Parallel Encyclopedia

september 14th, 2008

Batia Suter
Parallel Encyclopedia
, 2007

batia-suter parallel encyclopedia

The result of a long term investigation, this voluminous encyclopaedia of Batia Suter contains solely images collected from other books, and reads as an exhilarating and extremely rich filmic sequence. Suter’s interest lies not only in the iconographic value of images and the way that the human brain processes visual information, but also the causes by which images become charged with associative values. The book is a collection of possible future histories.

Published by Roma Publications, Amsterdam (Order Here

Cold Dark Matter

maart 12th, 2008

Cornelia Parker
Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View
, 1991

Cornelia Parker

Cold Dark Matter began life as a garden shed filled with objects from her own and friends’ sheds and things bought at a car boot sale. She then asked the army to blow up the shed under very controlled conditions. The objects, along with the fragments of the shed, were collected and suspended in a closed room in an attempt to recreate the moment just after the explosion. The installation is lit with a single light-bulb at the very centre of the arrangement, casting shadows on the walls. The title gives us a whole new way of understanding the artwork, making us think of other dramatic moments of destruction and creation in the much wider universe.

Neither From Nor Towards, 1992

Cornelia Parker2

In ‘Neither From Nor Towards’ the brick remnants of an eroded house hang suspended in stilled animation in the work of British artist Cornelia Parker, who was nominated for the Turner prize in 1997. Her work often depicts a moment in time, which has been halted. In ‘Neither From Nor Towards’, the bricks are resonant with their previous life, reminding us of the passage of time over which we have no control. Parker rescues and reinterprets the ordinary, which is transformed by the gallery setting into something poetic and extraordinary.

Heart of Darkness, 2004

Cornelia Parker3

Charcoal from a Florida Wildfire (planned forest burn that got out of control)

Cornelia Parker was born in Cheshire in I956 and lives and works in London. She is interested in how everyday objects can be changed by (often violent) processes. During her career she has used a steamroller to flatten silver plates and has transformed a wedding ring into metres of fine, gold thread. Although at first glance it might seem that she is interested in destroying objects, she is in fact fascinated by how change can create something completely new.

3 *** Hotel

januari 30th, 2008

Michael Sailstorfer
3 Ster mit Ausblick
, 2002

michael sailstorfer1

michael sailstorfer2

michael sailstorfer3

michael sailstorfer4

michael sailstorfer5

michael sailstorfer6

michael sailstorfer6

michael sailstorfer7

michael sailstorfer8

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“The title http3 Ster mit Ausblick (3 Steres with a view, 2002)… juxtaposes technical vocabulary with a romantic sentiment one might find in Casper David Friedrich. Sailstorfer describes the etymological signifigance of the word Ster: ‘Ster is a Bavarian slang and means 1m x 1m x 1mx of wood. 3 Ster are 3 x 1m x 1m x 1m of wood. The amount of wood they used to build the cabin.Mit Ausblick translates as ‘with a view.’ But it is not any kind of view, but implies a paradoxical outlook into delightful, often remote scenery. We will see how paradoxical this title proves to be.”

“With playful irony, the artists change the meaning of the wood-burning stove. It no longer acts as the material and spiritual center of the house, but instead, becomes the internal aggressor that attacks the very foundationss of its own domesticity. Sailstorfer and Heinert’s transformation denies the stove the role as a literal and metaphorical place of nourishment. On the contrary, its own self-nourishment leads to self-annihiliation. Instead of offering a nice view, the 3 Ster – this certain amount of wood – no longer constitutes the cabin, but is now turned into its most basic usage: as food for the stove.”

Massimiliano Gioni, Max Hollein, Johan F Hartle, Simone Subal. 2006. Michael Sailstorfer: Fur Immer War Gestern. Verlag Fur Moderne Kunst., p. 53

Back to the Flock

juli 24th, 2007

Back to the flock, 2003


Jumper, umpicked, rolled into a ball and left in a field somewhere.

