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July 15, 2014

Groningen features fun art on a roundabout

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 11:34 am

Berlin artist Niklas Roy, who calls himself ‘an inventor of useless things’, was asked by the city of Groningen to design something for the Tschumi pavilion (designed by Swiss Bernard Tschumi in 1990) that sits on a roundabout.

The ‘Pneumatic Sponge Ball Accelerator’ is the name of the installation, which combines a gumball machine with foam-like balls, a lottery machine and a particle accelerator powered by a vacuum cleaner.

Niklas says his work was inspired by CERN laboratory’s work with particle accelerators, which he says you can’t see at all. “This is a particle accelerator for ordinary people,” he explains. Considering Tschumi is from the French speaking part of Switzerland, I wonder if Niklas made that connection on purpose.

(Links: thecreatorsproject.vice.com, www.tschumipaviljoen.org)

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July 14, 2014

Funny reflections on everyday life by Anne Stalinski

Filed under: Comics by Branko Collin @ 2:42 pm

daily-stalinski

The name Daily Stalinksi promises daily updates of Anne Stalinski’s comics (as does the subtitle), but I think it would be better to read this as “reflections on the daily life of …” because the updates currently only appear every three or four days.

Anne Stalinski won the Comik Web Award for young, web-based talent earlier this year. Stalinski’s humour is a little cliché at times (A, in a dramatic voice: “Why haven’t I been invited?” B: “Did you want to go?” A: “No, of course not!”), but always good for a smile, which is all you can ask from a free web comic.

Shown here: “My good friend Pirmin has a tattoo. I asked him why. ‘Oh Anne… It happened on my 16th birthday…’ I expected a more elaborate explanation. It never came.”

Anne and her equally creative sister Eva hail from Haren in Groningen, a town famous for its botanical garden and its riots, and publish a fanzine together called Zuster.

(Illustration: Daily Stalinski, link: Holly Moors)

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July 13, 2014

Rich are getting poorer in the Netherlands

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:56 pm

swimming-pool-meraj-chhayaAn OESO study has discovered that the Netherlands bucks the trend of the rich getting richer at the expense of those paying for the crisis.

Good news, then? Not really. Z24 points out that the Dutch poor are also getting poorer. The group of people that live below the poverty line has increased from 6.7% in 2007 to 7.8% in 2011. In this study ‘rich’ is defined as belonging to the top 10% in disposable income and poor as the bottom 10%.

The financial news site points out that the poor have lost less income than the rich, which is an interesting mathematical factoid, but otherwise devoid of meaning in my opinion. If the poor lose 1.5% of their income it means they go without food for another five days in a year, while for the rich it means they have to wait five days longer before they can purchase their next luxury car. Not quite the same difference.

A group of people that has done relatively well for themselves during the crisis is the elderly whose income has stayed the same. The group of 18 to 25-year-olds has seen their income drop since 2007 by well over 2%, although those differences are minimal compared to those of the same age groups in other countries such as New Zealand and Israel where the elderly are getting rich at the cost of everybody else.

(Photo by Meraj Chhaya, some rights reserved)

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July 11, 2014

Data storage speeds up by a factor of 1000

Filed under: Science,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:23 am
Binary code

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology and the FOM Foundation have recently presented a new technology that potentially allows data to be stored 1,000 times faster with ‘spin current’ using ultra-short laser pulses.

Data is conventionally stored using magnetization, making bits 1 or 0, but the limits of this technology have been reached, and researcher Sjors Schellekens of the Technical University of Eindhoven says that it’s time for new data storage technology.

The ‘spin current’ is able to cause a change in magnetization, which is 1,000 faster than what is possible with today’s technology. The new method has also been hailed as step towards future optical computer chips, which Eindhoven University of Technology is now working on thanks to a Dutch grant of close to 20 million euro.

In 2009 The University of Twente was on to something in the same field with spin polarisation achieved at room temperature, which also sped up the reading of a hard disk.

(Link: phys.org)

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July 10, 2014

Rietveld graduation album now on Flickr

Filed under: Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 4:55 pm

rietveld-2014-olivier-oosterbaanAs promised last week I have posted my photos of the Rietveld graduation exhibition to our Flickr account, and then some.

Among them photos of the photography of erstwhile 24 Oranges’ contributor Olivier Oosterbaan who graduated from Rietveld’s part-time programme DOGtime. You can find more of his work at olivieroosterbaan.com/work/.

