Exploding Art Mimbulus Mimbletonia style

A blog by Julia Felix about experiences on the CAMS New Media in NYC and Europe study abroad program.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Scientology, Cheeseburgers, and Getting Lost. Not Much has changed, apparently.

It's been a while since I updated this. I was worried that I would taint the memories of my study abroad trip by ever using this blog again, but I realized recently that I had intended this to be an ongoing thing. So for the first time in quite a few years, I'm writing a new post here. I hope I get around to doing it again, as I'm already having fun.

Coincidentally (or maybe not so), I am back in New York - One of my best friends from Carleton lives here, and I try to come visit every so often. It's a little cold today (around 30 degrees), and so cloudy that I can hardly see any of the Manhattan Skyline, even though it's just across the river. I was reluctant to go out this morning, but I did anyway.

Can you guess what happened? That's right, I got lost. Not immediately though. I guess I'll just start at the beginning.

Not long ago I discovered an awesome website called Fitango which allows you to track your progress for various goals (weight loss, financial, events, etc.). One of the "Action Plans," as they're called, didn't really belong there, but it seemed too awesome to turn down: A week long Burger Tour of NYC. I went ahead and implemented it, and went to the first place on the list today: Five Napkin Burger. Amazingly, I just hopped on the PATH Train, only wandered aimlessly in the subway station for about 2 minutes before I found the C train, got off at 42nd street, and walked about 4 blocks, pretty much right to it. In fact, I did it so quickly, that they weren't quite open yet, and the hostess asked me to come back in about 20 minutes. I figured that I was right near Times Square, so I started wandering over in that direction, in hopes that I could find that interesting sound art piece that I remembered from our New Media trip.

I dodged pretty much all of the people handing out pamphlets and was just starting to feel proud of myself when a fairly young, good natured looking guy approached me and handed me something saying "this is for you!" with a big smile. I took it and smiled back and looked down to see what it was. A ticket to a free showing of something...something that I vaguely recognized with a picture of a volcano...Then I saw the words: Dianetics. It seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite remember what it was. He asked me "Have you heard of Dianetics?" I stared at the card for a moment, trying to think how to answer that. I wasn't sure if I wanted to say no and find out way more about dianetics than I ever wanted to, or if I should say yes and hope he didn't probe too much. Almost as soon as that thought crossed my mind though, I remembered it having something to do with Scientology. I have always found Scientology fascinating, mostly because I can't understand how anyone can take it seriously enough to become a Scientologist. I was taken in by my curiosity, and decided to answer with "Well...it sounds familiar, but I can't really remember what it is..."
"How about you just come see the movie now? Let's go!"
I panicked for a second, wondering what I was getting myself into, but I figured, what else am I going to do while I wait for Five Napkin Burger to open? So I followed him around the corner and straight into the Church of Scientology. The movie was the best thing I've ever seen. It was about this teenage boy on a highschool football team who gets injured during a game and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. Then, most of it is about how he's in the hospital and all of these evil psychologists want him to tell them that he's envious of his father and then cut his head open and poke his brain. He freaks out a lot, and eventually his girlfriend, who looks pretty from far away but horrible close up, brings him a book about Dianetics, and just in the nick of time (for the doctors are on their way to give him unnecessary brain surgery against his will), he figures out how to walk again. Despite my attempts to contain myself, I did actually start laughing out loud at some point, I think when the main evil psychologist saw the kid walking around the hospital room, and his accomplice doctors put a stethoscope on his chest and said "It's IMPOSSIBLE!"

When I left, the girl at the front desk showed me the Dianetics book, hopeful that I would buy it (I definitely did not), then gave me a free DVD of the awesome movie I had just witnessed. I've already promised to send it to two people, so I might need to go back tomorrow and get some more.

