Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bicycle tracks through flatness

Elements of the Dutch landscape - 12
"We have covered more than 2,000 kilometres. Spatially there is no destination, the landscape stretches continually on, melancholy is setting in. Probably everything will have to be destroyed before the fighting is over.
Another experiment in uncreative writing. I was playing around with Flickr photo comments and suddenly the sensual texts seemed to fit the open Dutch landscape. But so did the grim texts of Operation Barbarossa.
Will a stack of platitudes produce a poem? Will a train-wreck reveal a landscape? It may be kitsch. but some connections I could never invent myself. The mash-up technique seems to work.
"Waiter? - I didn't order the word salad."
Hitland - Capelle aan den IJssel
If the enemy pursues us, he is lost because the further he is from his stores of foodstuffs and arms, and the deeper he advances into a country which has no roads and no supplies . . . the sooner he will be reduced to a pitiful state.
A splendid woman. Excellent macro.
Most erotic and delicious!
You can feel her pleasure! You look like a statue. 
Beautiful lady. Beautiful pose!
Evocative light - superb as always.
After days of rain, the flat landscape began to transform into an inescapable bog, which stretched on as far as the eye could see.
Beautiful, I love the rain!
Oh, such a wonderful sharing of feelings!
My favorite way, sweet and delicious.
Must try something like this sometimes.
The grit and grain emphasize roughness.
But not everyone would share with the world.
The depth of our penetration into the Soviet Union began to take its toll, and ammunition rationing served as a first indication of the shortages that we were to encounter with disastrous results in future battles.
Lovely position and lovely angle.
Very nice. You're a beautiful woman!
Giving, receiving, feeling such pleasure. 
Nice depth of field. Love it, Lucia!
Is that really raining? Great composition!

A few links somewhat related to the subject
Uncreative Writing - my source of inspiration for this experiment
Operation Barbarossa - Kiev 1941 - David Stahel
Found poetry
Erotic landscape - found while trying to check if anyone else had this idea
Erotic and magic landscape
Erotic landscape

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The aporia of windmills

Elements of the Dutch landscape - 11
I don't think it's proving anything, Doc. As a matter of fact, I don't even know what it means. It's just one of those things that gets in my head and keeps rolling around in there like a marble.
I find it impossible to write anything about windmills and about pictures of windmills. When I meet them in the wild I like them. They're friendly giants, remnants of capital, power and technology now enjoying retirement and heritage status. Many of them are still functional and they're lovingly maintained and operated by a modern guild of millers. But it's impossible to add anything original to the already existing context.
Alblasserdam - Kinderdijk
The only thing I could do is to give up and to compose a powerless poem. I used the uncreative writing technique. The poem consists of photo comments found on Flickr and Wired.

The aporia of windmills

Thanks for sharing your memories.
Nicely controlled!
Where is it? It's rubbish.
How about photos more striking than these?
Did you use a filter?
I think I got an orgasm.
This was supposed to be art.
I hope we have some clouds tomorrow.
Schoonhoven - Polsbroek
The gates of Heaven, silky and powerful.
 Boring as watching paint dry.
My kind of scene, a beauty indeed.
Stunning my friend.
A fantastic feeling of freedom inside, a hopeful, magical day.
This is fantastic, I love the title, too much to learn.
Golden moments. La differenza.
Magistral saludos. Great work Wally.
Terrible concept. Bad execution.
I think I prefer the first one this time.
Outstanding work, magical scene.
You've done it again!
These hipster photos, how is this news?
Over the top, I miss the ocean.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 Zine Camp - 6

This will be the last writeup about the Zine Camp in WORM. I have no more pictures to post. But I have a lot to think about. Here are links to all the earlier posts: part-1, part-2, part-3, part-4, part-5. I'm still amazed and mystified by this abundance of real, authentic creativity. Is it over-abundance?
 Is this less visible, other art world a kind of noise over which the bright articulate signal of success and value is superimposed? Or is there yet a deeper complicity between noise and signal? After all, doesn’t any complex system in which the majority of practitioners are invisible extract some hidden benefit from this so-called surplus?
All the pictures below are from the mobile exhibit presented by Zines of the Zone. I'm very thankful for the pleasant hour of browsing they gave me. And for the many surprises. For example this Euromaidan zine. How up-to-date this is and how close to major world events!
But where does this wealth of art products originate? What drives this creativity? I'm an absolute beginner but there are some interesting hypotheses in a paper by economist Tyler Cowen but I'm still working my way through the mathematics.
At the other end of the scale are zines like this. Calm, cosmic, meditative. Connecting personal memory, landscape and astronomical maps and catalogues. Like a Sebald novel.
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A series of photographs of Vasya Bykov, who made the beer circuit around Belgium in 2013. The combination of the drinker with his surroundings is a joy to behold.
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In 2013 the band Sweet Sweet Moon traveled through Argentina and Chile, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Along the route they played free house shows for their biggest fans and performed intimate and spontaneous sessions in unusual places.
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The main thing is to get to the sea! A set of inspiring holiday pictures. Nothing much happening but it is fun anyway. Especially the wild camping landscapes.
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A road trip through Australia. Hot and dishevelled. Eating roadkill. Far-away pictures in black and white.
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Thursday, May 29, 2014 Zine Camp - 5

coincidence / could be / or just / on way / to undiscover / path
word about / seeing words / anything

Most pages are black. Vague shadow shapes force us to look better, to see that now, we really are someplace else. Dead-end brick walls. Skaters frozen in hand-developed film. Light shining through burnt-out windows.
Daguerreotype landscapes, lit by a foreign darkened sun, waiting, staring, leaning on cars. How to read a book like this? Biography, travel diary, topography, art? The grasping and reaching hand in many of the pictures. Or is it caressing the objects that emerge from the darkness: cars, manholes, distant horizons?

