to SURVIVE!, the reader might not have understood what was meant above but the essence of it (to survive) we all surely understood, and we then do not need to use a good dictionary to understand this.

Hubbard also tells us in the text that we do not need to concern ourselves with the basic questions to our existence. He says that by dividing everything in the field of thoughts into two categories, the unknowable and the knowable, we then do not need to concern ourselves with such indefinites as spiritualism, deism or the human soul. This is of course addressed towards those who search for meaning. Hubbard constantly plays with concepts that an ordinary person will be confused by, and what the ordinary person will easily understand and in these easily understandable parts, he then gently pads our backs to ease our worries.

L.RonHubbard

 

 

II: An authoritarian language.

As William S. Burroughs writes about his invented professor, Professor Wilson Smith, he does it in a very scientific and authoritarian way. He uses this authoritarian language as a tool to create confusion and chaos, so his own radical and confusing statements have a chance of being seemingly logical. He writes:

 

“The word has not been recognized as a virus because it has achieved a state of stable symbiosis with the host, though this symbiotic relationship is now breaking down, for reasons I will suggest later. I quote from Mechanisms of Virus Infection, edited by Mr. Wilson Smith: “Viruses are obligatory cellular parasites and are thus wholly dependent upon the integrity of the cellular systems, they parasitize for their survival in an active state. It is something of a paradox that many viruses ultimately destroy the cells in which they are living.”

 

After Burroughs has claimed that The word has not been recognized as a virus he then quickly makes a shift to Professor Wilson Smith, making it seem like it is exactly this that Wilson Smith argues for, although Wilson Smith is not. But when Burroughs then quickly again reassures the reader that the spoken word as we know it came after the written word due to a virus infection, which also is a highly speculative statement, Borough is then again putting this idea of the word as a virus into our minds, and it is only made possible by the use of an authoritarian language.

We see that Burroughs is using language like it is an actor in a hidden camera show. Like a scene where an actor is dressed up as a police officer on a train station, ordering passengers to get out of the train, only to be left on the station, tricked by what they thought was the law. This is just as I have done by manipulation all of Burroughs’ statements for my own agenda.

 

III: Take Advantage. 

But what I in generally would like to propose is this: Let everyone take advantage of these techniques to create a more chaotic environment, were illogical facts can sprout in the chaos of all other illogical facts. But to make this environment to perfection, there are other techniques we need to acquire. Luckily every technique can be learned for this purpose since much of it already has been produced for us to observe.

 

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Mads B Sørensen: Text from the essay collection “Language and Technique”

Try to Attempt


Sunday, April 23, 2017

___After remembering my child dream about a brave crane man, I’ve decided 10 years later, no matter what, no matter the way, to get in contact with him. The main goals ? Talk with him and learn about his work. Did my dream reflect the reality ? I’ve tried to understand why life got in the way.

Crane experience

The first step was to know what’s going on in the field. It was quite easy, some construction sites took place just next to the Rietveld Academie. To reach my goal, I’ve first talked to a worker passing by. Straight away, he made me realize that everyone was very busy over here. From this moment, I’ve understood one thing : it’s going to be more complicated that I’ve thought.

I spent one day asking questions to several workers, but none of them had time to answer me. It was my first failure. Then, I tried to figure out something else. Maybe I should have tried to get in contact directly with the crane man ! But how to approach someone that busy ? I had to find a way. I’ve spent a few days, walking around, observing the crane man through the Rietveld Academie Windows. While I was looking at him, I was wondering what he his seeing ? How could I capture his attention ?

As the site was in front of the Rietveld Academie, the crane couldn’t have missed the school’s walls. Therefore, I came back to my class room and I start thinking. After putting a few ideas on the paper, I’ve found the one. I had to draw the crane man’s attention on something special, something that he couldn’t not see : a big sign just in front of him. The goal, still the same : capt his interest, but moreover, make him fell special, like the man in my dream. In order to do that and stand for his work properly, I’ve decided to picture him as a super hero. The sign had to be very clear : CRANE MAN, I’m a fan ! Let’s talk about your superpowers !

Sign for the Crane Driver

A few days later, I heard some of my classmates, speaking about the crane man, who finaly got my message. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in Amsterdam at this time, and when I came back, the crane man was gone.

During several days I was wondering what should I do next. Try to talk to him again ? Find an another way to get in touch with him ? I started to think that I’ve missed my chance.

