Eurotour, Pop Ark andco, 2008
pop ark

Here you can see the small Rijksmusuem in context. The theme of the exhibition was books depicted in Od Master paintings. Often copies of the same books were displayed next t the paintings. So a very acute albeit academic exhibit.

Speeding in train, early morning, to airport.

Modular placidity of Dutch landscape. Water a fact of the land.

lucky pic in train

Skyscrapers of Rotterdam at 5:45 in the morning. Architecture here soars and takes risks.

read the sign- "earth freezing technology" So at the construction site of the new train station they are freezing walls of water underground so they can work (below the water table as most of Holland)... the Dutch are really good engineers, pro

Owner of the place is one quarter Chinese, his grandfather came from China in the 1920s, he says this was the first wave of Dutch immigration. He still holds a Chinese passport as Dutch authorities only recognized this immigration in 2005. He was critic

The bar right across from the theater specializes in Cuban cigars, old world. So I enjoyed a cigar here after the long days of work.

Pop Ark: polar bear tent from above.

Pop Ark: polar bear tent from above.With shadow from tree inside.

Into the mouth of the bear.

Apparatuses on tree project onto sectioned tent fabric.

tree with the polar bear "laptop" at bottom. This is the voltage- switching box.

Gorebot's forehead.

Base of the pole, with new painting touches by Roy.

Pop Ark Rotterdam

Trip to the Boijman's Museum in Rotterdam with Bianca: we see an installation/intervention by Urs Fischer where he got to re-install their Pop Art collection with some messy wall painting added. Not as good as what he did in NY at the Tony Shafrazi galle

Reitveldt chairs looking normal now, but probably not so much then. Stackable chairs!!!!

Looking good next to these Dutch stripes, right?

Maurizio Catellan: ultimate crowd pleaser.

Sound mixing with Gregoire inside the tent. He's working in a program called Logic.

Frog.

Here is on of the arc animal modules.

Sun and Walrus coexisting in Pop Ark. Maybe someday I'll take a field trip to the Arctic (in the Summer).

Polar Bear, Sun. Spinning Rabbit.

Roy giving the arc animals a new coat of fur.

Adine Mansholt shows up from Haarlem to check on me, she's an old friend and says that I seem to her like a Dutch boy.

Gregoire and I went shopping every evening after work at the big supermarket: Albert Heijn. After a long day of work + jet lag we were pretty loopy, making vegetable jokes and stuff like that, you can probably see it.

Jasper and Quint Laying the power lines....

Working on the tree...

The crew putting it all in place...

Captain Egbert's crew (and Roy) who worked on the Ark.

Putting up the snout of the bear.

Objects d'art on the floor of the tent

View out of my apartment window. Look closely at the daring sculpture on the roof of the building. They are all around Rotterdam (and concentrated at the Kunsthaus). Unimaginable in the US.

My Rotterdam apartment of which I will have fond memories.

Assembling the Gore-bot

One of the first tasks for thwe Schouwberg crew is to black out the top edge of the curtain in the tall round window

tools hanging in the welding shop. When you work with your hands a lot, you start to really appreciate hand tools in the way that baseball players care about their mitts.

Welding the base of the electrical tree

Egbert, big joker and technical director at the Schouwberg got me all the resources we needed for the major set up of Pop Ark. Here, we make a little excursion down to the welding shop.

Gregoire holds up one of the frogs which made it!

The drum arrived seemingly intact!

Noticing architecture in Rotterdam: Piet Bloom's cubes.

Arrived in Rotterdam a few days ago with Gregoire to work on Pop Ark. We got to work right away so it's been jet lagged but great, more pics soon.

Small care, bike garages (taking up parking spaces). Urban civilization making sense in Rotterdam. The Netherland's small size and danger of floods has made it a world leader in answers to questions now facing everyone about how to live efficiently.

Shock of the green weed, illegal in the US, sold in "coffeeshops" like any other product. Very civilized I think.

Amazingly designed utopian Dutch housing. Green architecture with a flair for modular design. Would I want to live there? Not now, but maybe later?

I've spent much time in the Netherlands in the past few years so it feels a bit like coming home. From Schipol to by train Rotterdam we pass Leiden,and a lot of familiar flat land.

Getting off the plane after a red eye flight I have about 45 minutes to wait before Gregoire who is also coming from Brooklyn arrives. Great feeling to travel with a creative partner after months of working together.

the sea.

Leaving the city in a good moment is the best way to leave.

Waiting in the August New York Subway System for the train that will take me to Penn Station, then to the airport, then off across the pond. NYC subway is dirty compared to many other systems I've seen but reeks of greatness.

 

Last Brooklyn ice for a week (you can see the stand in the background) it was about 95 degrees F when I left.

Back in New York and its grimy glamour

New York

Mastering the art of spy snapshots in airports. I wanted to get the European Union/ Other Passort line but its a bit blurry. Didn't even attempt it at the immigration line in the US.

Me and Don Cipriani, a Fulbright friend who has been living in Italy for the last 8 years and now moving to San Diego. Just got his PHD in international child rights in Amsterdam. Anyone in San Diego looking to employ an international child rights speci

Last big night at the festival center. Zan Yamashita, the choreographer is in the foreground check him out by clicking here

the tablecloths at the festival center

Anneleen Mahy, producer of my piece at the Kunstenfestival who attended to every detail with professionalism. I am very happy that she is going to be producer of the Pop Ark tour. Here we are, dealing with final details of the contract.

Atsuko Hisano, program director of the Saison Foundation who came from Japan with Zan Yamashita dance company, and Anneleen.

Me and Leuven, and Leuven's girlfriend, Hilda.

Leuven is a journalist from the European Commission. He interviews me for over an hour about European politics for a cultural publication of the EU. I tell him all I know.