Extremely prosaic, almost boring pictures from the archive of a Lille metro engineer. But not boring at all! The zine becomes a quest for difference and similarity. A search puzzle. How does this city differ from mine? How were these times different? And even in the newest areas there was silence.

Entities trying to survive in an apocalyptic landscape, running from some horrific event. Even the dead are running away, towards some far horizon. Or is it just a vision that the flying dwarves laugh about?
Info Zine Camp - 4

Last Sundayvisited the Zine Camp at WORM in Rotterdam. I looked through all the zines in the museum exhibit provided by Zines of the Zone and I bought four zines from the artists that had zines to sell. The atmosphere was pleasantly busy, but not overcrowded. It gave me a lot to think about!
Some people were browsing and others were participating in zine-making workshops. For most people it was probably their first experience with zine making. The lady leading the workshop was thanked with a loud round of applause. I stayed the whole afternoon and still there was a lot that I didn't witness.
Several participants looked experienced and were making new zine editions, to add to their existing series. Still it was hard work making the selections and sequences. This whole networked (relatively) low-cost art culture has made me curious about the scene and it's economics. Obviously, could it really be as simple as this?
Little publications filled with rantings of high weirdness and exploding with chaotic design. [...] In zines, everyday oddballs were speaking plainly about themselves and our society with an honest sincerity, a revealing intimacy, and a healthy “fuck you” to sanctioned authority — for no money and no recognition, writing for an audience of like-minded misfits.
Interesting to speculate why all this work is invested in this relatively cheap and low-circulation art form. I refuse to interpret it so cheaply as this. But I would be interested in costs, sales and circulation statistics.
... "the vanity projects of a new generation," ... Most zines ... cost $3 to $6.
Or ironically like this. But the demographic niche might still be true. I need even more data. 
The anger of zine creators largely has its roots in economic dissatisfaction. By and large zines came from writers who were white and form middle class backgrounds.
There were automated tools. There was a plotting machine that made very technical-looking line-drawings from designs composed on top of a light-table. A very nifty set-up. An interesting link between zine, art and maker cultures. And an echo of the efficiency of commercial print-on-demand. With this machine we can make zine-on-demand, make unique artwork scalable.
There were a lot of DIY and other small-scale niche-orientated publications. Zines keep on being produced, since punk zines in 1970’s. ... In our age of Internet many zines were transformed into websites. However, there is a sense of revival in the past years. Zines have  been embraced by a new generation, often drawing inspiration from craft, graphic design and artists’ books, rather than political and subcultural reasons.
And there was a lot of classic handiwork using scissors, glue, copiers, staplers and sewing machines. I choose to believe in a bright future for this media form. Especially because I'm so enthusiastic about holding these little, precious, objects.
In times of constant technological revolution and immediate access to information through the network, paper, as a medium for the dissemination of culture and information seems destined to disappear. But the number of independent publications do not stop growing.
There were hanging gardens full of zines.
... experimental magazines ... full of visual impact, subject to different interpretations, inexhaustible source of emotions and feelings. They already have a notable presence in art fairs, specialized bookstores and museum shops.
And a few personal exhibits by people selling zines. This one by Sergej Vutuc. A skater-photographer-artist who later also did a performance.

I still have material for two more posts. One about the zines I bought and one about more zones from the  Zines of the Zone exhibit. ... You have to enjoy your own enthusiasm while it lasts!

Stephen Duncombe, Notes from the Underground 1-2, quoted here and here
A Zine-ography - An annotated list of books and articles about zines
The Rise & Fall of Zines​
de zines - exhibition/
artandwork - personal-economy

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 Zine Camp - 3

Last Sunday I visited the Zine Camp at WORM in Rotterdam. I looked through all the zines in the museum exhibit provided by Zines of the Zone and I bought four zines from the artists that had zines to sell.

Below a short selection from the zines I liked most. That probably says more about my taste than about the zines. I have added links wherever I could. There is still more to come. I'm still absorbing the warming rays of all the creativity.
A zine belonging to an exhibition.

This is a very interesting book publisher. There are a lot of urban themes in the zines. A pity that it's all in Danish because I would like to read them.

Mixed themes, collage, typography photography.

Atmospheric and mysterious photography. Suggestions of a story.

Old postcards. Suggestions of biography from erased time.


Not present here but seen in Prague at DOX: - the garden zine