I made my way over to Five Napkin Burger, and enjoyed myself immensely. The burger was good, the atmosphere of the place was even better, and I was still giddy from that movie. Wanting to end on a high note, I decided to just come back to Brandy's apartment when I was done. About halfway through the subway ride, however, I decided I was too excited to go home already, and wanted to have more adventures. I figured maybe I'd stop by the little guitar store that I always go to when I'm in the village. I hopped off the train at 14th street, wandered out, and wasn't anywhere near the village, though it took me about 45 minutes to realize that. Finally, the cold water was starting to seep through my shoes, and I decided to just try again tomorrow. So now I have some plans.

Now, I'm sitting in Brandy's apartment, my socks and pants are in the dryer, the cats are all asleep on me, and I think I might finish the rest of my cheeseburger. Overall, it has been an amazing day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Watch the Video
You guys have all been waiting for it, and now, I am officially posting my final project from this trip.
It was quite a journey. Now that we're back at Carleton, we don't see eachother nearly as much, though we have all still remained friends. When we get together, we still talk about all the awesome things that happened in the different cities, and all of us agree that it is impossible to describe what went on while we were abroad. This apparently is a common scenario:

Parents: Yay, we're so glad you're back! How was your trip?
Student: Uh.....good.
Parents: ....Well, what did you guys do? Tell me all about it!
Student: Uh.....we looked at art....and stuff.....had fun.....learned some things...yeah.
Parents: ......

Unfortunately, that is really the best explanation I can come up with for what happened. If you've been keeping track of this blog, you'll know all kinds of things happened every day. I guess there was just so much stuff that it has kind of blurred into one, big, indescribable life changing thing. I'm glad it happened though. I've come out of it with a new perspective on art, about 20 new friends, and a lot more experience.

So, here are some things that have happened since we got back:
- Andy has gotten an internship at the Film Archives
- Tom has either gotten one there also or is looking into it. He might also try to work at the ARChives, the music place we visited
- Stacy, Caitlin and I are still very good friends and hang out together fairly often
- Alissa and I are officially Studio Art majors
- Boris is in Australia doing an Art program
- Juggles the bear is still being passed around among the CAMS roadtrippers. Not sure where he is right now

- CAMS Roadtrip shirt idea:
Front: Gangbang Documentarian
Back: "95% of what you just showed us is stupid, and the other 5% is borderline stupid."
CAMS New Media Roadtrip 2006

The End.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Titles are for people who know what they're talking about

***Note: If you are here looking for the link to the song I used in my movie, scroll down to the bottom of this post.***

I am currently sitting here in Berlin, listening to Boney M christmas songs, eating really good chocolate, drinking cheap orange juice, and waiting for my socks and underwear to dry after washing them in the sink with dish soap. This is the life.

The last two days have probably been the most intense of the entire trip so far. Our final projects were supposed to be ready for presentation (not necessarily finished) today at Tesla, a prestigious art gallery in Berlin.
Since there are twenty two of us, it worked out that our presentations should be about 4 minutes each or the audience might kill themselves. My final project is only about 3 minutes long, and I hate presenting, so my plan was to talk for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then just show the whole thing. It seemed simple enough, I just had to finish it.

I worked feverishly on my project most of the day yesterday, up until we were due to go to our scheduled event of the night: what apparently seemed to be some kind of VJ club. I don’t think John even knew quite what it was, because he also seemed pretty surprised when they revealed that they weren’t really a VJ club, but a company which creates interesting art projects (generally with a theme involving architecture) but happens to own a space where there are often parties and VJ events.

We spent about two hours there listening to presentations, watching cool videos that they made, and checking out the space. It was actually a really interesting room. All the chairs had lights on them, and there were these awesome refrigerators for the drinks at the bar that each had a little scrolling LED display which showed what drinks were in there and how much they cost.

I just realized that thinking that the LED thing was the coolest part of that night might seem a little offensive to them. The guys were cool, and so were the things that they did. I just like blinking stuff.

