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NQPaOFU 49 header

26 December 2001

sortie du musée

The Groninger Museum on the morning of December 26 is a busy place. Ilja Repin (1844-1930) and Paul Perry (1956-) share the public's attention 99/1, in these colorful rooms. Online, I wouldn't be surprised to find that equation reversed, even just by the numbers, let alone if we could measure and compete the quality of that online attention.

Paul's Immortality Suite at some level reads like his weblog, highly recommended to its readers, for its material presence being convincingly 'here' and 'now', in the low winter morning light, a glowing pelican, exotic like the other installations. As much as I like and trust this work, and welcome back the physical presence of Paul's attention, being particularly impressed by the video, I've grown tired of the museum. Not this museum in particular—though some of its features still horrify me aesthetically— but this kind of museum. The post-museum outlet: all dressed up museally, but what does it know, or add in value? Not a museum anymore, no information space either, it fails to impress me.

While with a treasure of interesting documents and pieces in its collection, especially the contemporary museum doesn't serve an art experience the way I would have it in this time and age. It just lacks a proper format. Half-heartedly some terminals are placed in an information area, where a short biography is hung on the walls, like Ilja Repin's in this case. No true information context is constituted. For people entering this place, coming from a rich, data saturated everyday, there's some same old information (the terminals and biography) while any information that increases the value of a visit, lacks. Now such increased value is probably exclusively in the vernissage—or not, when left to chance, instead of designed into the event.

The museum shouldn't be as naive as to aim to make any Paul or Ilja's work look more interesting, or even show it 'at its best'. To make the museum a more prominent place is a challenge by itself, for those who make—not necessarily build—museums. A place more dignified to host those pieces, a place even worth the visit for these same pieces, after they themselves have long gone. The contemporary museum that sold out to the art market and gallerist in the 1980s, to real estate development and the architect in the 1990s, should, instead of now selling out to social capital media and its agents (the museum as a meeting place), find itself less egotistic practices and partners, not to sell out to, but to collaborate with on a fine site and format for the early 21C art experience.

22-23 December 2001

Xmas leave

We drive up Monday for a short stay in NL. Just finished the marinade for the gigots d'agneau and put the pot in the cold car. Sunday night's clear and crisp. Added to the R+r files. Transforming animated KidPix into animated gifs, via screen shots :-) now only to get the boys to add some content. They just want to link to their favorite games and cartoons and that's it for them.

I put lights in the fir outside and Gil added 4 fake presents, wrapped in prismatic silver paper, hanging from fluorescent orange ribbons, which I bought in Montréal at the Dollarama(?). We are gradually getting better at the local habits. Come see this place around Christmas in a couple of years.

Now playing: Bruce's 45rpm loaded punk cassette, so hi and thank you woohootoo, Birchlane! I'm just not into mailing these days and your site doesn't have this easy does it drop a line gimmick, but the tape's all EMI right and your JPEGs came in bright and crisp and got me thinking about our homes and how personal they are indeed and how absolutely fascinating they are to look into. Did you know that in the Netherlands people at night leave their curtains open like at the effect of when walking a street in the dark, you fool yourself into being in this aquarium of some weird zoo!... Especially strong impression if the television is the only source of light in the room and the ugly couple is in front of it... whooa! And then while hammering this down I have to think of these movies where people live each other's life for a while, like how would it be for me to do Birchlane from Birchlane and you to do NQPaOFU from the Moulin. Wow. I wish you and your loved ones and every one else plenty possibility space for the next week and that 2002 year to come, before I forget.

21 December 2001


With all the attention given to the Link, I'd say that the (other) fundamental reading action in screen based media is the Scroll. Design for scroll? I have to find if someone gave that any attention at all.

1) multidirectional scroll. 2) menu indexing. 3) linked relationships.