Against all expectations, I heard about the crane man through the social networks on the school page. He actually post a picture of the sign from his crane. I couldn’t expect more !

cren driver's picture

I didn’t fail, I actually got in contact with him !

I’ve learned a lot about him and his work, just observing it. I succeeded to deliver a message, without directly talking to him. This is the very proof that when you’re trying hard, and when you really want, you can do Something. Even if it was not your first thought.

Experience to attempt

picture dice

___This experience gave me the desire to spread this message to people. Telling them that after all,  the aim doesn’t matter, trying does. To do that, I was looking for something that always makes me think about attempting. I thought about a dice. Each time you roll it, you’re trying to do a specific number. It’s actually a real tool of the idea of attempting. For instance, you’re using dices to get out of jail when you’re playing Monopoly. I’ve been thinking about how could I change the dice in order to erase the proper aim of rolling it : never reach the specif number you wanted. Erasing the numbers ? Changing the size? The shape?

I got the idea to create a specific dice, a dice which never stops Rolling. From there, you’ll be rolling it only in order to try the object, without directly knowing where it’s going to lead you. The original size of the dice was important for me because of its practical aspect. It needs to be small, easy to grab, to catch and to carry. I also wanted something playful.

Then the bouncing ball emerged in my mind ! I thought about playing without a goal. You just attempt it for what it is. However, as far as we know it, you can get bored quite easily with bouncing balls, because of the repetitive action. This made me create something that can change the first aspect of the ball and show the different steps along the trying process. From now, the idea is to create something that can captivate people’s attention in the street, and make them start to attempt something with it. Give them a gift which is actually not the ball as they think, but the action of trying.

I now have to find a practical way to do it. Creating a layer around the ball could keep the track of the different attempts. I first thought about tape, but the ball was not bouncing anymore after being wrapped. About Velvet, tracks were not that clear and the ball didn’t bounce enough. I’ve noticed that sometimes on the public benches, you can find some painting missing, It’s the wear, due to people, sitting a lot at this specific place.

Then I thought about putting a layer of paint around the ball. Attempts will brake it step by step. The painting missing on the ball will show a pattern. Each of them will be different and will represent the track of experiments during the day.

try project Vondelpark

Now I’ve found my object, I still need to figure out how people will face it. First I created a small box looking like a board game. Inside ? 4 balls and the rules of the game. Nevertheless, it didn’t work, because people just had to follow the instructions, without thinking of the idea of trying several times. I’ve wanted to let people the choice. If they want to try it, why, how ?

I built a small public facility, where balls were free to access. That way, people can choose to pay attention or not. With this making, I offered people to do whatever they wanted. No matter what they did with the balls, each choice was a good one. This project became a free gift to people, without giving them something tangible.

After all, the experience itself is the most valuable.

trying-in-Vondelpark,-Amsterdam

Just try, click on it !

VISION


Saturday, April 22, 2017

background designblog copy

I always felt this inner urge for adventure and to built crazy machines like airplanes. I never thought I would ever be capable of doing so, so I never tried to realize these dreams. Until I found out about Joost Conijn. He’s an artist that builds his own airplanes, cars and other vehicles. I tried to contact him. This ended up into an email contact drama. Then I tried to meet with two other, but with no result.

Eventually, I thought it to more challenging to go to a specific place in which people exist. For me it was important to spontaneously meet a person and not having an email contact introduction. I went to a church. Religion, or in this case Christianity, is such an undiscovered way of perceiving the world for me. It feels so distant and isolated from what I think is the ‘truth’. The main idea was to talk to a person in a confession booth to talk about my ‘rage’ that nobody cared to meet me or help me with my project.

The day I went the church was closed and the confession booths were out of use, but a small chapel was open. Two ladies opened the door and one of them guided me to the chapel.

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A confession-booth with a sign that says 'afwezig',
meaning absent in dutch.

She told me about what her relation was to religion,  about the future of religion and the people that come there. She said that religion resembles the inner truth to existence. People who believe, are people that have felt a lot of pain in there life or people are simple raised that way. Pain brings people back to the ground, it makes people see the light and realize what’s really important. She says that people nowadays also have to much distractions, people shroud themselves with fun and give importance to things that really differ from what she says is important in life.

Our conversation was so honest. I realized that if I were to talk in a confession booth about certain things, it would almost feel like I’m mocking the people that actually go to a church. Talking to this woman, made me realize that there was far more than just believing, it was an undiscovered world.

