During the two years at sandberg I kept working on projects and would never really have a title but I would always start assesments with a slide that would say “how to look around rather than ahead” (which in the end became the title for my essay) As I have no title for this film yet I’m going to start with “how to look around rather than ahead?” again :)
The title itself comes from the chapter ‘arts of noticing’ in “the mushroom at the end of the world” by Anna tsing. I see it as a method to approach the future and to tackle thinking in terms of linear progression; instead of seeing progress as a forward march and time as a horizontal sequence. Looking around could help us to reorient ourselves and make us notice that progress is happening in many directions simultaneously.
Above you see a first draft/teaser/trailer for the film (installation) im currently working on. All the footage is captured in Amsterdam Noord, the area where we initially were going to graduate and where I lived for nearly five years. The Noord part of Amsterdam used to be considered ‘not Amsterdam’ for a lot of Amsterdammers, it’s situated over the river and was back then hard to reach. Since the last decade Noord became more popular and more easily accessible. Currently Noord is in a transformation, a lot of new buildings are being build with apartments I could most likely never afford to live in. The area where we were planning to do our show, and where I used to live for instance is going to be demolished in a couple of years and the plan is to build houses inspired by n.y.c. Meat packing district.
- This a new iteration of the project which for now takes shape as an embedded video on this webpage. Presented in a physical space however I imagine it to be projected from different angles with several projectors. Maybe smaller monitors with typography that would situate the environment from time to time.
- The text in the beginning comes from the website of the ‘fully furnished designer apartment rentals’ North Orleans. I’m not convinced of the timing though, the text could appear more later in the narrative but I wanted to give some context in the first cut as well.
- for the sound I did some field recordings and I altered the track: 432hz Resonant Activation Tone by Happy meals. In the coming weeks I’m planning to experiment a bit with synthesizers in the edit studio and later i’m going to collaborate with a friend to finish the sound design. However this track gives a good impression of what I have in mind
As I was making a site-specific work and the sudden likelihood of us exhibiting on that site became smaller everyday I started to get a bit worried. Would this story still work in a completely different area? The last weeks I spent a lot time photographing different places in Noord that are changing (I clarify some of them below). But the changes of the street where I used to live in of course occuring in different streets as well. Many places are being demolished and many new buildings are emerging. My current plan is to capture several of these transformations in Noord so I can reveal the pattern that is noticable not only in Noord but in many peripheral neighborhoods throughout the world.
A try-out with past and current streetview imagery. I would like to include my own voice in the movie as well, not quite happy with this one yet as I feel it’s too much separated from the rest of the film. Also not sure if I would like to it in Dutch or English...
“Now: we are demolishing the waddenwegviaduct”
“Soon: there will more green in the city”
These signs are placed next to construction sites in Amsterdam to inform it’s inhabitants of coming changes in the city. I see an interesting parallel in the architectural render of the promising future the city of Amsterdam provides and the renders I create of a maybe not so promising future. Both are computer generated and depict a subjective mediated environment that reminds us of how we see our surroundings yet something is clearly missing…
Apart from the aesthetic comparisons the message fascinates me more: “soon: the buikslotermeerplein will be a lot greener”
But for who? Is the green Amsterdam Noord still affordable?
During the process of this project I sometimes felt a bit distanced in the relation between the isolated hours behind my screen rendering the pictures I took and actually being in Noord. For the coming weeks i'm planning to do a ‘wildplak’ actie in Amsterdam Noord. I’m currently designing some mock ups to stick over the signs. for instance:
“Now: We demolish the waddenwegviaduct”
“Soon: Amsterdam Noord will get even more expensive”
I imagine to stick a render I did over the architectural one. This is still a really fresh idea and I definitely need to crystallize the whole concept but I feel like this could become something that could give a lot layers to the film project Im currently doing.
Below I collected all the footage I shot so far. It gives an impression of the locations I captured and by organizing it like this it becomes a bit of a storyboard. No need to watch every single clip of course, it’s more meant to scroll through and to get an overview.
The waddenwegviaduct is the former busplatform of the Buikslotermeerplein after the completion of the infamous subway that connects Noord to the rest of the city the buses depart from the subway station. This summer the brutalist viaduct is going to be demolished.
This place is often used as a backdrop in dutch hip-hop clips and crime series, most likely for it’s urban and dodgy look. Massih Hutak wrote a very nice article on the excotizitation of these urban areas in Noord: De gedroomde filmlocatie in Noord wordt gesloopt: ‘Het is rauw en echt’
The bowling alley is located next to the viaduct and is squatted for several years already. When the bowling alley opened (somewhere in the seventies) this was the coolest spot you could hang out. But right now its considered one of the most ugly spots in Amsterdam Noord. The sign says: HALSEMA (the mayor) EVICTS DURING PANDEMIC.
This is one of the remains of the building block that exploded, the rest of the area is transformed to a parking lot. and this object was still standing all lonely by itself. Some weeks ago this remaining piece was also torn down.
North Orleans, is a fully furnished designer apartment complex. When the building project started it was meant to house students but since there is not a maximum amount of rent you can charge a student in Amsterdam the rooms are currently 1275,- a month. (20m2)
Just some experiments