20171303 Extremophiles Course

Extremophiles took place outside at the Zandmotor  from 13 -17 th march 2017. I hosted the course for the creative departments Sonology, Composition and ArtScience of the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague.

This week there was sun but also there was no sun, the air was still cold which had its impact on our performance in this remote area without any shelter. An Extremophile is an organism that thrives in extreme environments. How do we behave in this shapeshifting landscape: the Zandmotor  was simply  light or dark, sunny or cloudy, warm or cold, vast or cramped. Its character influences instantly our mood: it provides openness or seemed menacing. Or vice versa, our mood is thrown back on the landscape. Our discomfort contracts the wide space and rendered us immobile: our happiness expands  into openness, enlarges it to a space in which we felt endless.

Translucent screens performing air waves, projected sunlight highlighting shimmerings from seemingly still water, a floating island in the lake, a Fibonacci composition with 55 stones and a bucket of water, clicking stones back together, tuned backpack pipes, spatial cardboard tunnel sand rains, walking wanderings, leveling out with your  peers in the sand, leaning against wind harps, digging dunes together, Kenzo Kusuda’s workshop – pick a shell hold it in between your fingers and follow its movement, following the shadow of the Argusmast (only by bright weather), tracing the smell in this vast terrain, observing the rising Venus band after sunset, dreid horsepoo and sooooo much more.

Thank you, Natalie, Mischa, Florian, Hendrik, Thanakarn, Veerle, Leandros, Ruben, Maria, Miro, John, Quirijn and Vivian, it was a wonderful week with lots of beautiful seeds that have been released in the wind.

20170303 public test #003

Its our last public test in our preliminary investigation. Its been raining a little bit in the morning, the wind is coming from the south-east with a  force of 4m/s.  The temperature is about 6 degrees which is okee as long you really keep moving. We made some windinstruments and rebalancing legs in the air as we named them. We blindfolded everybody and the visitors had no idea that they were guided so close along the seashore as one could not see the sea when starting the journey. The senses were extending, the sound of one bird flying over made big impact, other listened carefully to sounds of the Argusmast, which also becomes on instrument when the wind is blowing through it. Some visitors were lost quickly and we had to steer them back on track.

Thank you Helena, Ben and Gokay for the documentation.

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20172802 preparation

Its around  4 g degrees  and the windspeed is about  6 m/s. It was our last day at the DCR gueststudio, and our last day of the month February we did our tests at the Zandmotor untill the sun set. We tried our bull-roarer ear instruments, the wind blew to hard for them, it made your head tremble in such a speed that  even your eyes registered the landscape as a trembling panorama. A bull-roarer amplified head box, was even unbearable with this speed of wind shaking your skull inside out.The countermovement shoulder sticks make you walk like a happy drunken persona and some sheltering wings worked like a rudder and provided some comfort.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

20171702 public test 002

We are heading to the Zandmotor, its raining a bit in the on our way up, but luckily dry for the rest of the day. Its cloudy and the temperature is about 7 degrees, which feels okee as long as your moving. The wind is 3m/s coming from the north.

Mischa, Soeria and Leandros are helping us with installing and we meet at the family Voskamp, whose house is opposite the bus stop, where we pick up our gear which is stored in their chicken shed.

We are checking the tides, okee it should be low tide, so the robes just don’t reach the sea. The guests are arriving, its like a meetingpoint in the middle of nowhere.  Seeing each others spreads joy and is warming our bodies. We are ready for lift off. Meanwhile the sea is playing its own game on us. While being blindfolded, people just get wet feet when approaching the sea. Fransesco living close by in Kijkduin is also visiting us and is playing with the sound/vibrations channeling through the lines. In the end we made a round for feeedback and lots of information is reaching our ears, which will head us in a clearer direction.

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20171002 Guests from Sweden

Today we received a Swedish group of about 30 students and 5 teachers/professors  from the department Landscape Architecture of the Sveriges lantbruksuniversiteit  in Alnarp. We prepared for them our first public test with long strings in the morning. Its freezing, the temperature is -2 degrees, the sand is frozen, which makes it light for carrying our materials on our backs. The sun does not show itself,  the wind is average about 3,5 m/s, and the humidity is about 85 percent. Drops of salty water are hanging under our noses. We are running up and down to prepare our strings, and scooping some obstacle baby dunes away, and we really don’t mind running and scooping as it keeps us warm.

So now and then we looked over our shoulders and at 11:15 we see the group Sweeds rising on top of the hill heading our way. Time is up, we leave our last entangled strings for what it is and welcome our visitors, and guide them into our test setup. It was really beautiful to see the concentration sinking into their bodies. We were very pleased with this test, and I think the basic principle of what we are trying to achieve worked out. At 12:20 we collected all together and we received very relevant feedback of their experiences: some really focused on the change of the sound of the sea all along the way, one felt instantly warmer as her eyes were taken away from the cold landscape, some felt the changing vibrations in their bodies or their skull.

Oehh that was such a lovely visit, we looked again over our shoulders and they were gone, what a flash in time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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20170802 DCR-gueststudio

We worked at the DCR-guest studio in The Hague, on the ground floor is workshop where we installed a table for the time being.  We did not bring any material or pre- tought plan, just basic tools as a knife, a scissor and a piece of robe. From scrap materials we created our very first test. Everything has to be made lightweight and portable, next week we are going to test them out at the Zandmotor.