I thought the element of pain was something to work further with and for me after the talk religion in a modern society also became an interesting subject. What makes people nowadays believe and how is religion holding up. The interior of the chapel was very modern and recently renovated with unnatural white lighting. One lamp was broken and blinked the whole time, for me that felt like a metaphor for religion in a modern society. Also the whole ritual churches have of lighting a candle for good fortune inspired me. Especially because wax is also known as a material with healing abillities, it made me think of the people in pain that decide to devote their lives to Christianity.

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My first ideas how to translate my experiences into matter. Candle-like drawings with lightbulbs.

For me it felt obvious to make a lamp. My first idea was to make a lamp out of wax in the shape of a candle. After some feedback I realized that I wasn’t using the wax in a way that I could fully explore the material. I had an idea to make a lamp and using wax was just to live up to certain aesthetics I imagined in my mind. So making a lamp was to limiting.

IMG_4423

A construction for a 'candlelamp'. The idea was to pour liquid hot wax over it so the construction wouldn't be visible, but it would look like a candle with a lightbulb instead of a flame.

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I started rethinking what my experiences were going to the church. Looking back the aspect of suffering and this isolated community of people that kind of live outside of society were the strongest memories. I started working with a big chunck of wax and started carving into it with a spoon, it felt saying a prayer over and over again, a road of suffering… Eventually this weird religious object came out of it, looking like a plate. After this I started making objects that resembled a kind of ritual, but in a way that I used very recognisable objects and used the wax to melt them together and creating a totally new function.

IMG_4984  IMG_4886

IMG_4875  IMG_4876

These are three of the eventual religious objects I made; a cup together with a leaning carafe and a square plate with it's inside carved out with a spoon and with an object that fits in it that holds coctail picks to display small foods.

Then came the idea to go back to my startingpoint, church, to make my objects interact with what made me make them. The voices in the video are recordings of collective praying by the people (just ladies) in the chapel. It is said that jesus is present in this chapel, they were singing directly to jesus.

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Criteria of beauty


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Step 0 | Question: What is beauty?

 

 

What is beauty? How can it be defined?

It could be an obscure question which does not have a clear answer. A topic of my first art theory class of this semester was just about it. The first chapter in Cynthia Freeland’s book, Art Theory: A Very Short Introduction was used and it also referred to aesthetic judgement of Kant. It has never been a simple subject for me, since there would be an enormous space to argue.

But a couple of months later, I happened to think of what is called “style” might have its own clear answer.

This idea made me feel a little bit better.

 

 

Step 1 | Dutch style aquarium has appeared as unknown territory

 


Work by Takashi Amano, the founder of the style “Nature aquarium”

 

When I got an assignment named “exploring unknown territory” in design class, I never thought about such a thing. As I need to meet a professional who inspired me to go in his/her context, I was simply looking for someone who I can contact in the Netherlands. In my mind, a specific genre of aquarium, Dutch style aquarium, came earlier than an idea of who to choose.

It is because an aquarium making was my hobby which I got interested in, few years ago in Japan. This aquarium is specifically called “Nature aquarium” in which you can create an “aquascape” resembling nature landscape by putting growing aquatic plants, stones, wood and little creatures like tropical fishes or shrimps in your tank.

Unfortunately I had to leave mine in Japan when I moved to Amsterdam, but I still had a little expectation that I would see a different type of aquarium. I had already heard the word of “Dutch style aquarium” even in Japan. Now is it time to explore it here, in the Netherlands?

 

 

Step 2 | The Answer from Dutch style aquarium

 


A work from category of Dutch aquascape in AGA contest 2015

 

There are two kinds of major styles of aquascaping. One is called Nature aquarium in which I had been interested since before, and the other is called Dutch style aquarium, the oldest style becoming popular during the 1930s in the Netherlands. The former has become the global mainstream since being established in Japan in early 1990s, but actually it came after the latter.

To know more about the Dutch style I tried to meet one of judges for a category of Dutch aquascape of the international aquascaping contest. Unfortunately it was not realized. Instead, I still could get a lot of information on the internet.

Though the most simple feature of the Dutch style is nonuse of hardscape material like stones or wood, the most interesting finding for me was the very detailed rules. It is very much specific.