Other artists represented in the album, apart from the ones already shown last week, are Anne van Klooster, Aisha Fouad, Roza van der Wal, Soren Dilling, Keiko Oyamatsu and Esther Brakenhoff.

See also: Don’t DIY Days – Part 2

(Illustration: Olivier Oosterbaan)

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July 9, 2014

Child made to pay for homophobic swearing

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:26 pm
coins1

Parents of a nine-year-old boy heard their son use the word ‘homo’, which is a Dutch swear word equivalent to ‘faggot’ in weight and meaning, and made him pay for it. He had to pay 0,10 euro to COC Netherlands, the Dutch LGBT organisation.

The payment had an explanation from the parents: “Sorry for the odd amount, but this is a ‘fine’ for using the word ‘faggot’ as a swear word (9 years old). He understands what he did wrong now.”

A COC employee said that ‘faggot’ is the most popular swear word at Dutch schools. A gay friend of mine who teaches at a secondary school in Amsterdam recently disciplined a boy for calling another boy ‘faggot’ and had to explain why that was wrong. The issue was that the boy didn’t see the connection between an actual homosexual like his teacher and calling someone a ‘faggot’, but I’m sure he gets it now, too.

The swear word ‘homo’ in films by the New Kids (view the trailer at 0:28 and let it roll for 10-15 sec even if you don’t speak Dutch) is used more like ‘pussy’, which doesn’t really offend people somehow because the films’ characters are total white trash douches themselves.

(Link: www.lindanieuws.nl)

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July 8, 2014

Shoot first, ask questions later or wait and see?

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:17 pm

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Here’s a lovely, fuzzy article about cultural differences in The Guardian, prompted by an organisational theory thought up by Dutchman Fons Trompenaar, which divides the world into peaches and coconuts. Peaches are what I call the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ people who are friendly to strangers and will withdraw if they have to over time, while coconuts are the ‘wait-and-see’ types who will seem distant at first and may eventually warm up to you over time.

The important point is that both sides are valid and have the power to offend the other, deliberately or not. Recently a Dutch acquaintance said if someone was offended by something he said, it was always the other person’s fault for being offended and that people get offended too quickly. Much like the clumsy KLM tweet about Mexico, where KLM tried to say they were sorry but actually suggested that other people just don’t get Dutch humour, this would mean that the entire Twittersphere would have to bow to a culture they probably don’t even know and that the person at KLM is not responsible for their mistake.

If Trompenaar’s theory of both sides having equal value is true, then someone who causes offense cannot always blame it on other people. Conversely, someone who decides to be offended by everything they hear is of course equally at fault for blaming others. When I was learning Russian at university in Québec, I found out by reading Russian people’s reactions socially that calling myself ‘Natasha’ (my real name) was considered too friendly too fast because ‘Natasha’ is a friendly diminutive of ‘Natalia’ and you don’t let people call you that unless they know you. I then started introducing myself as ‘Natalia’. I could have said, ‘sod this, it’s my culture and my country and my name is Natasha’, but instead I told them they could call me ‘Natasha’ because that was my real name. Some stuck to Natalia, some switched to Natasha, but either way there was some cultural balance without outright blaming the other for not knowing any better.

A Dutch friend of mine visited my house once, which has carpeting that I can’t change for wooden floors, and I told him to please take off his shoes. He said, ‘what’s this, a mosque?’, and I told him that I didn’t want dirt from his shoes on my carpet. I explained that where I come from, a good part of the year it’s full of snow and mud outside, and walking into people’s homes with shoes on — unless you bring a pair of indoor shoes — is a no-no. Although it was my house, it was his cultural rules and I ended up vacuuming for 20 minutes after he visited me. He refused to accept that he had to change the way he did things for me because it wasn’t the Dutch way. All my friends take off their shoes at my place, but they do it because it’s my house and see compromise as a good thing rather than claim that their way is the only right way.

(Link: www.theguardian.com, Photo of Coconut by SingChan, some rights reserved)

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July 7, 2014

Van der Elsken’s beehive girl has a name

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 12:27 pm

beehive-girl-ed-van-der-elsken

‘Funfair on the Nieuwmarkt, girl with beehive’ (‘Kermis op de Nieuwmarkt, meisje met suikerspinkapsel) is one of the main pieces of Ed van der Elsken’s retrospective exhibition at the the municipal archive of Amsterdam, but until recently the subject of the photo remained unknown.

