Actually the site is transforming into something else completely. My lovely blog about Amsterdam has lead me to two wonderful jobs writing and obsessing about this city, first at I amsterdam and now at Amsterdam Magazine. Though I still love to explore and share tidbits about Amsterdam, doing it for work full-time has made it exhausting to sit at home and do the same thing again. My own personal site should be fun and not feel like too much work! So I’ve decided to set up shop over at www.nats-umi.com to showcase my biggest obsession: art & design. Amsterdam will still be mentioned but with more of a visual/creative angle. So if you like all things visual and creative, head on over to my new site!
My cell phone is from 2007. This means I’m generations behind on the smart phone era. No apps, no e-mails, just good old fashion dial and talk. One of these days, I’ll surrender to this millennia but until that day comes, I still need to come up with analog ways to get things done. My latest job has me traveling to new destinations and now I’m on the hunt for alternatives to the clunky Lonely Planet Books.
Since I can’t rely on travel apps like unlike or foursquare, I need to find good old fashioned paper to tell me where to go. I’ve been thinking of using these tiny city guides from Hostel World. It has a lot of obvious tourist destinations but its nice to be able to have one free printout of addresses, wifi cafes, cheap eats, etc. I usually do general research before hand but its always nice to have the basics, just incase. I checked out the guide for Amsterdam as a baseline and it offers a pretty decent list of budget tips and cheap eats. One of my favorite affordable restaurants, Eatmode is the first restaurant listed along with some more obvious attractions like Anne Frank and Van Gogh.
I’m off to Lisbon, London, and Rome in the next two months and I’ll see if these city guides are any useful. Do you know of any nice tiny paperback guides? Or is it time to trash my Saved by the Bell cell phone?
If you’re visiting Amsterdam, the pocket guide can be found here.
I know I already posted about the Camera Japan Festival but there’s one live act I’m particularly looking forward to. In his daytime job, Kishino Yuichi is a professor of sound design at Tokyo University. By night, however, Yuichi transforms into his glamorous French alter ego La Veuve Moustachue for a highly entertaining and slightly raunchy cabaret-style performance!
Date/Location: Kriterion, Saturday October 9, midnight.
I was sitting in a cozy bar around the corner when this happened and missed the whole thing but during the Queen Beatrix’s speech on Tuesday for National Remembrance Day ceremony a 39-year-old crazy man put his arms above his head and started mumbling and screaming which sent thousands of people including the Dutch royal family fleeing for safety. Over 50 people were injured. Check out the videos below to see the chaos!
I know I haven’t really posted much in the past month but I have been physically and mentally checked out of Amsterdam. I’ve been in Texas, New York, and locked up in a self-induced prison for my master’s program. But I’m back now and ready to start posting again! Thanks for coming back to the blog and I will start posting about events happening in this city asap.
Here’s a little recap of what I’ve been up to the last month:
I went back home to Texas after 9 months of being abroad and was reminded of how fabulous it is to be from the south. Here’s a little video I made of my night out in the ATX.
also ate a ton of tex-mex
and met a new family member!
then I went to Brooklyn and had a lovely reunion.
and this past week I’ve been physically in Amsterdam but mentally immersed in the cubinator project. Possibly the worst 24 hours of our lives.
The actual performance will be available on cubinator.nl on the 17th of April at 19:00 (Amsterdam time). We will be live on a webcam for 24 hours on this webpage, and we will be building a paper structure for you. Every brick that you ask us to build will be only yours, and will be marked with the exact time of your submission.
You are kindly invited to participate!
Virtualization of our daily tasks, as well as of communication processes, social activity, production, economics, media consumption, etc. probably have more impact on our temporal and special awareness and sensorial processes than we normally realize. Sarah and I came to this conclusion during the research that we decided to undertake for the seminar Scopic Regimes of Vituality. Our final project for this seminar attempts to focus on our altered perception of space and time, as a consequence of our frequent use of new (digital) media. Expanding on Munster’s book (2006), in particular on her chapter on digitality, where she discuss the idea of a “global digital time” and refers to the 24 hours economy, we aim to realize a work of performance to expose multiple layers of our distorted perception of time and space, which are produced by our use of digital media.