 

It requires;
- well grown and defined grouping plants
- a small space between the groups
- clearly different height between the groups
- more than 3 plant species per foot (foreground / middle / background)
- terracing to convey depth
- rich contrasts (made by color variation, leaf height, texture)
- a focal point (emphasized by a red or large plant / by the effective use of the “Rule of Thirds” / only one focal point in tanks 36” or less)
- more than 70% of the floor planted
- imaginary streets / pathways of plant
etc…

 

You would also find that contest’s judgments are always given from an objective viewpoint, if a work fulfills the criteria mentioned above or not.

In my mind, these were immediately connected to the question, how aesthetics can be judged, which was discussed in the theory class before. If the guidelines of aesthetic, could be applied to even other things?

Then, I decided to try to make “beautiful” compositions by appropriating these criteria for totally different things.

 

 

Step 3 | Then, what can the criteria fit?

 

The first cutout with images from “SimCity” app

 

It was not easy to choose the objects for the composition.

I think I was caught too much by the idea of choosing a specific motif, which needs arrangements as well as aquascapes do. What came in my mind, for example, was still life painting, architecture or city planning. I actually have tried to make some 3D collages with these motives.

After some struggle, my idea eventually reached autonomous graphic compositions without any motives. It would be interesting to use things without any restriction, than to focus on a specific objects, since it has more expandability. What is more, I could not imagine the result and it simply made me curious.

How much universal could this criteria become? I wanted to make some studies to examine it.

 

 

Step 4 | Interpretation of aquascape language

 

 

To go on with this experiment, I deliberately applied some points mentioned below to my practices, choosing from many.

 

- Contrast by colors
the use of color highlights
black and white, green and red, positive and negative…

- Contrast by textures
fluffy, flat, glossy, mat…
photo prints showing different textures

- Contrast by shapes
curvy and strait, circles and angles
same shapes but in different size and height

- Focal point
A focal point provided by the use of above techniques
Application of the rule of thirds

- Imaginary pathways
Emphasis of the perspective

 

In addition to these rules, I found that aquariums are something in-between of 3D and 2D. I mean, it is actually three dimensional but the layouts are always considered from a fixed viewpoint. Traditionally tanks show only the front side and the other sides are totally covered. Photography always had an important role in showing it also. I put a camera in a position where I started to make each layout.

 

 

Step 5 | A result

 

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In this experiment, I had already found that the goal of this project would not be to make an finished image but to try a lot of compositions as studies. What kind of results can I get from this? Is it “beautiful”? These kinds of tryouts are not completed in short time but should be just a starting point of pursuits.

Will it still continue?

Tailor Made Construction


Friday, April 21, 2017

 

In 2010, when I was still in high school, I discovered a minimalist blog named Love Aesthetics. Ivania Carpio is the creator of this blog about fashion, photography and do-it-yourself projects, all with a consistent and unique style. I have been an active follower ever since. The appearance of this blog is ‘quality over quantity’ based; high-end fashion items are present as well as a healthy amount of handcrafted items, that are no less in relevance.

 

Last year the lifestyle brand Aetelier (short for ‘Love Aesthetics Atelier’) was established. Few designs of this brand, that carries the same ideals as the blog, are sold online. The selection includes one bag in two available colors, a notebook with exposed binding and a concrete-look blanket. An ‘under construction’ element is the self-explained signature of the brand. This refers to a concept of a creative space with open possibilities.

 

Over the years this blog and its branches have been influencing the forming of my own personal style and self-development. To this day I keep up to date with the blog via social media. This is the reason why I wanted to meet the woman behind Love Aesthetics. Unfortunately, our agendas did not collide within the given time span. Instead of meeting Ivania in person, I chose to let one of her designs speak on behalf of her.

 

love-aesthetics-aetelier-flat-fold-bag-arm

 

I took the Aetelier ‘Flat Fold Bag’ to be the mediator for this design assignment. High-quality materials as leather, stainless steel and acrylic tube are used in the design. The signature element is found in the two hardware clasps that make the chain a continuous loop. The exterior of the bag is left visually clean by placing the zippers on the inside. This makes that the bag is a contemporary translation of Ivania’s need to keep this bag very minimalist.

wieke 1

This analysis resulted in a starting point for my design; it was now clear that I wanted to make a bag tailored to my own requirements. To have an insight into these requirements for a bag, I had to evaluate the bags I currently own and the items I wanted to fit in the bag. It became clear immediately that all of these bags and items are black. This is a result of my preference to dress all black, my carried accessories are no exception to this rule.

wieke 2

This preference, in combination with my forgetful nature, often causes a problem for me. Let’s say I am on a train and want to check if I did not forget my wallet at home. When I open my bag, I am looking for an optical confirmation of the presence of this wallet. Instead, because of the black on black, the outcome is panic by visual confusion. In this case, the initial scare is counteracted by touch; a quick pinch in the bag will tell if I am in trouble or not.

wieke 3

This haptic perception is the basis of the redesign. To amplify this existing movement all the items were given an own tailor made pouch. This way, all my valuables can be recognized by touch. The pouches are connected by a hardware clasp. The clasp binds the pouches as a whole and, when a strap is attached to the clasp, the bag can be easily carried. Alterations to the bag are easily achieved; pouches can be taken off or put back on, to the desire of the wearer.