Damien Hirst
Away from the Flock, 1994

Damien Hirst

Industrial Evolution

juli 5th, 2007

Maarten Vanden Eynde
City of a thousand trades, 2007

Maarten Vanden Eynde city of a thousand trades

Maarten Vanden Eynde city of a thousand trades 2

Birmingham played a leading role as front runner for the Industrial Revolution, changing the world beyond recognition and paving the way for the largest population explosion in human history. In 1791, Arthur Young, the writer and commentator on British economic life described Birmingham as “the first manufacturing town in the world.” The Lunar Society, based in Birmingham, was the brain and fuel for the machine that powered the evolution of human civilization. The members of the Lunar Society were Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Samuel Galton Junior, James Keir, Joseph Priestley, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt, John Whitehurst and William Withering. More peripheral characters and correspondents included Sir Richard Arkwright, John Baskerville, Thomas Beddoes, Thomas Day, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Anna Seward, William Small, John Smeaton, Thomas Wedgwood, John Wilkinson, Joseph Wright, James Wyatt, Samuel Wyatt, and member of parliament John Levett.

In 2007 most of the manufacturing companies have moved out off Birmingham to other parts of the world where labor is cheaper. Together with the companies the knowledge to manufacture things is disappearing. In two generations there will be hardly anyone left who has the ability to make something. The Eastside area is being redeveloped and the predominant manufacturing business will be replaced by a service and culture oriented industry. Some huge factories are already transformed in yuppie-flats. I went around visiting every factory of Eastside to excavate the remnants of the manufacturing industry.

Above the Jennens road I only discovered university buildings and brain parks for the IT sector. In the middle there is Millenium Point and huge shopping areas surrounding the Bullring, one of the biggest shopping centers of the world. Everything is imported. Only in the south east, in Digbeth (the historical center and birthplace of Birmingham) I found manufacturing factories. Half of all the buildings is empty already, abandoned, to let. The others are scheduled to leave within a few years, some even in months. It felt like I was just in time to collect a few samples before it’s all gone. Like a contemporary archaeologist I wandered through the area to look for left overs. I asked the factory owners if they wanted to contribute to the collection of manufactured goods being made in Birmingham anno 2007. I wanted to preserve them for future archaeologists to discover. It was now or never.

The reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Somehow the necessity to preserve something of this important period in the history of Birmingham does not need much explanation. Almost 90% of all the manufacturing companies participated and did so by giving samples for free. The only three things I had to buy – because they were too valuable and too big – I got with a huge discount. After 30 seconds of suspicion I was welcomed very friendly and personal life stories came on the table accompanied with a cup of tea.
The stories were very consistent and similar: after having worked in the factory for all their lives, often even for several generations, it was not possible to compete with the cheap imported goods anymore. The rents became too high, hiring more people too expensive. The ground was to centrally located and therefor to valuable. They were simply bought out. Offers which they could not refuse… Or their children were not interested or skilled enough to take over the company. They all felt part of a disappearing tribe, the last generation of traditional workman.

I asked two pieces of each object, referring to Noach’s arch and proving somehow the multiplicity of it, the possibility to be mass produced and re-produced if needed. It takes two to tango… The objects are lined up, from small to big, marching to an uncertain future, destiny unknown.

Maarten Vanden Eynde Industrial Revolution 1

Maarten Vanden Eynde Industrial Revolution 2

Maarten Vanden Eynde Industrial Revolution 3

Maarten Vanden Eynde Industrial Revolution 4

Maarten Vanden Eynde Industrial Revolution 5

‘I remember Birmingham being epitome of modernity… Birmingham was the future – in a sense it has been the future, but that bit of the future is worn out now and we need a new one’

[Will Alsop, architect]

Taxonomic Trophies

november 13th, 2006

Maarten Vanden Eynde

Taxonomic Trophies, 2005/2006

Maarten Vanden Eynde Trophies

In hunting, trophies can be awarded as part of a competition, although a class of trophies specific to hunting also exists. These trophies are obtained from the bodies of game animals. Often the heads or entire bodies are processed by a taxidermist, although sometimes other body parts such as teeth or horns are used as trophies. Hunting for the singular purpose of obtaining trophies is often considered improper today. Such trophies have also been produced from humans in cultures that accept cannibalism or when two societies clash in war.
Commencing in the 1970s and 1980s in the United Kingdom, USA and some other western countries, a pejorative association began to be assumed regarding the process of hunting for trophies. By the year 2000 there is widespread consensus in animal welfare organizations and in segments of the population as a whole that trophy hunting is to be discouraged. Many of the 189 countries signtory to the 1992 Rio Accord have developed Biodiversity Action Plans that discourage the hunting of protected species.
A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is an internationally recognized programme addressing threatened species and habitats, which is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As of 2006, 188 countries have ratified the CBD, but only a fraction of these have developed substantive BAP documents.
The principal elements of a BAP include:
1. preparing inventories of biological information for selected species or habitats;
2. assessing the conservation status of species within specified ecosystems;
3. creation of targets for conservation and restoration.