My mom and Adine Mansholt, family friend who lives in Haarlem.

The light in Brussels.

This was the public urinal at the red light district in Brussels. It's a bit harder core than Amsterdam because as a friend explained, it's run by the mob while some of the girls in Amsterdam are independent. This is the public urinal.

Funny thing about Brussels: all of the long roads end in a church spire. Good for getting lost.

The first day that the installation is open, a teacher from France arrives with her class. I didn't stay, but apparently the kids were dancing around in the installation and thankfully, none received electric shocks.

Me and my mom and the Gorebot. She travelled halfway around the world (the fartherst that you can travel)to come see the exhibition in Brussels. Kathie is a trooper!

Family group in Brussels: Paul Kahn, Dominique, Kathie Fischer, me, aunt Ellen Baum, Prem Makieg, Gregoire Paultre

Opening night at the festival center for the Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2008.

We see a new side of Prem Makeig in Brussels

Me and Gregoire with our new friend Xavier.

Getting fed and liquored up at the Festival center where the tablecloths were art.

at the opening.

The Pop Ark brothers.

Me at the Premier with Fabienne Demont, director of the Centrale Electrique, and Hamza Fassi-Fihri, cultural minster of Brussels, and Leuven from the European Commision.

A kid flying close to the sun at the premier. The little people connected with Pop Ark.

In preparation for the Premier, a long interview with me is posted in English, French and Flemish. I posted the text in a new text section on the main menu of this site.

Prem making the Polar Bear's snout.

Prem making the Polar Bear's snout.

You can see the black lines I added to the animals. Maybe they still need something to give them more visual weight.

Polar Bear's long tongue.

a big, multilingual crew worked on Pop Ark.

Johnny and Dominic painting the animals with impressive abandon while Fabienne looks on approvingly.

Herman spent a lot of time up on the pole. After a while we start hearing bird screeches coming from up there.

We start early every morning, biking along the canal to the center. The whole time we were there the weather was perfect and it's easy to get inspired to go out and get to work in this weather.

Jean Louie welds on the Gorebot.

Jean Louie welds on the Gorebot.

Herman up on an impressive device called the "genie" hoisting up the big pole.

Enough fresh mint to make you feel good.

Me and Prem are treated to the site of this band of middle age Finnish bike riders who rode in circes around a random square in Brussels with matching bikes and outfits. They even had a special van for the long trip down from Finland. Approving onlooker

Xavier tinkering with Rhetoric Machine.

IN the middle are the hard-working Johnny and Dominic and Fabienne Dumont, director of the venue where my show was, and me on the sides. J and D work at the Central Electrique in these blue outfits.

Herman cut the wooden animals from cad drawings we sent. Here we see them laid out in the space for the first time. In the end, I think they actually made the space feel smallish. The light however was swallowed up in the space and we had to add a lot mo

Olivier on his belly fixing the sun. His exams fell in the middle of the work period so he went home to study every evening after work. Olivier is studying to be a perfumier.

All who have been to Brussels would agree: too many shtones.

Look closely and see my growing out of a mound of flowers- a long held fantasy finally brought to bloom.

After a few minutes on the square, I am picked to participate in a wedding ritual. I must symbolically have sex with the bride.

A carrot was strapped to my waist....

Out on the Grote Markt (Grand Place in French)- the old impressive tourist center of Brussels- we see a lot of this kind of thing. Some sort of Euro hazing rituals related to weddings we think.

Gregoire merges with the sound system.

Olivier and Jean Louie have taken on the task of cutting A LOT of wire. If you laid the wire from this installation end to end, the ensuing thread would stretch a quarter of the way across the planet!

Gregoire arrived yesterday and I'm so glad he's here for his good energy. So far he's been translating my electrical schemes into French. Here we are laying out the big ark shape.

Red wire!

On the other side of the building, Rhetoric Machine, still boxed up, awaits our attention. Herman and a Scottish man of the Gordon clan are building walls for the two rooms of Rhetoric Machine.

This impressive sound system can undoubtedly reduce the mortar and stones of the Central Electriqe to rubble.

Tent erection.

One thing about Brussels: there are too many shtones.

Flashback to loading the cargo container in Brooklyn a few weeks ago.

They brought the red cargo container with the installations on a too-big truck that couldn't make it into the medievel center of Brussels so the stuff had to be re-packed into a smaller van. Of course pretty much the whole thing fit into lone load.

I don't want to be one of those people who are always claiming that Europe is such an enlightened society compared to the US. But...public bicycles as viable transportation (with an infrastructure of bike lanes)...the proof is in the pudding as they say.

my favorite building in Brussels is a vast piece of electric op art.

What is this all about and why #44?

Once again, true public art is spotted.

A little medicine for an ailing ego...

I met Marc and Pierre from the Kunstenfestivaldesarts over at the space this afternoon. Mainly, they had to sign contracts with the people who run the Central Electrique art space so this consisted of them jabbering incomprehensibly in various languages

Once again I find myself in a nice little apartment in Europe -provided by the festival.

Turns out that spelling of the world's Public Enemy #1 name is not agreed unanimously agreed upon. The apartment here is in a lively Moroccan neighborhood- wonder how Ben is viewed from here.

Included with my stay here compliments of the festival is a steed of steel provided free by this bike shop. Not sure how they afford the rent in such a majestic space in the center of Brussels selling used bikes- something special must be in the tubes.

Brussels is more or less the capital of Europe. I love it because it's kinda grimy- "New Yorky"

leaving the knewn world

Yet another monstrous thing in the New Jersey airport- but this is too easy.

P1060744

ON the train-ride to Jersey, we pass the noble abandoned buildings of ancient economies....

P1060739

Right out of New York: wasteland. All sucked away by the city.

Weather creeping up on Geneva

08/10/2008