 

wieke 4

After the first prototype was made, it was tested and evaluated. The basic shape and function of the bag were right but the haptic element loses strength when, upon first contact with a pouch, it is not immediately clear what corresponding item is touched. To avoid this confusion the haptic element needed to be extended. This was done by adding a specific material to a pouch that complements it content. A piece of leather was added to match my wallet.

 

wieke 5

 

In the meantime, I have tested this design approach on the items of my classmate Yuri. Her items and requirements are different than mine. This immediately opens up the possibility of adding back colors and different textures. To save resources, I used the kitchen towel that came with the bento box and some left-over material from my bag to construct this bag. The result is a tailor made lunch bag for her bento box and chopsticks.

 

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The interim conclusion for this design process is positive in my opinion. Both the lunch bag and the bag for my personal use turned out substantially different than conventional bags. I think interesting steps are made in redesigning a personal bag. I would like to continue this project by looking into more individual needs and outcomes for this process since there was a lot of initial interest shown in this project from my classmates. A point of attention would be to experiment with different colors and materials to use the personalized potential of this tailored made bag to the fullest.

 

yuri tas wieke tas

 

Groundbreaking Ceremony or Action towards A Brighter Future


Friday, April 21, 2017

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Room


Thursday, April 20, 2017

 

 

I think they live differently. In a different world than mine. They look differently. They do not chase after things that capitalism offers. They live within a concept that is rooted from ages ago. The concept is centered around the immaterial. It is real for them. I would like it to be real for me too, but somehow it does not work. I wonder how it works for them. I think they are happy to have a one focus in life. I feel that my mind is out of focus. I wonder if in a contemporary society one is able to find a grounding. If one has to separate himself to find a clear focus, in order to create a space inside thoughts that are often dominated by information from the outside world.

 

 

 

Saša Karalic / Square

 

My process started with the interest in people who communicate with immaterial. I thought about contacting psychic mediums or ones who have strong belies in god. I ended up going to a monastery for 3 days. I was welcomed really warm and had long conversations with nuns on religion and their personal stories about their decision to live in a closure. I am not a christian myself, but i am interested in eastern philosophy, that also shares connections with christianity. And in the case of the monastery, the practice of silence was the strongest meeting point for me.

 

By separating themselves they fill the space with the highly structured concept, that occupies their lives from the very morning till the very evening. I resist to analyze the concept, but I rather focus on their inner state. Which seems to be empty form overdose of various forms of information. They have one form of information that can guide them through all. That information is received in a condition of silence. They said that the noise of the world disturbs the signal. And a closure helps to cultivate it, creating a room for exercise. They lived in a space that was elected for a special meeting, for a vertical sight and inwardness.  Space filled with quietness.

 

 

 

process

 

The first object I made was a silent book, that contains no written word or image. It was influenced by old religion books i found in the monastery. They were made ofreally thin paper, that was nearly transparent.

Later on I researched believe systems that contain practices or notion of silence and learned what does that mean. I also remembered a composition by John Cage “4’33”, where orchestra does not play any sound in duration of the piece. This piece is not necessarily about the silence, but it is more about the sounds of the environment, listeners are surrounded by. This made me think about the negative spaces, the inversion, the surroundings that are invisible.

 

The absence of sound is registered as non-existence and non-form. Emptiness is the inner state of things. Things around us are weightless. They do not have any meaning, only our mind creates meaning for them. Objects are silent and transparent.  We are surrounded by space and we float in it.

 

 

silent book copy

 

I thought that the subject of silence could be expressed through a suggestion of the object that appears in mind but not in matter. In Japanese language word MA expresses a gap, a space, a pause. MA is also the thing that takes place in the imagination.