20 December 2001


Saint Nicolas

the Sri Lankan Saint

Yesterday I went up twice to visit the St. Germain des Bois church. In the morning to have R+r and Laura and Valentin and Clément, Mélanie and Alexandre meet Saint Nicolas belated (13 days late), at 5pm again for mass, when the same children came, accompanied by the same parents, plus the grandparents Masson and the two Masson teen sisters. Masson 'le père' must be in his sixties. He is born and raised in St. Germain des Bois. An old school catholic, he keeps the key to the church and opens and lights it every time our new very dark Sri Lankan priest from nearby Tannay comes up to visit—with equal respect whether he is disguised as a Saint Nicolas, or as a priest. Monsieur Masson shows us a tombstone opposite the church's entrance, of a family Davous. One Davous is remembered having been the mayor of St. Germain des Bois during 32 years, until the end of his life in 1889, if I remember well, when he died at the Moulin du Merle.

With Masson le père I sound the church bell twice, long, once in the morning, once in the evening. When I leave home just before 9 to drive up to meet with St. Nicolas, already I hear that bell sounding down the hill opposite the Moulin. We can't see the tower from where we are, but by the sound you can tell it is not far from our door. It is the first time I hear the bell since we arrived three years ago. I'm thrilled by that sound. To later move that bell into a swing is another sensation. When Clément is invited to help, he holds tight to the rope and is immediately lifted up almost 3 feet. You let it slip, once it goes in its lazy swing, it keeps going. Having been raised an agnostic, rather in atheist mode, I was never allowed to visit Sunday school when I was a child. Later I have not been particularly attracted to church, while I would probably do consider myself a religious person, in my own rather moderate way. I do profoundly respect the religious sentiment, in recognition of its unworldyness. I see it often and in many instants, in all different kinds of concentrated attention and care. Religion must be in attention, when God is in the details. Masson invites me to climb into the tower to take a close look at the bell another time. He shows me where he puts the key to the sacristy. But I should never go up alone. One sunny winter day I will take the camera and go up. Maybe take Franck, or another amateur of religion.

Congratulations Cees and Brigitte, winter solstice is here.

I again photographed those same grasses.

19 December 2001


What connects the Beuvron ice formations and my drawings? Besides NQP, besides this logging in which' material pool all resides, that constitutes its fiction. The drawing or photograph are not mere illustrations or documents/documenting... like what exactly would they document? In the context of daily publishing notes etc. these image files are framed and expanded, to do live a life of information proximity to other items that occur in the weblog format: its quotes and links, the material that is linked to, sometimes being the backdrop, sometimes the foreground, of whatever is performed in NQP. The weblog reconciles different modes and objects of attention in a new format. Its material is always in a between state: available to be linked, already embedded in a narrative, repository and proposatory and proto-history.

While drawing more than anything else competes natural formations, like ice and herbs and rock. And water and skies and fogs. And sunlight.

record that life

Mr. Perry and Mr. Lira may have suspended their reviewthislife.com domain interest, but my recent experience with old media footage from the attic, dug up from their cardboard containers, reloaded into their clickity apparatuses that emerged from other boxes, to project full screen in the dining room, only proof one valuable lesson: recordthatlife.asap! Keep monitoring those familiar faces and everyday acts, which might seem of little importance today, but in their review one day will proof to be a splendid treasure, revealing enormous truths. Anticipating future technologies, like visual similarity checking, or other possibilities of software driven navigation, analysis and combination, every picture links a thousand stories. With infinite storage space there's no reason to hold back.

Already I experience the superior value of moving over still images. With my pre-digital information there's a gap to bridge however, in which information (image quality) is lost. With all digital material to begin with, the picturesque is a different story alltogether. The recorded life is the new biography.

Against linear time: beat it.

18 December 2001


And age. My dad turns 80 today. I congratulate him on his selfish genes and hope he slipped me some. So happy birthday, and I'll get you that website that you want. But first get online! See you in a couple of days for our family reunion dinner à trois. Rienke, you and me: we're a small tribe.