Maarten Vanden Eynde

Taxonomic Trophies; Death Valley, USA 2006

Maarten Vanden Eynde Death Valley


Taxonomic species = Taxonomic species are morphologically and otherwise classified groups of organisms that taxonomists determine to belong to a specific group (Gaston 1996). This is a more traditional definition of “species”.

Trophic species = Trophic species are functional groups that contain organisms that appear to eat and be eaten by the exact same species within a food web (Cohen and Briand 1984). In other words, one or more species that eat entirely the same set of prey and are eaten by an entirely identical set of predators are considered one single trophic species.

A trophic species and a taxonomic species are identical when the trophic species contains only one taxon.

Taxonomy (from Greek verb τασσεῖν or tassein = “to classify” and νόμος or nomos = law, science, cf “economy”) was once only the science of classifying living organisms (alpha taxonomy), but later the word was applied in a wider sense, and may also refer to either a classification of things, or the principles underlying the classification. Almost anything, animate objects, inanimate objects, places, and events, may be classified according to some taxonomic scheme.

Big Bang Theory

februari 4th, 2006

The Big Bang Theory is the dominant scientific theory about the origin of the universe. According to the big bang, the universe was created sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago from a cosmic explosion that hurled matter in all directions.

In 1927, the Belgian mathematician and Catholic priest Georges Lemaitre was the first to propose that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. His proposal came after observing the red shift in distant nebulas by astronomers to a model of the universe based on relativity. Years later, Edwin Hubble found experimental evidence to help justify Lemaitre’s theory. He found that distant galaxies in every direction are going away from us with speeds proportional to their distance.

In January 1933, Lemaitre traveled with Albert Einstein to California for a series of seminars. After the Belgian detailed his Big Bang theory, Einstein stood up, applauded, and said, “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.” Lemaitre’s theory, the idea that there was a burst of fireworks which marked the beginning of time and space on “a day without yesterday”, was a radical departure from prevailing scientific understandings, though it has since come to be the most probable explanation for the origin of the universe.

Lemaitre and Einstein

The big bang was initially suggested because it explains why distant galaxies are traveling away from us at great speeds. The theory also predicts the existence of cosmic background radiation (the glow left over from the explosion itself). The Big Bang Theory received its strongest confirmation when this radiation was discovered in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who later won the Nobel Prize for this discovery.

Although the Big Bang Theory is widely accepted, it probably will never be proved; consequentially, leaving a number of tough, unanswered questions.

Pre- Genetologic Research, 2000 (400cm x 400cm x 400cm)

Maarten Vanden Eynde Big Bang

Maarten Vanden Eynde

This work was made without any glue, welding, binding or screwing. All pieces are forces in a small square core. The tension is holding everything together. It creates an implosion as well as an explosion. But by having equal forces, the whole thing freezes and comes to a stand. It is representing the end as much as the beginning.

Het vergaan van de wereld

januari 6th, 2006

1. Overbevolking

Dat de bevolkingsgroei niet meer in te dammen is, blijkt uit de poging van China om ieder ouderpaar slechts één kind te gunnen. De discriminaties en onmenselijkheden die daarop volgden hebben een heel duidelijk signaal gegeven aan de rest van de wereld; je kan mensen niet opleggen om minder kinderen te krijgen, je moet ze zien te overtuigen.
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Het ontstaan van de wereld

januari 6th, 2006

1. Het begin

In de eerste 2,2 miljard jaar van haar bestaan is er op de aarde geen ijspegel of sneeuwvlok te bespeuren. Geen ijskappen over de polen. Overal hangt een broeierige warmte. En toch straalt de zon nog maar driekwart van haar huidige lichtsterkte uit. Een sterk broeikaseffect compenseert het slappe zonnetje.
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