 

Space is a continuum. It gently touches objects not affecting them. If we would like to, we could see just space around us instead of objects. We could see negative shapes in objects instead of seeing objects themselves. We could experience how much weightlessness and formlessness is around us. Everything around consists of being and non-being, processes of becoming and vanishing.

 

2 .2

2.3

1.

 

Soap stone was the material I used for my objects. It is a really soft stone, also called a quiet stone, because of its properties. I carved abstract shapes in them, creating a negative shape of a suggestive shape. An immaterial object that can exist only in mind. Three stone objects work as the reminders of an inverse looking.

 

 

Orange see-through


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

yo yo yo

The photo above is a source of inspiration.

I aimed to get knowledge from people who achieved something in their life. I chose two bloggers that are important to the media community. Internet gives great opportunities for the users, sometimes it makes people famous. I guess, we all have followers nowadays.  The question for me is what is it to be a media guy? I wanted to get a better understanding of certain processes (How it is made? What is that for? How does it work? How did you get there? etc) and ask some personal questions or advice on a topic of common interests. I started with writing an email, in which I introduced myself, explained the idea of the project and said, that I would love to meet them, if possible, and have a personal talk. At this point the meeting was important for me, but I knew things might go wrong and I was prepared for that, as it is part of the game.

I reached Good Guy Boris from thegrifters.org [x] to talk about street culture and his personal artistic experience. I chose him, because, in my opinion, he is a great example of anti-style graffiti artist, as well as street and urban exploration photographer, media-guy, curator and book publisher. He has been around for many years and came up with a lot of cool and funny content, that gives an insight into mysterious, for general public, world of graffiti. Most of artists/vandals tend to hide their identity, Boris, on opposite, does not want to do that because, he claims graffiti is not a bad thing! So, he became the middle man between graffiti elite and ordinary public. It is great, because a lot of people do not know what the language of the streets is.

 

Good Guy Boris

 


By the time my project was going, Good Guy Boris Published his new book, from material he has been collecting for around ten years. He told me, that he is busy, but, maybe, one day, the meeting will happen. I was ready for this sort of outcome and had a second option: Michail Charoudin aka Boosted Boris  - journalist, petrol head, media person and simply a great guy, that lives by the famous racing track Nürburgring. The facility is approximately 21 km long and requires a lot of concentration from driver. Most of the production and super cars are being tested and improved there. It is still a public road, while being one if the greatest race tracks on Earth. I am wondering what it is like to live in a car paradise and how he ended up having a dream job there? Boosted Boris :)

 

Michail agreed meet and said, that he might be in Helmond, Netherlands soon. That was perfect for me, because, it is only one and a half hours away from Amsterdam and I had no need to leave the country. Unfortunately, I did not get any confirmation before the arranged date and the meeting, obviously, did not happen. Although both Boris and Michael were kind to reply, they explained, that at the moment they have no time to answer my questions, but they appreciate my interest. Maybe, one day, but not this time. That was the answer.  I had to come up with an other option.

So, I wrote to Utah&Ether, a couple, famous within graffiti community for doing pieces around the world. They are called Bonnie&Clyde of graffiti world and left a mark in many exotic places, mostly on track sites, trains and public areas. You could find their pieces in the Netherlands as well. I wanted to get an insight in their life. This time I got no reply. Luckily, they have been interviewed many times, so I had some good material to read. There is link to check:


In the end I did not meet anyone.

 

I had to put away my questions for a certain time and continued working on my own. As I usually do, when I have no ideas, I went to the flee market in the neighbourhood and bought some junk for a few coins. One of the things that caught my attention was a pack of two orange bicycle reflectors. I have decided to cut one in half, because I was attracted with a hollow space in between two orange disks with pyramids on the inner surface. When I did that, I discovered an interesting optical effect. This made me want to share the visuals with others and I made glasses, which is a solution to experience the loss of reality with both eyes.

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I was not satisfied with my first result, as I used the sun glasses instead of the clear lens and it was obviously too dark for the full effect. So, I made a simple frame out wood, that resembled binoculars in theatres. Now, when I was satisfied with the effect, I look through my object with a camera. The image that you get is orange and combined from what is around you. Perspectives smoothly merge into each other. It is amazing that this visuals are like that because of the way it works, without editing. No photoshop. Here are some examples:

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 Perception of space varnishes.

Without meeting anyone I produced an object, that meant to be made for my role model. Does it mean that I made it for myself than if it is not for somebody else? I thought that role models are good to look up to, but you could rely on nobody, but yourself.