I'm sitting in the dining room, for its fire made it over the night. It immediately woke up, from few cinders, when I added a handful of twigs this morning. In front of it ablaze now, I wonder how the lust to move around and be active into old age is divided among us. Whether there are generational differences. My dad has travelled quite a bit, after his parents only once took their bicycles for a special trip to the German border, to take a look at it, and return home. This was before WWII of course. Not that they hated the Germans after, they just didn't bother to travel. My mother's parents had cars and travelled Europe. I'm looking at their footage these days. They had cameras too. My grandfather had a good eye, and ear, from what my mother told me about his violin playing. He handed not his violin but his wind up Kodak 8mm down to me when I turned 10, or 12. From the attic windows, I filmed my sister's black and white only pigeons, trotting across the shed's roof behind the house, and years later Prague street life, in 1968, the summer just before. So my parents took us around Europe too, camping. I don't remember that they crossed oceans however. My mother surely didn't. My dad once flew to London, which seemed across the ocean to me when I was about 6 or 7, and suffering German measles with a 41°C fever, at home in Wassenaar, Middelweg 138, with laundry fighting on the landing outside my room.

dad sleep

my dad, my genes, asleep

the generation or the genes

'Be where you are' seems to be in my genes, where ever. Even so I have travelled parts of Asia and the US and Scandinavia and Western and Southern Europe. Which seems to be in my generation, rather than in my genes. (For) now I've even settled abroad. This all makes a difference which is neither in the genes or generational, but very much where I am. I feel at home that way. To quote John Berger, again (I keep returning to this passage): "...home is represented, not by a house, but by a practice, or by a set of practices. Everyone has his own. These practices, chosen and not imposed, offer in their repetition, transient as they may be in themselves, more permanence, more shelter than any lodging. Home is no longer a dwelling but the untold story of a life being lived. At its most brutal, home is no more than one's name." Immediacy I find in the lust to act upon whatever is in front of me, in collecting stuff to surround me, in changing it around me, in building narratives with whatever emerges from it, begging for attention. This properly being 'settling', the way I understand it, the way it makes sense to me, building settings. Thus stories and histories are generated, and shared. The story of dwelling may be 'untold', by definition, but parts of it are shared in a life being indeed, lived.

Maybe the older I get the more immediacy I will return to. Relationships are woven and expanded without progressive mobility. When the whole of the world can be in a cabinet, again. When I don't even have to grab my bike and go out to look at it. C'est toujours les autres qui partent.

Note to self: from 'recycle', construct guided tours of NQPaOFU, select a path of interest to certainly R+r, and friends, relatives. Plus those with a curiosity for such selections. From 'topical' to 'personal'. From link to gift.

17 December 2001

raw and cooked

Again: material and activity flows in the Kitchen. You could write a design directed narrative for every space of the house, but we're set on the kitchen. What wasn't mentioned yesterday is of course time of day, daylight/tungsten working hours, division of labor between household members (which is at the basis of the functionality split), their physical peculiarities (grown-ups and kids, tasks attributed to them) etc. Another browsable (a spell chuck suggests 'brow sable'?) link for those of you who are of the form-freaks-function interest orientation: metro.com for their off the shelf 'flavorwise cabinets' and 'task stations'—or take your own samples at Yahoo Organization_and_Storage selection, where some links do invite holiday exploration, with the mature content filter on, like Closet Creation, Hold Everything, Slide Wide, Space Bag, Stacks and Stacks...

Coming to think of it: such functionality/design categories you can best search through an image search.

Moulin glacé

The image file (250+k). Small ice formations along the Beuvron. We made several short struts around the island. Tomorrow the temperature will go up again when the sky will cover. I hope for some snow. We haven't seen this place in snow since we've arrived in 1999. This is our third winter. It started promising.

15-16 December 2001


woe tech

Another day without running water, we try to obtain maximum hygiene with minimal water, hot or cold, and a dash of perfume. I confiscated the Annick Goutal 'Eau du Fier'—a man's (mint, bitter orange, clove, birch bark and smoked tea) fragrance after all—which I brought Gil from Rotterdam. I love its tea tones. She doesn't appreciate it like I do however and quit using it after her friends told her they didn't like it as much either. That tea's on me now and G. seems to like it better on me than on herself, so I think it'll stay. Meanwhile we recycle water and energy. We wash the dishes with the water in which we boiled the eggs. We separate drinking and 'grey' water. We use way less, maybe up to 75% less... actually one should force oneself to be more thoughtful about this and recycle more. It is so much cleaner code.