Afterwards, we returned home, complaining the whole time about how IES made us all gather and spend the money to take a tram to Alexanderplatz, even though we could have walked there in the same amount of time. Then I worked until 3am on my project trying to get it done. I went to sleep only having about 15 seconds left to do, which wasn’t too bad since I already knew what I wanted to do with it.

I woke up this “morning” at about noon, and started frantically working on my project again. We were due at Tesla by 2:15 (the show started at 3pm), but I wanted to get there early anyway so I could have time to go over my presentation which I hadn’t even thought about. Unfortunately, about half an hour into working on my project, horrible things started to happen.

First, my computer having been made 2 years ago, only has 30GB of memory. As much as my iPod. As I write this, I only have about 2GB left on here, and this morning, I only had about 250MB. Lesson of the day: Computers don’t work when you have no memory. I had to figure this out the hard way, meaning my computer/iMovie ate the last half of my project. It wasn’t too hard to put back together, but as it got closer to 1:00pm, I started freaking out. I added some ghetto transitions to make up for the better ones which got eaten but took too long to redo, and tried exporting it. But then it was only exporting the first half of the movie and I couldn’t figure out why. Random problems like this continued and before I knew it, it was 1:45 and I had to go.

As we walked, Caitlin and Stacy reassured me that we’d be able to fix my project when we got there since we had 45 minutes before the show, I could always put my project onto someone elses computer and fix it on that, etc. But have you ever noticed that when something dreaded is coming, time seems to go by even faster? Just like in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Suddenly, it was 15 minutes to showtime, my project was still totally screwed up, and on top of that I was second to present. Why, god? Why?

I exported my movie, hoping that iMovie was just being weird (it doesn’t deal well when you put over 2,000 pictures in it) and that my project would be fine when I played it in Quicktime.

5 minutes to showtime, my project has just finished exporting, and it turns out that the second half has completely disappeared and is a BLACK VOID OF NOTHINGNESS. Like my soul. I pretty much lost it at that point. My presentation was ruined, because my movie is just kind of weird if it’s cut up at all. So it was going to be me talking for 30 seconds, and then 2 minutes of random movie. I gave in to defeat, too exhausted to be stressed out anymore. Caitlin tried to help me out by attempting to put the iMovie file on her computer and see if it would work from there, but her iMovie is slightly different than mine because her computer is brand new. It’s amazing how much computers can change in 2 years.

I sat there, totally emo, awaiting my fate. This presentation was going to be so stupid. Paul did his presentation on The War on Terin, but I wasn’t listening. Suddenly, it was my turn to go up. I wasn’t even nervous. My presentation was so botched at that point, how could it get any worse? It wasn’t too bad though. The few people who were there who weren’t from our class were smiling and happy and seemed fairly interested in what I was saying, so I felt a little better. I explained what my project was, and that I had weird computer problems so I would only be showing about two thirds or a half of it, and then had Karina press play.

I watched it, thinking to myself how much it sucked that I couldn’t show the whole thing, and how stupid my project was going to be without the last part, which was my favorite section. The screen went black and I started getting ready to explain some more about why this project seemed more stupid than it was, when I thought I saw a small flicker of another part. Then I saw a whole chunk that I remembered putting in, then it went black again. I was a little confused and kind of stood there wondering what was going to happen next, when suddenly, the last part started pretty much at the best possible part that it could have. I actually squeaked with excitement. Not sure if people noticed that.

It played the whole way through!! Apparently some old guy in the front, who turned out to be a professor from an Art school here in Berlin, really liked it and was bouncing around in his seat while he watched it. Everyone looked really happy at the end (including me), and I got much applause. Then I got asked about 80 times what music I used. It was a little weird, because I almost feel like people liked the music more than they liked my movie, but at the same time, I really believe it’s the music that makes the movie, and not the other way around. So I’m really happy for Colin, my friend who made it and allowed me to use it. He’s going to be famous!

