Wednesday, 2 November 2022

sounder (10. 265)

Via the always engrossing Things Magazine, we are introduced to a quandary and at the same time provided with a solution from the cadre of medievalists at the University of Leiden questioning the depiction of Middle Ages porcines in contemporary video games, which portray pigs of yore as the kept and fattened beasts of today whereas in actuality those swine were more svelte and highly regulated as the matter of legislation—see also. The article furthermore links to other studies in our piggy friends, including their prophetic powers as depicted in The Black Cauldron in the prognostications of Hen Wen.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

eurobruggen (10. 217)

Via Pasa Bon! we learn that one Dutch town called Spijkenisse, part of Rotterdam, has managed to claim all the anonymous, composite bridges on Euro banknotes for the Netherlands by building the spans over one waterway in the residential area Het Land from 2011 to 2013.  The community was also in the headlines more recently at the beginning of November 2020 when a metro car that jumped the track was saved by a whale tail sculpture after pummetting ten meters. 

Monday, 19 September 2022

subgenre (10. 149)

Via two of my favourite internet caretakers, Everlasting Blรถrt and Fancy Notions, we are introduced to a very niche and delightful trope in still life paintings: cats stealing food. All the posts in this thread are terrific but we were especially impressed by this work by Dutch Baroque artist Abraham Hendriksz van Beijeren (previously), a virtuoso of the category of pronkstillevens—that sumptuous portrayals of luxury goods, particularly of fish—for the cat’s obvious and feline lack of remorse. See a whole gallery at the link above.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

the followers (10. 147)

Via the morning news, we discover that artist Dries Depoorter has triangulated the open surveillance of public spaces and a respectable social media viewership with the help of artificial intelligence to match poses in front of a range of landmarks with their sidling up to it and perfecting their casual-seeming pose. Confounding this perfectly staged moment with the apparent necessity of monitoring share-worthy sites speaks volumes to our definition and expectation of privacy tempered by desire for curation and what it is like to be spotted, caught.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

local group (10. 036)

The relatively nearby and sizable galaxy called Dwingeloo 1 evaded detection until this day in 1994 owing to its location in the so called Zone of Avoidance—Zone of Galactic Obscuration, that part of the sky covered up by the light and dust of the plane of the Milky Way—by an operation ran out of a radio observatory in the northeast Netherlands called the Dwingeloo Obscured Galaxy Survey (DOGS) which filled in more gaps in the map of the firmament by filtering by differing radio wavelengths (the foreground stars and dust clouds absorb visible light). Two other more massive and close by galaxies that occupy this same blindspot were discovered in 1968 by pioneering infrared astronomer Paolo Maffei—whom has two namesake galaxies in the constellation of Cassiopeia which if not blocked by our ZOA would be among the brightest and biggest objects in the night sky.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

overnighter (10. 002)

Arriving in the port of Amsterdam at the mouth of the IJ, we took a ferry to New Castle upon Tyne to travel on to points north.



Sunday, 17 July 2022

amersfoort (10. 001)

Under way to catch a ferry across the North Sea, we made time for a stop in a picturesque old thirteenth century town in Utrecht a bit downstream from Amsterdam and took in some of the sights between the medieval centre and the combined land- and watergate that allowed entry and egress with the fortified walls being built at the same time, Koppelpoort.


Under high security and operated by a staff of a dozen raddraaiers, Amersfoort rebuffed many siege attempts and was never raided. The late Gothic tower Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren (Our Lady) on the defensive canal/moat is the tallest steeple in the country and was at the time of construction in the seventeenth century the geographic of the Netherlands and was the coordinates 0,0 on their grid system and presently still the reference point of the Royal Dutch cartography survey.
Shortly after the city’s character was established, it was dubbed Keistadt—after residents (in turn called Keientrekker) took part in a bet between landholders and hauled a boulder from the moor of Soest to town—large stones being a relative rarity in the Low Countries. The people of Amsersfoort were a little bit embarrassed by this reputation and so hid the massive object in 1672 soon after retrieving it—in exchange for beer and pretzels and bragging rights—though were persuaded in 1903 to re-embrace this honour and placed the boulder in a prominent spot by city hall. In between the start and conclusion of the boulder episode, the settlement‘s namesake was exported to Brooklyn but is now the only community not to retain its Dutch name but rather Flatlands and was the place of birth of artist Piet Mondriaan.