The more so since we do adapt with unexpected ease. Once no more water runs from the tap, you immediately get the picture of re-using and you become inventive about how to keep the cycles going sans eau, or with only very little. Nevertheless we are extremely pleased when Derk-Jan offers to fix the crack. I assume we could do it by ourselves, but we have very little experience and did not find the right fixtures to start with. D-J knows how to improvise (the mark of mastery) and when we return from the community's Christmas celebration Sunday evening we have HC water from our faucets again. G. and r. take a bath, I do homework with R. for a change. Afterwards we play the toys—his GBA and my iBook.

You want something to gain from the inconvenience? Kitchen redesign around work flow and energy distribution? Hot and cold, wet and dry, recycle and waste, feed the animals. Prepare, serve, clean and store and preserve. Over the past days we were actually again contemplating the first radical rearrangement since we arrived March 1999, one which we planned from the start: extending the kitchen, refurbishing it. We agree on its functionality to be at the basis of its form, but hardly on its design. Do we have different ideas of functionality, do we use the kitchen for different purposes? I bet. So we check the zines and do some searches. www.worldhomecenter.com Kohler. Kindred. Franke.

Moulin glacé

'The birds are good ideas' (PUbu's David Thomas). So I feed them against that deep frost that came over us last night, which cracked our water pipes at one joint: -12°C. I installed 4 bird feeding sites around the house and hope to see the feathered friends to get used to those soon. Then to keep the cats away from regarding them as their feeding site is another story. When I observe their frozen patience at the mole hill I can't be too secure about where to put those corn and seeds and fat balls.

ipso facto

Later we join Franck and Corinne to decorate the outdoor trees in Thurigny. I suggest to check the lamps before we stick them high, but 'they worked last year'. Of course they don't this year, as Franck pulls the wire from the extension plug without too much effort. I drive home to get a screwdriver. It's hard to fix this on a ladder in a -12°C wind. A lesson learned: things that were last year aren't necessarily this year, i.f.

14 December 2001

linked to from the NQPaOFU portal, on 14 December 2001

Who doesn't hate those pages in print, where it says in ugly black type: 'this page is blank', or which contain a witless variation on that theme ('your ad here'). Every generation gets the blank pages it deserves. So what makes you click a link which says 'this is a link', like so many do, out there? What if that link takes you to the same state of mind which resists the 'this page is blank' cue? What makes many links so 'click here' uninviting?


blindfolded jugler rope dancer

what's missing from this picture?

The opportunities of linked hypermedia are under evaluated. Many times a link drops you completely unprepared into another site, at the wrong point, at the top of a page in which a search has to follow, or at the wrong time: after another update which removed the original anchor, so you'll have to find any evidence for the link's suggestion, where there's none left, ending up toggling back and forth between linking and linked. Links nothing much linking, nothing much adding to the original lines—if these were any good to start with, and the link out wasn't just an escape route. Primarily linking out, or maximum linked into: would you rather write the lines or the notes, point away or be pointed at? Or could there be benevolent boring symmetry: every line a note to every other line, true network egalitarianism? Providing for more YAWN: You Advance in Whimmy Navigation...

blindfold walk

what's missing from this picture?

Blinded by the link we are invited to an uncertain narrative. Link to link we falter fast forward, learning to learn the links. There's no totality of experience, no hierarchy, at the cost of no story. Yet, cross referencing between mutually interpretative parties builds multifaceted refraction, creating different images for new stories. Writing links is different from straight 'linking'. Different links would be differently valued, a merely illustrative note differing from an antithetical or supportive one. To know how and what to link is a great skill, seriously different from knowing how and what to write.

blindfold horse

what's missing from this picture?

I suggest you do your own blindfold image search.

13 December 2001


This is the table which I purchased at the Maastricht Kringloopwinkel (recycling shop). It measures a 100cm radius and 45cm height (including the glass top), with the upper part openings measuring 50cm in width, 24cm in height with the foot 21. The body is light brownish polyester, with a black finish, which shows some wear around the openings. The white inner scale is in a lighter plastic. It measures a 62cm radius. Who designed it? Or which firm issued it? There are no marks whatsoever inside or out, no brand, not a single number or other data, nor any traces of removed stickers or plaques. It is probably European: Italian, Scandinavian, Dutch? French? It isn't perfect in its design, but sort of an architectural piece, and a bit bulky at that. Somehow it seems vaguely familiar to me.