Afterwards, I got to see what everyone else’s projects were. It was really fun, since I really had no idea what most people were doing. Tom (T Dogg) did a really interesting project where he made 6 movies, all related, which he displayed on 6 laptops. Caitlin’s project is totally hardcore. She used Google Earth to make a map of graffitti artists in each of the cities we’ve gone to, and plans on continuing it. Her hopes are that it will become international and anyone can search for any graffitti artist and find all of their tags all over the world. I plan on sending her some pictures from Santa Fe as soon as I get there. I also really liked Jenny’s dance project, where she video taped everyday movements of people and turned it into choreography. I could go on and on. All the projects were so much better than I could have imagined. I feel like we really are all artists now, and John was really really proud of us.

After our presentations, we went over to the Philharmonie to listen to an orchestra from Prague. It wasn’t the best performance I’ve seen (I’m a little spoiled from my dad working at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and getting us free tickets all summer) but it wasn’t bad. They played a lot of really famous songs which now that I think of it, I don’t know why they’re that famous, because they’re not very good. Maybe they are, but I’m just confused by them because they remind me of vaccuum cleaners and other appliances since they’re used in those kinds of commercials all the time. I don’t know. It was weird though. But, the building it was in was the coolest building ever. I can’t even describe it, but there were cool lights everwhere and things were all at weird angles. It was awesome, and I kind of want to go back there just to take more pictures.

And now I’m sitting here typing. Still waiting for my underwear to dry. A lot of people went out tonight, but after the last couple of days, I thought it’d be nice to just stay in and wind down. Tomorrow, we’re going to a soccer game where John is going to provide us with all of our “libations.” We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s the link to the Obsession With the Sky Blinking myspace page where you can find Fever Dream, the song I used:

someday I might put pictures on this post.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's like San Felipe Casino, only everywhere and all the time...

Realization of the day: There is only about one more week of this program left. I don’t know how it went by so quickly. While people at Carleton have been studying, writing papers, and going to class, we’ve been submerging ourselves in art and culture, and more importantly (at least to me), learning about life and people. I thought life at Carleton was fast, but is life in the real world even faster? And if it is, I’m going to be who I am for the rest of my life in no time. I think right now, all of us feel this, even if it’s subconcious. Even knowing that we will be graduating in a year is a little scary. We were talking about all of this last night as the party died down, and I think all of us realized, as Julian put it, that we’ve “learned more on this trip than during all of freshman year at Carleton.”

It’s day four here in Berlin, and it’s going great. We have a nice apartment, good roommates (Stacy (again!!!), Rachel, and me), and of course, some very interesting art lectures. Most recently, lectures about public screens. We talked to two people, one who helped build many of the large public screens in Berlin, and another who told us about the direction public screens and surveillance are going in. It was a little strange having both of those lectures so close together (one on Thursday, the other on Friday), because both said very similar things. The gist of it was (this wasn’t what their presentations were about, necessarily, but it’s what I brought back from them) that public screens are going to take over the world. Or at least things seem to be going in that direction.

Public screens are definitely awesome. The first lecturer we talked with showed us some of the projects he has worked on, including the SPOTS buliding and a museum called Kunsthaus. Both of these have really interesting and beautiful screens on them. But it seems that having a few public screens in a city isn’t enough. Everyone wants more, which I think is a little weird. They claim that with these public screens, we can project art and other messages to the city, so that all people will be able to see these things, and no one will be excluded.

It all really comes down to communication. For some reason, we need to all be able to communicate with each other, whether it’s a random thought while we’re walking down the street, or a strange art movie we made in high school. But why? I don’t understand why it’s so important to show people things that they won’t necessarily care about at all. Sure the internet does this all the time, what with blogs, pretty much everything on youtube, etc., but at least with the internet, we can choose to keep watching it. We can always turn it off or open a new window.