Saturday, 2 July 2022

6x6

a$ap pocky: Ardnira Putra creates immersive, nostalgic Nintendo 64 vapour wave landscapes  

clean air act: the US Supreme Court curtails the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, pollutants 

kopen op afstand: the auction clock of royal FloraHolland—and how it was victim of its own popularity  

forty text-tone compilation: a duo expressively dances to all the iPhone alerts  

tpv: researchers develop thermophotovoltaic cells that passively converts white hot heat into electricity—via Slashdot 

biaoqingbao: the lexicon of emoji and memes are being admitted as evidence in more and more lawsuits in China—see previously

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

7x7

exascale: the world’s super computer might be surpassing benchmarks in secret  

hub and spoke: a suite of interactive maps that lets one scour the globe with creeping data spiders  


viral nightmares: more trials of an AI text to image generator  

witkar: a ride-sharing demonstration projection that ran from 1974 to 1986 in Amsterdam  

the firth of forth: some of the world’s best bridges for driving  

whiskey war: the fifty yearlong territorial dispute between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island has been settled  

zeroth law: an AI ethicist believes Google’s LaMDA has attained sentience

Friday, 10 June 2022

9x9

web revival: rediscovering the serendipity of hyperlink daisy chains—via Joe Jenett  

free-range children: relocating from London, Ontario to Amsterdam  

sure-footed: a goat-like heavy-lifting robot called BEX under development—via Super Punch 

lavender fields of surrey: a seasonal stroll through an aromatic patch of land  

mono men: the Punk, Grunge aesthetic of Art Chantry 

hyakutsuki-in: a beautiful locker-style cemetery in Toyko  

hounds of love: a 1992 interview with Kate Bush (previously), breaking down her 1985 album track by track  

sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment: an enigmatic sign spotted on a nike trail 

jacob hive maker: first streaming film Wax; Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1991)

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

weerrecords

Home to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute as well as ancestral home and namesake of the Vanderbilt family, the town in Utrecht, De Bilt, experienced temperature extremes—likely recorded owing to said institute—during successive years of an unseasonable low of 1,5℃ and then 33,3℃ in 1914 and 1915. The upper record has since of course been trounced on but usually the thermometer does not reach those heights until August.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

unpo

Founded and headquartered in the The Hague in 1991, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation was constituted to champion the marginalised with membership made of indigenous peoples, minorities and unrecognised or otherwise occupied territories with an aim of achieving political autonomy and self-determination with the rejection of violence and terrorism as tools of policy. Current localities and groups on its rolls (not without controversy and in-group dispute) are Abkhazia, Bretagne, Catalonia, the District of Colombia, Guam, the Hmong, Savoy, Sindhudesh and Tibet. Former members Palau, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Armenia have attained full statehood and independence.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

8x8

situation of opportunity: a giant soft pillow urban intervention on the streets of Amsterdam—via Messy Nessy Chic 

floor plan: highly detailed drawings of Japanese hotel rooms  

you can’t take it with you: the coffin tradition of the Ga people of Ghana  

photogenic: Tom Hegen captures the symmetries of solar farms  

hobbiton-across-the-water: maps and paintings of Middle Earth curated on-line—see previously  

this is a test—this is only a test: a look at the history of the US emergency broadcast system—see previously  