Which reminds me: when will we see a search engine which can find you 'visually similar' images for an image which you submit to it? I remember the early AltaVista image search having such a feature, the 'visually similar' button... It was nice playing with its informed guess: where did it go?

polyester glass top table polyester glass top table

polyester glass top table


hole around

The untroubling continues. On range. So we come across long lost objects and tools and information as in objects and photos and old pieces. Footage. First we spot their white shadow, like in frozen edges along a wooded area. They live in the attic to surprize us, where they betray themselves in their shadowplay. For the darkest days of the year—only some 8 more to go until they start wearing again—we take them down to the ground floor, put them in front of the fire and shed light upon them from all sides. Looking straight forward into the past is no big trickery and you can come across some amazing feats.

scratch and live

Vinyl. 45rpm. The Last Farewell, by Ship's Company and Royal Marine Band of H.M.S. Ark Royal. A BBC records and tapes publication: 'the beat of BBC TV and radio.'


Vinyl. 45rpm. Never Stop (Discotheque). Echo and the Bunnymen. More pizzicato: Overground, Siouxsie+Banshees. 45rpm doesn't work on the other turntable, which rumbles like hell. I go through EPs and singles. Have to figure out how to digitize then MP3ize some to take on the road. With today's media integration I also need a shortcut to load those Super8 films and Willem Jouwersma's slides onto disk. 'When I get high, I can see myself for miles.' Steve Miller, Children of the Future.

12 December 2001


hole in winter

Le Moulin du Merle I find in silent winter dress. Moussot brought down from the hill the firewood we cut when we were new here, winter 99/00. It sits in an orderly stack next to the barn. The past 100 working hour week closed my first year at the Jan van Eyck, having given it an official (meaning: chargeable) number of 74 days of attention (on a 60 day contract), with 18 trips back and forth, visiting in the passing Barcelona, Montréal and Amsterdam. In the long view, this was preparatory. Much needed stir-up. 14 January will hit off the next year, for which I just signed a contract yesterday, before leaving. The return trip was a high speed run, couldn't do it much faster, unless in a faster car. Like one of the three that passed me by during the 5 and a quarter hours drive. I love to race that Familiale. Up hill it drops speed however. That's when I see those Mercedeses approaching in the rearview mirror. I race them to the top to then gain speed down hill. But at 183 km/hr this machine reaches its limit. Love to race.

r and cat shadowz

r + a cat cut + me


Later this afternoon I set up a projection screen in the dining room, after having found my grandfather's slides. The dining room will be the house's center for most of the upcoming holidays. I bet I find lots of projectables, if I search the right boxes. R+r and their friend Baptiste see me at their age and do shadow figures. In the bureau I hook up the iBook to an old Sony TA-1055 amplifier, which I bought, at 35 guilders, in Maastricht last week at the recycle shop where I also found that cool polyester black and white and glass top unidentified designer table, from the period. A pair of B&W spare loudspeakers in front of me increase iTunes pleasure and envelop this entry in Amanda Ghost's Idol... I'm telling you, I need those holidays!

4 December 2001

alles moet weg

'Everything has to go'. We're presenting ABSOLUT DESOLAT RESOLUT VANEYCK in Marres. Departing researchers from the fine arts, design and theory departments show off and are out. Just when we started to get used to each other. Check Giselle de Oliveira Macedo's to publish or not to. publish site, and Johanna Balusikova's (for those interested in design/programming issues) and Sara De Bondt's individual portfolio sites. If you're in Maastricht, go visit Marres to also see the other presentations. And remember, some of these people can be hired...

alles komt terug

'Everything returns'. The Jan van Eyck Academie acquired the most interesting and to me most familiar part of a much contested library: the new media design and theory books and magazines of the late Vormgevingsinstituut (Netherlands Design Institute). Former director, now Doors of Perception's first perceptron, John Thackara almost single-handedly selected the appr. 15 meters (45ft) of books, probably left hundreds of post-its in them and I am very happy to have them in my vicinity again. Most remarkable competitors for this heritage were the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam and the Foundation for the Arts, Design and Architecture in Amsterdam. Yay! One more reason to take your design research projects to Maastricht.

