Airline Boarding Passes Suck
Last week I – Philip Brink – went on a holiday with my girlfriend Marieke. Destination: New Amsterdam. At Schiphol I bought a book: ‘The Gift of Imperfection – Let go who you think you supposed to be and embrace who you are,’ by Brené Brown. I don’t know about you, but I am a perfectionist, to put it mildly. People tell me it makes me good at what I do. Clients love my perfectionism, because they know I will go all the way to make something special. And it does seem like an essential element for making good creative work. But it’s not. It’s the opposite. The book explains how it creates a fake feeling of security. A feeling that if everything is perfect, people will like you for it and all will be good. But there’s no such thing as perfect. It shows that perfectionism stands in the way of creativity (and happiness). How it’s the enemy of ‘let’s try something, we’ll see where we end up.’ It narrows the possibilities, works paralysing and makes you miss beautiful opportunities in life. O.K., the book may look like a self-help book (with an ugly cover) and Oprah calls it her ‘new Super Soulmate’. Still, I like it. And I like the idea of embracing imperfection. In work and life. So, now I have to find a great conclusion to this blog posts. But to be honest I have no clue. And that’s O.K too…
PS Here’s a link to one of René Brown’s Ted Talks about vulnerability.
March 13 I found myself dressing up… to go to a museum. To gather with the urban and stylish set to discuss the relationship between high fashion and current street culture. Stylemakers strutting in from all over, even the deep south of Belgium. An event hosted by Amal Alhaag and friends. A conversation was started by a fashionable gang of dapper men and kick ass women, including: Isis Vaandrager, Milou van Rossum, Sharon Jane D, Nadine Stijns, Sandrine Sandrinette. Looking for answers: what role and influence do artists have on current streetstyle, does the street inspire high fashion or does couture inspire the street? The most inspiring and boldest statements coming from hands on & kick ass DIY spirited’ Farida Sedoc aka Hosselaer. Her words still bouncing around in my head “the street will dominate the world and not just in fashion, it is inevitable”. Bring it on I say. To me the world promisses to be way more exciting in the hands of passionate doers. PS: pics here. PPS: more talks soon. photo credit: De fotomeisjes.
Today I have NO inspiration at all. That’s why I present to you: A generic brand video. Have fun with it.
This week inspiration wasn’t difficult to find: the well-respected Annet Gelink gallery (30 seconds walk from my studio) have opened a new space, just a few days ago. It is designated as a permanent exhibition space; dedicated solely to one of Amsterdam’s most important photographers: Ed van der Elsken. If you don’t know his work it is a great chance to get to know it and if you do… you’ll no doubt enjoy seeing it all over again. The gallery will feature a regularly rotating (and random) selection of his wonderful oeuvre, they have edition prints for sale, an extensive collection of books and plans for van der Elsken-related projects in the near future.
I’d like to chaperone you to an audio visual trip of the mind, body and soul. A chamber opera for Soprano, Electric Trombone, Pilates Trapeze-table, Electronics and DJ. Kimisis is an introduction presentation by Australian Opera Director Konstantin Koukias and an entrée to the feast of original works that will follow. Hosted in one of Amsterdam’s musical and cultural havens…an old bath house hidden in the center of the city. Splendor is a collective of musicians, composers, writers and other artists who have created a place for sharing dreams, experiments and imagination. 6, 7 & 8 April – 4 performances per day – 20mins duration. A perfect opportunity to whet your palate. Tickets can be booked through the Splendor website.
What started as experimenting with certain materials to make a carpet, became an ongoing series of masks made out of rope. As Bertjan Pot explains in this video he makes one after a busy day of meetings. When he’s been talking all day and running around he just needs to sit down and make something. Good idea and an even better result.
OK, I know ideally our AAB inspiration write ups revolve around Amsterdam life and people. For this one, let’s say my colleagues and myself live in Amsterdam and are considered people (well at least during working hours). People that are really psyched about the release of this feature film about making music . What is so good about this? For starters, the question that kickstarts this film is one we can all really relate to. If you lock yourself up in your studio, spend precious hours finding ideas, sounds, words and try and craft something that has value, you can’t help but question what constitutes ‘value’? The question “Why am I doing this?” transcends the poorly lit realm of the composers studio. It is a universal question for conscious beings. So, we can all relate. Second, Red Bull with their pioneering Red Bull Music Academy have been successfully fueling the marriage between the worlds of music and marketing for the past 15 years. Who is not happy to see marketing dollars being invested in actually creating culture and helping to sustain what Van Dyke Parks in the movie calls ‘our greatest language’. And lastly, the film project is created and directedby Ralph Schmerberg and his Berlin based artist collective ‘Mindpirates‘. If you don’t know them, do check them out. You can watch the film here.
Akira clashes or crashes with Drive and a Tarantino road movie in the animated music video Stefan Glerum recently finished for the track ‘In the Middle of the Nite’ by DJ and producer RipTide. Stefan, a very talented artist and illustrator did the animations in collaboration with studio Crooked Line. There are four high rollers and a lot of spoilers on the race cars, but I will not spoil the end. Sketches and prints from this project can be viewed until February 24th at Kallenbach gallery. On another note, Stefan Glerum recently did a very nice poster series for Het Kabinet Festival, creating characters such as Kickstarting Kenny, Air Forced Arnold, Bushwacking Becky, Immovable Ira, Necro Phil, Eradicating Elisabeth and Just The Tip Trevor.
We all know by now that Erik Kessels – owner of KesselsKramer – is one of the most avid curators of vernacular – more specifically amateur, accidental and found – photography. ME TV, a collaboration between Kessels and Thomas Sauvin, is a booklet recently published in Bejing, with only 8 reprinted images of a Chinese woman posing identically in front of her television over a certain period of time. The only thing that changes is her outfit. If you look at the details, such as her pinkie finger, you see that the photographer – most likely her husband – really made the effort to have her pose identically. It makes you wonder why. In any case, according to Kessels and Sauvin it is done in a way that verges on a work of conceptual art.
Innovation starts with a natural distrust of the status quo. When you’re prepared to start asking simple questions of everyday things, the world is suddenly full of possibilities.. Simple question: why are boarding passes unpractical and fucking ugly? Peter Smart started to rethink the airline boarding pass. A job well done.
I just wanted to share a great place I discovered this week; situated halfway between our appartment and my office, on the Singel near Dam Square. Letterpress Amsterdam is a small type studio that produces all kinds of exotic bespoke printed matter. The friendly owner Thomas spent some time to show me around and explain what he does with his two wonderful old presses, metal typesetting and some funky old wooden type blocks. I am certainly going to be going back there very soon. Oh yeah and pssst… try and keep it a secret otherwise everyone will want to go there too.
Many people know Kadir van Lohuizen for his photo documentary uncovering the diamond industry. but now he did something completely different. over the course of a year, he traveled form the southernmost tip of south america to the northernmost tip of Alaska, visualizing migration along the pan american highway. partly due to the addition of stories, charts and graphs, the book, film, blog and iPad app has become an amazing and inspirational piece of work (casefilm). it’s time very well spend.