long life to the lord of men: jade burial suits from the Han dynasty  

anchors in the afterlife: a collection of non-human resting-places

Saturday, 26 February 2022

der hรถllensturz

Whilst on display at the Alte Pinothek in Munich, the artwork The Fall of Damned by Peter Paul Rubens commissioned by the Duke of Pfalz-Neuberg in 1620 (for whom the great Flemish artist had already created the Greater and Lesser Last Judgment) features a jumble of rather Rubenesque figures being hurled to Hell by the Archangel Michael, the painting vandalised on this day in 1959 by a philosophy professor called Walter Menzl, who doused the canvas with wood polish stripping agent. Fortunately the painting could be saved and restored and the defacer turned himself in to the authorities, offering that he had intended to target rather The Four Apostles (that artist’s last major work) of Albrecht Dรผrer for the herostratic fame but decided against it for the religious implications.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds

On this day in 1537 in the flower market of Haarlem, tulips are unable to fetch or exceed their expected price for the first time during the speculative craze of the Tulipomania—results posted the following day, eroding confidence in contract calls and causing the exchange to collapse spectacularly. Though perhaps the Dutch enterprise as the leading economic and financial power of the time weathered the crisis with relatively few lasting scars—the account and effects taking hold in the popular imagination after journalist Charles Mackay’s above investigation in 1841 (perhaps dissuaded from writing about the more recent South Sea Bubble as hitting too close to home) and modern economists dismiss many anecdotes (patrimony and parcels of land for a single bulb) as illogical and inefficient, the new phenomena nonetheless establishes the discipline of socio-economics and how markets can deviate from intrinsic value.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

root directory

A happily reactivated Present /&/ Correct shop blog (do check out their sundries) brings us this interesting series of studies curated by Wageningen University of hand renderings of root systems (see also here and here) of trees and plants whose subterranean presences and connections can be far more substantial and wide-reaching than we surface-dealers can fathom.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

as is, as was / as was, as is

Together with contemporaries Jan Dibbets amd Marinus Boezem, Amsterdammer Ger van Elk (*1941 - †2014) produced an extensive body of multidisciplinary works falling within the range of conceptual art and arte povera. Exhibiting in his native city as well as New York and Los Angeles with the Tate among other prominent modern museums upholding Van Elk’s works as the chief representatives of this movement, many pieces include the themes of reflection on and reference to art history.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

the new normal

On this day in 2003, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fielded questions during a press conference, including Charles Groenhuijsen a Dutch reporter from Nederlandse Publieke Omroep, who spoke to the mood of reservation and doubt in the coalition of the willing: “But now the European allies. If you look at—for example—France, Germany also a lot of people in my own country … [I]t seems that a lot of Europeans rather give the benefit of the doubt to Saddam Hussein than Geroge Bush. These are US allies. What do you make of that?” After some prevarication, Rumsfeld replied, “Now you’re thinking of Europe as German and France. I don’t—I think that’s old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the centre of gravity is shifting to the East.” Heralded later as the German Worte des Jahres—altes Europa—it was embraced by many politicians as a badge of integrity for their well-founded skepticism and reluctance in contrast to what some regarded as opportunistic realignment for New Europe.

Friday, 5 November 2021

kwade zaterdag

Also known by the titular “Evil Saturday,” Saint Felix’ Flood (Sint-Felixvloed) occurred on this day in 1530, inundating and washing away significant parts of Zeeland and Flanders, reportedly taking over a hundred thousand lives. The only surviving municipality was a city called Reimerswaal, whose residents witnessed and endured the destruction, which itself was depopulated after repeated storms, considered a lost city, remnants are buried under the delta works (see also) and major construction project the Oesterdam.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

in the stacks

Prising important insights into the professions of curation, conservation and circulation, a storage facility in Rotterdam is opening its doors to visitors to allow them to peruse the museum’s entire collection, the ninety percent of the art and artefacts that their formerly public-facing galleries could not accommodate, we discover via a thematic round-up from Messy Nessy Chic. We really liked this idea to invite guests behind the scenes and hope that this sort of programme expands.