1-2 December 2001

half a day

Two December was a weird day, or half a day, 'cause the other half is spent on the road between StGdB and Maastricht. The Chappée sent most of its fumes into the studio, instead of up the chimney. From where smoke pushes out I know several small parts have gone. I take a wrong turn at Auxerre. R makes me nervous with his discontent over whatever. The French Ardennen are dark and moist, the Belgian mostly dry but bumpy. R runs after r to take his picture with the Mavica. When I finally try to hang Melopsittacus Undulatus on the first floor landing, in the first hole the drill short circuits with a pang, or loud poof and smell. Just before Maastricht my mobile rings with the first researcher on it. I do answer the call.


Words light up over the highway. Instead of the usual warnings to control your tires' pressure or to wear your belt, this message comes to us from our children by way of some over sensitive traffic control supervisor or even some smart copy writer hired by traffic control to do something about the average of 25 casualties on French roads daily, the highest rate in Europe, for its largest country, not with the highest traffic density however. Having just said goodbye to R+r for another week, I drop my speed a little. I don't hear them, but nevertheless there's a suggestion here.



Full moon last Friday night had quite a lot of us adrift, basically all week I felt those vibes. Long telephone conversations with my uncle Cees Jouwersma, on Thursday, on family ties, and Paul, on Friday, on Holland.

1 December I installed an electronic petrol injection stove in god's own attic and in the studio/bureau finally reconnected the small brown Chappée wood stove to the chimney, after vacuuming out dead bees.

Saved some old art from the barn where past days' humidity started to show in different colors and textures.

Goodnight Moon. I said: Good Night. I'm counting down.

30 November 2001

deplete your attention!

NQPaOFU 1 (March 1998) contains a quote by Michael 'theobvious' Sippey:

The one to one future will not only displace the creators of mass culture, but also the creators of micro culture—fine artists. When every piece of information we consume becomes customized for our unique wants and needs, we will lose the ability to enjoy, or even tolerate, the singular statement of an individual painter, sculptor, photographer or printmaker. "If they're not going to paint what I like," the consumer of the future will ask, "why should I buy it?"

This means that artists who intend to support themselves with their work will have to adopt market research techniques to make sure they're creating works that targeted segments of collectors will actually enjoy. Alternatively, the art market could become solely commission-based, where buyers work with artists to custom-create a piece that fits with their tastes, their politics, their personalized color scheme.

'As one-to-one artists of the future, we will not need money in exchange for our information—just more information' I summarized my reply, after also ädaweb's Vivian Selbo had tuned in.

Instead of considering the unruly imponderable "what will artists make in response to a changing marketplace?" I wonder more about how will that art be found, seen, and ultimately generate support for its makers. A key question is what will be the critical context, since even, or especially, on the web context is critical. Attention will be the initial currency spent, so the first purchase to worry about may be getting a good strong grip on the viewer.


Your Attention Withers Naively—I only made up out after I spelled that caption in CAP. How bored can one get by one's own past attention? Discussions like these seem to make little sense to me lately. The above goes primarily to note that after Caterina simply put up 'I love Jouke's drawings' my hit count for November 29 doubled the average. So when I finally recover a medium in which to deplete my attention, to a level of complete self annihilation (think of replacing myself), only to furnish the drawing, call that a critical context, a cabinet or piano, I get 'a good strong grip' on al least some viewers out there, where there's no more there to be found, but whatever that search engine throws at you? Or good friends guide you to. End of discussion. Search no more!

28 November 2001

what's the frequency Jouke?

(1024x768 optimal)

I'm administratively challenged. In other words (not mine, no quote) I would suggest the tax person to stick my bonnetje up the buttje. Alas, nothing will come from it. Why can't this tax thing be more informed and invisible for the consumer artist? If network intelligence would come in handy anywhere at all it would certainly be in administration. That's a native killer application to me. Huh. I mean heh.

