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, 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:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Malaysia to Manitoba! I'm geographically impressed! Now you need to score Mongolia and Mali.
Looks like you gave Jenny a videographer workout with that booster. I'll bet she felt like she was taking an exam, trying to keep you in frame. That alone would make me nauseated. Did you manage to keep your cotton candy down? Travel is broadening, ain't it?
- YoMama

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Mararrrr said...

Even someone in Columbia :D so international. Saudi Arabia is gone though.

That ride looks both awesome and horrifying at the same time. I want to do it, but then I know if I had the chance, I'd probably freak out and go in a haunted house instead. Or something.

The show you saw sounds pretty interesting. I like that sort of thing. I think that's another thing that's good about art for "pretty"'s sake (not that this was just pretty) - at least it broadens your horizons some. If all art only had a social/political/whatever message, that's pretty narrowminded also. [/rant]

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Julia I am sad that my hometown has been cut off of your map. :(

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Talia said...

Apparently riding on windmill wings (?) (I don't know what they are called) is a tradition in the Netherlands, and so tht's probably what the ride was meant to mimic. The real traditional way is you just grab onto a windmill branch or whatever it is called, and hang on with your bare hands while it spins you around and upside down.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Sorry Dave. It's hard to fit the whole world into a little square. Maybe next time?

4:15 AM  
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11:48 PM  

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