But if these public screens go in the direction that it seems they’re going, then we can’t just turn them off or look away. We’ll see some odd movie on a building, and we’ll turn our heads only to find another movie advertising Coca Cola. My friend Lauren can’t even watch movies because they are disturbing to her somehow. Are we just going to ignore people like that? Will she be forced to walk around staring at the ground? What if they start putting screens in sidewalks?? Holy crap, the whole world is going to turn into some kind of giant movie screen, and there will be no escaping it! And then you start thinking about light pollution, noise pollution (they’re still considering whether to put sounds with the images), communication pollution....

Moral of the story: One to ten buildings with screens = cool.
Every building flashing different images and giving people epileptic seizures = Not cool.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

MisSteps: Where the Hell am I?

In case you were wondering if I had gotten over my getting lost phase, the answer is a resounding “No.”

We were recently assigned to do a project by John called “MisSteps.” In groups of two (some people, like me, did it individually anyway) we were supposed to come up with a walk that was based on some kind of conceptual idea, action, or even drawing. As long as it wasn’t just us walking randomly, it was good.

Originally, I was going to do a sort of ADD inspired walk, where I went towards anything that seemed interesting at the time. It could be a pigeon, sparkly objects in windows, interesting music in a park, anything. In general, that’s how I get around anyway. I have a destination in mind, and then I go wandering around finding other interesting things and almost never actually end up where I was intending to.

I started off this morning with the school video camera I had checked out in-hand, but after about thirty or forty minutes, I realized that my walk was totally lame. I think the problem was that I had already walked around much of this area, and nothing seemed too new and interesting. Also, being a Saturday morning, there wasn’t much going on people-wise. Then I had left my memory card for my camera in my room, so I couldn’t even do my cubes. I decided to just turn around and go back to rethink my walk.

After an hour or so, I came up with a new idea. It was a little windy outside, so why not do a walk based on the wind? It would almost be like putting myself in the hands of fate. Seemed like something I’d like. So here were the rules:

1.Everytime I got to a place where I had to cross the street, I had to stop and see where the wind was blowing and go in that direction.
2.If the wind wasn’t blowing, I had to go straight.
3. If going straight was not an option (there is a buliding infront of me or the side of a bridge), I had to do a cube.
4. If there was a really strong gust of wind, I had to turn in that direction as soon as possible.

I also came up with another rule while I was walking, that I didn’t HAVE to go where the wind told me to go (though I generally did). Not because I was feeling lazy or scared, but because a big part of fate is deciding whether or not to take the path it leaves for you. Then you can even think, maybe fate knew I was going to not do what it told me to, so I’m really still doing what fate wanted. It’s all very complicated.

The walk went fairly well. I ended up in some odd places that I had never seen, took a lot of video of various kinds of birds, saw a guy get into a motorcycle accident (he slipped on the tram tracks, but he was alright. Always wear protective gear when riding a motorcycle!) and even got the Dutch version of Fonzie hitting on me (Heeeeeeyy!!!).

I ran into Tom and Andy on my walk, and they reminded me that it only had to last 2 to 4 hours and that I could probably stop and go home. It seemed like a good idea, so I began making my way back.

On the way, I stopped at a grocery store and in a style Eric Streeper would admire, I bought the cheapest food I could find (though I did NOT buy the Barbeque Pork flavored chips, even though they were 25 cents. It was just too creepy.)

I began walking again, but somehow ended up in a really odd part of town that I had never been to. It started to rain, but I kept walking in hopes I’d find something familiar.

Fifteen minutes later, I spotted a building that looked a lot like the Rijksmuseum, and everything around it looked like that area, so I had finally found out where I was. Then I realized that this in fact wasn’t the Rijksmuseum and that I was just hopelessly lost. It was beginning to get dark.

I kept walking, thinking I had to be near SOMETHING. Turns out I wasnt. Desperate, I finally pulled out my map (I’ve gotten lost multiple times on this trip, and have not once used a map to find my way back) and tried to find where to go. Unfortunately, the first step in finding your way back home is finding where you are on the map. Either the street I was on was too small to be on the map, or Amsterdam is just too massive to find a little tiny street which, like every street here, is just a jumble of 3 consonants, a million A’s, and a couple of J’s and K’s thrown in for fun. Luckily, I had seen some signs pointing towards Centraal Station, so I decided that was my only option.