Finally, I made a short video in the supermarket filming directly through the glasses. It did not need much editing, because the natural kaleidoscopic effect is important. Difficulty of choice and too many opinions around us disconnect us from reality.

Composing Chaos


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Composing the chaotic mind

  meeting Hendrik Kerstens

 

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Sound file: music: Dimitri Shostakovich Piano Concerto no.2, Andante

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Meeting people in an age of the internet and social media seems not romantic at all, which I can assure you it isn’t. When we got the assignment to meet a person we admired and make out of this experience a design object, I made a list of artists I considered as being interesting and admirable. Starting with the first name, I did not get any response and waited for a week. I tried another artist but also he gave me a radio silence. Choosing another artist seemed just as interesting and I send another email.
But having to present my progress in the project and having no responses yet, made me feel a little isolated from the world. ‘The inner monologue’ took its place in my mind.
Thinking about this brought me to the feeling that I wanted to make an isolated space which resulted in a mock-up of a room, made out of four wooden walls isolated with foam. The idea was  that a person would be able to stand inside of the isolated space and was able to listen to my spoken inner monologue without the outside world being able to hear it. Of course for me this was not the best idea and I was far from content…

 

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inside my box I got a vision….

Then something great happened. In my inbox appeared an email from the management of Hendrik Kerstens. I have been intrigued by Hendriks work from quite a young age. Interested by the pure combination of modern vision and classic interpretation of the composition of the portrets he has made.

He wanted to meet me. I got into a back and forth communication with his assistant by mail, which resulted after rescheduling and answering questions into a date. Hendrik invited me to his photo studio in Amsterdam.
When I came there at an afternoon he let me in. I was struck by his big black glasses with the kind eyes and the clean and sharp looking white studio with black furniture and equipment.
The room was filled with the sound of classical music which comforted me and everything was organized and clean. We started talking, I asked him questions and he told me a lot of inspiring things. When I asked him about his clean, organized studio, he told me that this was necessary for his chaotic mind to run free. So his surroundings would not interfere with the creative processes in his mind. He said that the process of making a picture was as composing a piece of music. This process he also addressed as sometimes hard to let go when it’s finished and ready to leave the studio. He quoted:

“Art is never finished, but only abandoned.” -Leonardo da Vinci

Hendrik Kerstens surprised me with his enormous power of persistence in his new ideas and projects. He spoke of his desire to bring sculpture and photography together, which he is currently experimenting with. And a future project where he wants to create a close connection between painting and photography. In his vision, one I would want to live by, everything you can imagine is possible.
Hendrik gave me advice in the end and I gave him a print of a pinhole picture that I had made which he accepted with a smile. When he let me out, I felt light and encouraged.

My conclusion after this meeting was that I had to rethink my idea of the isolated space in total, I had been to quick to give in and this good experience deserved a good outcome.
Thinking about my experience the subjects of ‘composing’ and the ‘chaotic mind’ kept running in my mind. Letting this be, I started developing an interest in the material epoxy and especially in its clearness after molding. I made several try outs by molding the epoxy in different plastic, glass or porcelain cups and Tupperwares. The idea was to take the chaotic aspect and function away from the object and create by molding a simplification of the shape.
After drying the objects, some were easy to come out and some I had to break out, some had air bubbles or even cracks which for me became interesting aspect in the idea of a ‘crack in the mind’.

 

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Interested by the molds of the epoxy as well I made molds of clay, to create a connection between the mold and the epoxy. The epoxy in the clay mold gave a watery effect, even after drying it seemed liquid and shiny but would not come out of the clay mold. I disposed two epoxy objects from their clay molds and this created a look which reminded me of the glass smoothened by the sea.

 

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For my last experiment with my epoxy objects, my interest was captured by making an epoxy mold for an epoxy object. My expectations were by filling a bigger Tupperware with epoxy and hanging the already dried epoxy object in it, that after drying I was able to take the object out again and this would leave me with an epoxy mold. But it didn’t, the epoxy object and the fresh epoxy
into the Tupperware had melted together in one totally new object. The ‘melting together of ones thoughts’ created its own existence.

 

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Looking at my experiments resulting in a collection of epoxy objects, a simplification of chaotic objects, the thought arose that I wanted to recompose or rearrange the different objects, creating ‘the recomposing of the chaotic mind’. Therefore creating a grid in which every space had the same measurements (except a special one) so the objects could be recomposed in any position.
My doubt was with the material of the grid: metal or plastic sheets. But fate took this decision from me when I was not able to work in the metal workshop for it was closed and so it became plastic.
The plastic sheets I glued together, creating a clear construction. In retrospect I was satisfied with my decision to use plastic, because of the subtlety, clearness and connection with the epoxy objects itself.