So the drawing thing. Something else.

I wonder what changed in the interval since my last finished drawing? My last personal show in 1993 ('Kryptotheka') didn't contain any drawings, just objects and slides and texts and blackboards and a Mac Classic. I've tried to pick up the hand before, I've been tempted, I've tried. Review morning was one last occasion that didn't deliver. The drive was there, the material was there but the digital photo's were better than the ink on paper.

Picking up drawing is like giving up smoking.

What's different this time? I gave up smoking without even trying, three weeks after I moved to the Moulin. Threw away half a packet of Marlboro Lights and that was it. Dead in the tracks. Ever once in a while, I smoke a cigarette or two, but I never started again.

It ain't nutn true if it doesn't come by itself. The story of my life. I sold my very first drawing in France, around 1965, to a passing farmer's wife who found me sitting in the field studying that flower. Or bridge. Or tree. I think a flower though. St. Côme d'Olt, in the Lot, near Espalion, on the river. I brought it to her house later that afternoon when it was finished. She asked me to put it on the mantel. It's still there as far as I'm concerned and if nobody took it away.

My last drawing will be sent across the Atlantic tomorrow. Mantels are waiting around the globe.

27 November 2001

drawing room stories

Invited by grainy traces on paper, memories return. Scratch and sniff are powerful multipliers. The old madeleine effect. Graphite/pigment splinters, cedar chips peeling off the sharpener. The tracing game takes me from this rag paper to all other papers, in an abundance of qualities, all of them flashing their colors, from kindergarten, where glue mixes in, that's a lot of glue to keep all that together, to art school where the hand really tries harder, after long concentrated hours of quiet attic adolescence, when cause and effect still seem related. Pencil and paper take little space to lay out worlds. The archive comes alive with tools and skills, a limited set but tuned to every occasion, to every incident of the guiding hand. See it wipe color crumbs and wood chips from the corner of the table to throw in the fire, where they are immediately consumed with no noticeable effect on the flames. Faber-Castell, Koh-i-noor, Staedtler, Bruynzeel. Famous families. Generations of pigment traces veiling the face of the earth in color fabrics, signing it with dreams and fantasy. True color was first discovered inside that slim straight wooden stick with no leaves, the first idea of kernel exposed, the breaking and another breaking, inside the sharpener, then the mother who brings out a small knife out of her architectural tool kit (I see several erasers, small steel pens, blotches inside the lid, a rag stained) and cuts an irregular but the very sharpest H tip. B, HB, H2, B6! Mysterious codes like on the scales of the radio.

Cut to radio space. The drawing hand travelling the inside, easily connects to that soundscape entering. Also radio is made, constructed, built somewhere from prime cuts and carbon experience. Radio is someone somewhere staying up late just like you. Here a guiding hand picks the tunes which' grooves are the negative of your pigment traces, scratch by scratch.

Pencil plenty.

26 November 2001

wild talent

Since... I don't remember when, I haven't left so much colorful graphite on a single piece of paper and enjoyed the action as thoroughly as I did last night.

color pencil on paper drawing

color pencil on paper, 22x17cm., 25 November 2001

What was I thinking? I wasn't much. Drawing is an engaging activity. The emerging space and its furnishings follow no scheme but are a sequence of nameless gestures, in which every single one evokes another, either to contextualize or to articulate or possibly to eradicate a preceding one. Drawing is big. Leaving these graphite and pigment traces on a piece of paper is tangible reality, input and output in one gentle touch. I made one more after, also one preceded it: two trees(?) and a frog(?) and something(?) in the air, for R+r. Drawing the question marks.

Think of (names added at end of line) Walt Disney, Saul Steinberg, Edward Gorey, Paul Klee, Charles Loupot, Jean-Michel Folon, Roland Topor, Leonardo da Vinci, Floor van Keulen, Edward Fella, Claes Oldenburg, Bruno Schulz, George Herriman, David Hockney, Antonio Prohias, Pierre Alechinsky, Lucebert, Piet Mondriaan, Leon Spilliaert.


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