Archive for September, 2007

okay, so in the UK apparently you are allowed to request a tape of public cctv systems (all written down in the Data Protection Act), if you can proof you are on there. you are even allowed to publish these images as long as you black everybody out except yourself. (help me here, what’s the band that made the video with everybody without a mouth, eyes etc. it’s not manic street preachers… but who is it then?!) a faceless future, basically, where everybody will be anonymous until you are a suspect. it is still innocent until proven guilty, but the line between random person and suspect is theoretically only a black circle away.

anyway, manu luksch discovered some poetry in this fact of instant anonymity and decided to turn it into a movie. in a faceless world, one day our protagonist wakes up with a face. startled with this fact, she goes out and tries to find out what this whole face thing is about.

cctv as a mean for producing art. who would have thought that? especially since, according to this article, there are certain neighbourhoods in london that do have a large number of cameras but little crime, making people propose to replace a lot of shitty cameras with a few that actually makes somebody recognizable instead of the stereotype suspect, an african-american male, 5 foot 10, grey sweater, baggy pants with a new york yankees cap that could also be a la dodgers one since they all look alike anyway nowadays.

trailer. i haven’t found a full version yet, but perhaps i can acquire one for xploretv.

enjoi. marten


for Marten: CCTV

The New York Times reporting on CCTV systems in London and New York
Where Little Is Left Outside the Camera’s Eye (July 8, 2007)
New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown (July 9, 2007)

(registration is compulsory, but free)

ciao edwin

again, in today’s NRC, an article on the science of secrets. everyone has them, some worse than others, and apparently, people can get into the business of keeping a secret so badly, that it has the same effect on you as a terminal illness would have.


fortunately, there are of course also the more funny secrets. has a daily item called briefgeheimen (in dutch) based on the english blog postsecret. what is it? it’s damn simple and very effective – kind of like the kalashnikov. imagine you have a secret you’re afraid of telling, but you would also like to share with the world, since it is a secret of the more social kind. the secrets not only affect you, but also others around you.


so we have a grandchild here that is addicted to pain killers, but instead of acting the drugstore cowboy, he just takes them from his grandpa. it makes you wonder. why is the grandson not in the church, with his grandfather? is that why he is popping granddads pills in the first place – a troubled family life or is there more? each of these postcards tell a story, the interpretation is up to you.

and now we have moving briefgeheimen. swiss artist elodie pong interviews people, anonymous or not, and lets them talk freely about their biggest secrets.

this guy, number 49, who is obviously afraid of repercussions from his social circle (there we go again, peer pressure’s a bitch innit?) is dressed up like a luchador – vaguely reminding me of jack black in nacho libre – and confesses, here we go…. that he finds “contemporary performance art often extremely boring “, but that he is “obliged for professional and social reasons to kind of quay along…” and “obliged to sit through a long boring perfomance and in the end say how fantastic it was, when in fact i’d rather be at the cinema watching some kind of simple, escapist narrative film.”

YES! somebody finally mentioned it! that-that-must-not-be-named when we are talking about performance art has been said!

and we all saw it was good.

thank you! thank you, mr.49!

it’s just waiting for some kind of architectural confessions tour, maybe named – in the honor of the great madonna – confessions on a drawing board, where everybody will have the chance to tell us their biggest secret.

robert venturi: “i have never been to vegas”
rem koolhaas: “i am afraid of heights”
winy maas: “i am blind” (this one would obviously not be a secret to anybody anyways)

realize. marten

dutch people reading the NRC newspaper, and especially this weekend, probably didn’t miss it: a special part on the ‘week van de geschiedenis‘/week of history, from october 12 to october 21, anywhere near you. firstly, two things:

1: hey, that’s not a week, that’s 10 days!

and 2: what’s up with all these weeks, days and years with a special theme? week of taste, year of architecture, day of peace, week of the birdhouse!?! it’s just waiting for something like the week of the discontinued underwear line at H&M that i liked so much because you could wear them inside out and nobody would notice or the day of verbal violence. there is no humility anymore…

anyway, back to the week of history. this years theme is living, which is, how coincidental, kind of something we are interested in. lots of uninteresting sidetracks, but there are a few interesting ones. the one i didn’t want to keep a secret (because you don’t have to be proficient in your dutch) is the ‘smaaktest‘ by faro architecten. it has been set up as an online enquiry in what kind of housing we prefer. do we dig highrise or don’t we dig highrise? it’s all possible in this test. a 100 projects are shown in 15-second sets, and all you have to do is rate them from 1 to 10. and have the patience to rate all 100, of course.

when you are finished, your top 5 will be shown, together with those of ‘people that know jack about architecture’, ‘architects’ and ‘building professionals’ (i guess architects are not considered building professionals anymore –> maybe something for Edwin to investigate ;-)). interesting is that both ‘architects’ and ‘building professionals’ rate het schip by michiel de klerk highest, that ‘architects’ rate some jiggy postmodern house lowest while the ‘people that know jack about architecture’ think a high rise is least favourable as a place to live (i disagreed on that one, but hey, i’m an architect and i only look at aesthetics, not at the social consequences of my grotesque dreams of a living machine – that also happen to be a form of biological wastewater treatment designed to mimic the cleansing functions of wetlands).

the people that put the test together tried to get a decent-cross section of the houses that have been built over the years, so everything from superdutch like the whale to the most anonymous housing blocks can be voted on, making it interesting not only for the dutch, but also for foreigners, since you finally get to see something other then the regular OMA stuff (what!?! there’s other dutch architects than Rem?!). one thing of criticism though: there are no descriptions of the houses, so even that very special house will forever be just an image and nothing more.

keep dreaming. marten

Lecture about Open Source Architecture;

“I wish to develop a community that actively embraces innovative and sustainable design to improve living conditions for all.”

For the weekend…. 😉

Dear Architects [pdf]

A New Age of Architecture Ushered in Financial Gloom, NY Times, jan 2006

The Genius of Architecture: Sinan The Istanbulian

PIN-UP Magazine

enjoy, edwin

Thursday 4 October, Explore Lab

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.

Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.

But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.

The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today’s suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?

sorry the docu is in dutch and spanish…
In mei was er er een hele toffe documentaire op tegenlicht, ik vond het erg inspirerend…
grtjs, margreet


In Carácas: De Informele Stad portretteert Rob Schröder een stad die in veel opzichten exemplarisch is voor de exploderende urbanisatie op continenten als Afrika en Zuid-Amerika. Met de jonge, activistische architecten Alfredo Brillembourg en Hubert Klumpner, trok Schröder dit voorjaar door de barrios van Carácas, de sloppenwijken waar Commandante Chávez zijn machtsbasis heeft.

de informele stad

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

Shock Doctrine website
John Cusack interviews Naomi Klein on the Shock doctrine

ciao Edwin

according to google books:

“Non-Plan explores ways of involving people in the design of their environments – a goal which transgresses political categories of ‘right’ and ‘left’. Attempts to circumvent planning bureaucracy and architectural inertia have ranged from free-market enterprise zones, to self-build housing, and from squatting to sophisticated technologies of prefabrication. Yet all have shared in a desire to let people shape the built environment they want to live and work in. How can buildings better reflect the needs of their inhabitants? How can cities better facilitate the work and recreation of their many populaces?”

so partially on google books, if you feel like spending 50 bucks, amazon‘s your dog.

enjoi. marten