 

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In the end, recomposing a chaotic mind is creating something clarifying. I’m not sure if I would address my final outcome of the design project as ‘clarifying’ rather than ‘clear’. In my opinion I made a composition, in which every object is a ‘clearer’ form of itself.

 

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I have repeated it a 1000 times


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

 
I met him. I ordered a coffee, thee and beer. He only drank thee. I was probably to enthusiastic.
‘Now you have had everything’, he said. He had sweet eyes that looked shy to me. Charming almost. Most.
‘I never really like to meet people’. We laughed, we just met.
‘No I mean, now it has a purpose, so I know what to do, what to expect. But when I meet with friends it does not have a purpose. It really stress me out. I cannot focus on anything the day before I am going to meet with someone. All I think about is that meeting, so now I kind off stopped meeting my friends, I only see good friends’.
I was confused I laughed.

This remark of him kept coming back in my head and a few days later I realized that I had the same. Not as present as he had it, but still. The appointment keeps repeating itself in my thoughts, I have run through everything that could happen.

No surprises.

What if I could create something to protect us? Something that would keep the stress out. What made me actually stressed? There were three things I could think about that really, really stresses me out: New Things, Being in a Hurry and Ajax.

 

bed

 
New Things because I do not know what is going to happen, and so I do not know how to react and what to expect.

I have a respond to every situation that could interest me.
But I know that it is a bit useless to thing about everything that could happen, because the people I am with will not respond the way they do in my mind and they are also not as busy with me as I am.

 

bord

 
Being in a Hurry stresses me out because I always think that the consequences will be huge and not repairable. It also makes me frustrated because I know what to do to be in time, but then when I am late it turned out that I did not follow my own schedule.

Surprises are unthinkable.

It was the first time that week that I was on time. I could not be late when I was going to meet him. Nervous. Checking my Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and back. He did not know what I look like. O wait maybe he checked my profile. Would he?

 

ajax stress proposal image

 
Ajax stresses me out because I love that club so much.
And I have zero influence on their success. The only thing I can do is wear a lot of Ajax merchandise.
When they play I have the feeling that my throat is a bit squeezed together, a goal is made quickly you know. At the end of the season I have this squeezed throat basically the whole time, and when they win, all the stress is replaced by an amazing joy.

I read an article about students who wore a Superman shirt, those students thought that they where more capable then they actually where.
I took this idea of clothes that make you think you are stronger as a starting point.
What if I could wear a stress protection?

New Things, how could you possibly protect yourself from it? You cannot. You can surrender yourself and observe it. How could I observe the New Things that happen to me? From an old belt I made a camera holder which I can wear around my shoulder to the other side of my flank. By always carrying my camera with me, I can observe situations when they stress me out to much, I can ‘hide behind the camera’. When you take photographs of a situation you immediately create a distance between yourself and the rest. You watch Them.

In my mind social situations, are more interesting than they most of the time will be in real life.
But, when a situation in real life ís interesting, it is exceeding. It are those moments when I learn the most.

 

ajax voorkant houder

ajax achterkant

 
For Being in a Hurry I wanted to use the  idea of the Superman-shirt even more. I wanted to create my own Superman-shirt, which protect me.
When I am in a hurry, I am most of the time by bike. So I am outside. A sweater is perfect for Dutch weather, most of the times it is kind of cold. On the sweater I attached patches of racing cars, one even with ‘Winner’ on it. This is on my back. On the front of the sweater I attached a rose, so I could, maybe, have the feeling that I am this very cool biker boy.

For my stress factor Ajax I wanted to create my own merchandise, as a way of showing my love, surrounding myself with ‘Ajax’ and hopefully send some positive vibes to the players.
From an old Ajax-short I made a shoulder or fanny pack, that I can easily wear.

Surprise Suprise, come to me.

I can prepare every situation in my head, but I cannot know how it will actually go. It are the situations when I am not aware that it is a situation that are crucial.
Without him I would not have known all this about myself. Or at least I would not have thought about it so much. His shy looking eyes make more sense now. His charming look makes me curious to him, but I know that it is not likely that we see each other soon.

 

1 sweater detail

                                    

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