The archive asked its Facebook followers if they knew who this girls was. As it turns out her widower recognised her in a previous exhibition and was all too happy to share her name: Margriet Swart.

Van der Elsken (1925-1990) was a street photographer and an important chronicler for Amsterdam during one of its most interesting periods, the 1950s and 1960s, when nozems (Dutch black leather jacket ‘bad boy’ type) provos (Dutch anti-establishment ‘bad boy’ type) made the city an interesting place to be again.

De Groene Amsterdammer explains his role: “Van der Elsken had an eye for what was brewing under that grey reality, a sense for rebellion and bold adventure, against the long leather coats and the bull pizzles of the police. This brewing is visible everywhere in Van der Elsken’s photos, in the faces of the boys hanging out in the streets and in the eyes of the girls at the funfairs.”

The exhibition, Amsterdam!, runs until 14 September 2014.

(Link: PhotoQ; illustration: PhotoQ / Ed van der Elsken)

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July 5, 2014

Mexican and Dutch dames duke it out with ukuleles

Filed under: Music,Sports by Branko Collin @ 6:16 pm

football-is-fun-karlijn-rietkerkAfter the Dutch national football team beat Mexico in an exciting last ten minutes of an elimination match at the World Cup last week, in which the Oranje came back from behind with two goals, a fifteen-year-old Mexican girl called Dizzy Miss DC uploaded a song to YouTube in which she blew off steam by hurling a stream of invectives at the Dutch players and the Dutch nation and even at Europeans.

Last Thursday a 20-year-old woman from Drenthe called Karlijn Rietkerk responded. She addressed the Mexican girl (both women accompanied themselves on a ukulele) and berated her for her use of strong language (“didn’t your parents tell you that it is inappropriate?”). In her short song Rietkerk asked, isn’t football supposed to be about fun?

“F is for football
And we kicked your ass
[...]
U is for you suck balls
N is for never winning the cup…
Played a good game but it wasn’t enough.”

At 24 Oranges we like a good bit of trash talking and this world cup has certainly not disappointed us, but we need to give the victory to Karlijn Rietkerk on this one. Dizzy Miss DC’s frequent use of homophobic language disqualifies her entry from these ukulele wars. The Mexican tried to defend herself in a written coda, saying: “In my case, those words had no power at all, because I didn’t mean them. Why did I say them then? Mexican humour. It’s complicated.” Even back in 1979 Lester Banks had something smart to say about using words that have no meaning at all: “No matter how you intend them, you can’t say them without risking misinterpretation by some [bigot]; your irony just might be his cup of hate.”

(Illustration: cropped screenshot if Rietkerk’s video at YouTube)

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July 4, 2014

Rietveld School of Art & Design graduation 2014

Filed under: Art,Design,Photography,Religion,Shows by Branko Collin @ 1:00 pm

rietveld-dog

The students graduating from Amsterdam’s Rietveld School of Art & Design (in Dutch, Gerrit Rietveld Academie) will be exhibiting their graduation projects until Sunday 6 July 2014.

24 Oranges was invited to come and take a peek.

rietveld-2014-casper-koster

rietveld-2014-casper-koster-2Some of the works, such as the dog above, were displayed without any explanation of what the student was trying to say—probably not necessary with a Disney-like creature anyway—or even the name of the maker. (There were sticky notes carrying the name Tim Maarse near this sculpture, but it wasn’t quire clear if the sticky notes referred to the sculpture or were a work unto themselves).

Other artists, such as photographer Casper Koster, left extensive documentation behind for visitors to peruse and take home. His series ‘Coulissen’ portrays actors as they are waiting in the wings of a stage for their next scene.

Setareh Magshoudi made a mobile mosque of paper: “From my own experience arose the need to create a space for my daily prayers, a temporary space which would provide private space and at the same time a sacred sense.”

setareh-maghsoudi

Jessie Hoefnagel was knitting something big. Unfortunately, her seat was in a warm spot because of the sun, so by the time I got there all I found was a note saying “not here until it gets bearable”.

rietveld-knitting

When I had finished walking around, three hours had passed and my feet were sore. Where did the time go?

I will post some more photos to Flickr when I get the chance (and will hopefully be able to add more names of the artists at the same time). Meanwhile, check out the exhibit in person if you have the chance or visit Trendbeheer, as Jeroen Bosch took a load of pictures.

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