I followed signs for a good half hour, not knowing what direction or part of town I was coming from, and by the time I got to the station, it was completely dark outside. I hopped on the tram, which was unusually full to the point where the driver started telling people to wait for the next one if they could, and rode back to Apple.

(Pictures coming soon. Just trying to post this while the internet still works)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Waag Adventure

Wednesday morning we left at 9:30 to go to the Waag, one of the former gateways to the city, and now a headquarters for various new media related things. It was definitely an interesting trip.
For one, none of us knew what to expect. All that was posted on the wiki was that we were going to “do a workshop at the Waag.” No one knew what kind of workshop we were doing, and I don’t think most of us knew what the Waag was in the first place.
When we got there, the Content Developer, Sam Nemeth, and the Head of Program Connected, Floor van Spaendonck gave a brief presentation on what they did there, but seemed much more interested in what we were doing on the trip. Being who we are, none of us really knew how to answer the “so, what are your projects?” type questions we kept getting. We ended up having to go around the room and introduce ourselves and explain our projects a bit. It was a little weird, but I think it was pretty good practice for our exhibition in Berlin, since (hopefully) we’ll be having to explain our projects a lot.

Then it was tour time. They showed us around the building a little bit, and explained the history of it. Apparently, the Waag used to be a meeting places for all kinds of guilds from the 1500’s including the Masons guild and the Surgeons guild. We also saw where Rembrandt did the sketches for his painting Anatomical Lessons of Dr.Tulp in a room in the Surgeons guild. Yay history.
Afterwards, John came up with the idea that as a thank you to the Waag, we should all make some kind of “response” to it in an hour. Apparently this was the plan all along. So, suspiciously based on something that seemed to be my parking meter project, we did “Circling the Waag.”

John asked me to do my photo-circle thing around the building (the same thing I do with the parking meters), and how could I refuse? I did it, and it was interesting to do that process with something so big. I also extended it to go inside the building and up the cool spiral staircases.

Jenny's photo of a group remake of the famous Rembrandt painting Anatomical Lessons of Dr.Tulp

Also, be sure to check out Joe and Jeremy’s movie they made in response, and Caitlin’s cute tea cup movie, which is a lot like the kind of thing I did, but better and more interesting. Damn you Caitlin....Damn you!!!

When we finished making things, we met upstairs again to talk about what we had done. Sadly, no one really wanted to say anything, so it kind of sounded like we didn’t really do anything. A lot of people seemed to get the feeling that the Waag people didn’t like us very much, and that they were expecting us to jumping out with ideas and overall exploding art like a mimbulus mimbletonia, and that we somehow disappointed them. But I didn’t get that feeling at all. They were very nice to us and seemed to be genuinely interested in what we were doing. Even if our explanations sucked.

We left shortly afterwards, and since the Waag happens to be almost right next to the Red LIght district, that’s where we ended up almost immediately. Fortunately, it was the middle of the day, and it was Rachel, Jenny, Stacy, me, Julian, and August in a group. So we had two guys to keep people from hitting on us.

We had many good conversations on the way back, my favorite being a conversation between me and Stacy about Julian. To explain this, I have to tell another story.

When we were leaving from Newark airport to go to London, Julian and I had our tickets mixed up by the ticket lady because his name is Julian Laurent, and my name is Julia Lauren. This is where you go “whoooooaaaa!!!!!” I know Julian did. It sparked a whole conversation about whether our parents planned it as some kind of joke.

Anyway, I decided that because of this Julian should be my brother (especially since we look so much alike!), but Stacy thought that we should get married so we could be Julian and Julia Lauren Laurent. So, we eventually dubbed him as my “Brusband,” a mixture of brother and husband.