We want to argue that this new distorted perception of the space and time of production, and relative changes in our idea of “location”, “presence” and “distance”, alienate us from the physical space and time in various ways, some more subtle than others. First of all, we are barely aware of the technical infrastructure that is needed to support our daily virtual activities and the costs of its maintenance (in money, energy power, physical space for servers, employment in developing countries). We tend then to lose sight on the impact that our virtual activities have on economics and on the environment.
On another level, increase of virtual activities have great impact on our private lives as well. Our exploration of reality becomes increasingly mediated, abstracted from physical space, confined to few actual locations and simultaneously multiplied in new experiences we gain virtual access to. This results in a “colonization” of our time by activities whose relevance and value are arguable (Virilio, 1997) (surfing the web, jumping from one website to another, from one chat or SNS to another, literally sucked into a vortex of connectivity).
The Cubinator Project
Our project consists of two parts: one is mainly theoretical and the second part will result in a practical component that aims to expose the clash between space and time that we virtually experience while using digital media, and the real space and time of production and interaction that we tend to devalue more and more. Also the concepts of “location” and “distance” are hence involved.
The idea of time and space are profoundly intertwined in the new media experience. Anna Munster observes how speed more or less consciously becomes our new unit of measure for distance in the virtual realm. We tend to experience closeness when response (from a machine or another person using the medium) is very fast. Consequently, lag in response creates the effect of remoteness. In the globalized 24 hours economy, strongly supported by digital media, we are also prompted to believe that everyone or everything is always working and available for use or contact. Our interaction with a computational device somehow erases human constraints (our biological rhythms, our physical distances) in our imagination.
With our work (performance) we aim to expose the regimes of perception that virtuality engraves in our sensorial system. After exploring bodily perception, the relation between bodily perceived space (and time) and new digitally created space/ time parameters with a theory study, and analyzing other works of art that have been dealing with the same topics, we will try to produce a direct experience of these collisions between the physical and virtually perceived space.
Realization of the work (live online performance)
Our work will consist of an online performance in 24 hours. Therefore, we will need to design the following elements: web interface (where the audience can easily interact with us), the real physical space (room) where the action will take place, the action that will be produced as a result of the interaction, and how to exhibit, if so, the end product afterwards.
Our performance will take place in a room, where we will build some pointless structure with small origami paper boxes, according to the instructions of the participants. The participants can follow us for 24 hours straight, live on webcam on the webpage and they can “order” us to make a box and put it in the structure through a simple button on the same webpage. Likely, the performance will produce a paper construction that will be destroyed afterwards, with absolutely no utility. If only few people will participate, the paper structure will be smaller, while the larger the number, the performance will be even more exhausting for us.
With the performance, we aim to produce commentary to the actual time, space, and labor that occurs on the Internet, symbolically materialized in ourselves, as well as on the use of time online, oscillating between the illusion of productivity and voyeurism. There will be a clear, almost literal reference to the 24 hour economy visualized in our 24 hour performance. This is also a commentary to crowdsourcing, democratization, and amateurization of the web where anyone can make something, build something, and is present in the work, which questions creativity and democratization in produsage.
The performance will take place on the 17th of April, at 19:00. You are kindly invited to participate!
Munster, A. Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics. 2006 (Digitality)
I’m usually not a fan of spending my afternoons inside of coffeeshops here in Amsterdam because most of the time they are not inviting spaces to hang out in. They are usually located in touristy areas and are overcrowded with tourists and covered from ceiling to floor in tacky black light marijuana leaf posters. But Coffeeshop Sanementenreng is really something else. Part coffeeshop, part antique store, and ALL awesomeness. It is hard to describe in words but if you’re into African masks, mannequins, maps, trinkets, feather, jewelry, and the cheapest hash you’ll find in town all overflowing in a cozy jordaan storefront, you will love this place. Located on Tweede Laurierdwarsstraat 44 Amsterdam.