August and Julian walked all the way back to Apple holding hands (Bromance), and I’m pretty sure nothing too interesting happened after that because I don’t remember it.
The end.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dutch Photo Media Booster

Monday was filled with things to do. We started off the morning by getting yelled at for taking notes by a dutch woman who was giving a lecture on the history of Dutch art.

John had told us right before the lecture that there was an exhibit by Tjebbe van Tijen, and he had convinced the gallery owners to keep it open for one more day so we could see it. We were supposed to be there at 12 or 12:30 if we wanted to meet the artist, so we were planning on leaving at around 12.

Unfortunately, the lecture ran over and we didn’t leave until 12:30. Everyone speed walked after John to the gallery, and when we got there we found out the artist had already left. The gallery owner said it was fine to look at the art anyway, so we checked it out for a while.

Tjebbe van Tijen creates narrative photo collages based on subjects like communication, language, and technology over the ages. Each photo collage is color printed onto a long piece of paper and then presented, in this case, by being hung from the cieling and winding around the room. Many of these photo collages are up to 40 feet long. Underneath the sections of many of the collages is some kind of text which describes what that section represents. Some of these descriptions were in the form of poetry, some were well written prose, and some were simply describing.

After about ten or fifteen minutes, the artist showed up again to see if we had arrived.

He talked to us a little bit about his art and what he was trying to do with it, then answered Terin’s questions for as long as he could stand. It was interesting, but we were running late and had to leave to get to the Netherlands Media Institute, aka Montevideo, the biggest distributor of video art in Europe.

We arrived at about 1:30 or 2pm (Julian stopped at Dam Square and picked up some cotton candy on the way), drank all of their coffee, and watched a presentation by the art historian there. She showed us a bunch of videos that they have in their collection, including (these were my favorites) Papillon d’Amour by Nicolas Provost, The Diamond Lane by Barbara Bloom, and Building by Anouk de Clercq.

Watching these videos got me thinking. I’ve noticed on this trip so far that I’m starting to like things that I would have hated before. I’m not necessarily saying that I’m a fan of modern art/filmmaking/anything, but I wonder if maybe all of the new exposure to all art, good or bad, has made me more tolerant. I probably would have hated Papillon d’Amour a year ago, but when I saw it on Monday, I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. So, Monday’s lesson: See as much art as you can, because it makes everything else so much better.

After the presentation, the Director of Netherlands Media Art Institute gave his own presentation about what they do there (they generally work to spread video art to the public and make it more accessible), and then gave us a tour of the building. The stairs were really awesome and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of them. If you'd like to find out more about the Institute, I recommend looking at their website. It's pretty interesting.

Afterwards we were free for the afternoon. Julian told us that he was going to go ride the Booster ride at Dam Square and tried to convince people to do it with him. Most people were too scared to go on it, and I wanted to go, but it was one euro more than I had. Julian was desperate for people to go with him though, and said he would pay for me if I actually wanted to go.

I was in.

Stacy, Julian, Paul, and I were going to be going on the Booster, a 40 or 50 foot high ride that spins like a windmill and goes about 60mph. Jenny and Caitlin came to document the event and hold our bags, respectively.
The ride was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. The first time I saw it, my reaction was “Hey, that looks like it’d be fun!” But when we were walking towards it and it struck me that I was actually going to be riding it, it almost seemed to loom over me as dark clouds covered the sun and the screams of terror from Dam Square grew nearer. How could I have thought that would be fun? Holy crap.

Standing in line was pretty nerve racking as well. The ride seemed so much bigger and faster up close, and I knew that now that Julian had bought my ticket, I was bound to do it. I also realized that not only does the ride hurl you through the air upside down for two and a half minutes, it actually stops part way through and goes in the other direction. But I had to go. There was no turning back.

(I apologize for the bad quality of this video. I'm working on getting blip.tv to work for me so I can display things in Quicktime)

Nothing much happened after that, in fact, I think I went to sleep early that night.

That is it for today. Here is the latest map of who's been to my blog:


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