The House of Shadows would be easy to miss. A small door, No big fuss. Typical of the park in general. Everything in Duinrell was very much find it, enjoy it. Strangely alien when you are used to the more in your face approach taken by attractions back home. I doubt I would have found it had it not been recommended by another seeker. What is it? Well its a black box with 2 doors and all of the walls are clad with glow in the dark panels. Every 30 seconds a siren announces the 4 second countdown (I counted) until the very bright lights flash. The flash then keeps an image of your shadow on the wall which gradually fades until the next flash erases this physical memory. It is great fun. That afternoon we set about creating some work based on our experiences in the park. Jennifer and Dagmar chose to work with me to utilise the House of Shadows in some way. We knew it looked good, but how to make something meaningful and relevant? Difficult when really it is a place of play. We talked and latched onto the notion of memory, we could create an animation which used the memory of our presence in the room to convey flashbacks of memories in our lives. Haikus written then we hit the House. Lots of patience required, not much slows animation down but capturing 1 frame every 30 seconds max was a new challenge! We enjoyed our afternoon greatly and here is the result.
six brilliant young artists on a journey of discovery
Category Archives: Arron
I don’t know why I bought them. We had already started our adventure that day. Starting in Den Haag and jumping on the first bus out of there. Where was it going? We did not know at the time. It took us to Leiden which is beautiful. We had many encounters which led us to the canal. I had been carrying my bunch of flowers, looking for the person they were intended for. Who would it be? I had a few candidates but none of them received them. We had some discussions about who they were for. Maybe a woman who looked a bit down in the dumps? A single mum or an older lady? Definitely not a man. That was clear. That could only lead to violence. But we were wrong. They went to Ferdinand the Peanut Cheese Festival man. We met Ferdinand after Emanuel had sent us in the direction of Peanut butter, the answer he gave as part of a magic trick performed on him by Tim. His words were “Peanut butter is that way” It was a joke but we followed this direction and 200 meters away there was Ferdinand with a plate full of Peanut Butter and chilli on bread promoting his festival. He was the first person we encountered on our route after crossing the canal. It was a moment of chance, of fate, of connecting with the world and our seek. What a lovely man and how interesting. We learned about the nicknames of the Indonesian immigrants – Peanuts and the Dutch – Cheese heads. His festival was called peanut cheese as he was bringing them together through the arts. We had similar purposes. Seek and the world provides. We knew that we were going to get a boat and tour the canal and promised to try to sail past and see him again.
We had a few more encounters and time passed by. No one for the flowers. Then we went onto the canal which was rather pleasant, if not a little hairy at times. We did not think that our route was going to take us passed Ferdinand, in all honesty it was a few hour before we had spoken to him and we had all lost our bearings by then. Turning the map the right way did help us navigate a little better. Then we realised where we were. We were going to pass him and as a group we knew who the flowers were for. It just felt right. It was right. Such a warm familiar greeting. His friend was keen to meet us and we knew that we had made an impression with them. He loved his flowers. It was a beautiful moment for us all. This is the view of the hand over.
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No violence, just happiness.
Link for the pindaKAAS festival Twitter http://twitter.com/pinda_KAAS
I see, I see what you don’t see! Beautiful views over Duinrell. (quote from the website)
Well that was not my experience! As we set off from our first Dutch breakfast (quite chocolatey) we entered the park with the task of experiencing the world in new ways. We were to seek the unnoticed, seek the unusual, seek the difference in us and our behaviour.
So there we stood before the Frog Wheel wondering what that meant. Should we not go on the rides as that is what is expected? I decided that I would ride the big wheel as it was not the sort of ride that I would normally consider. Justin suggested that it would be good to see the view and get our bearings. Then it hit me, I was going to ride it with my eyes closed. The only reason to go on was for the view. What would I get out of it if that was taken away? We agreed to the experiment, got in the queue and decided the rules. One of us in each carriage would close our eyes, the others would keep them open but would not speak.
I was fairly sure that I would be aware of things like when we were at the top. I thought I was fairly in touch with my body….but I was wrong.
As we sat down on the rather moist seats I closed my eyes. Before the ride got going we set up a system of communication: left knee no, right knee yes. Then we were off. I chatted about my sensations and we had a flowing, if one sided conversation. It was quite clear that I had no idea if we were at the top as one question after another came back on the left knee. It was funny and a bit shocking.
Here is what I did not know:
When we were at the top
or going up
or the direction we were travelling
my body refused to believe the direction even when the knees had left no doubt.
I had no idea whatsoever about anything at all to do with this ride!!!
It was really quite funny and we got of to much merriment.
It started to pose many questions. How do blind people cope on these rides? Do they avoid them or are they better able to cope with the data they receive? One thing is for sure, I knew how I would tackle the rest of the rides that morning – WITH MY EYES CLOSED – gulp
So as we set out on our journey I set myself a mad task. Document the project in the form of Haikus. Writing is something that I do not often do. I find it a labour and by giving myself rules I hoped to make the process more rewarding. I write this now with more than 100 Haikus under my belt and many more still to go. They have been liberating. So small that they can only capture a moment, a single memory, a thought. I do not know how much some one outside of the experience will get from them, or indeed what I shall do with them once they are complete. I know that they have helped me to capture the spirit of the seek and make me more aware of the skills that I have both with and with out the word. I shall continue till the end of my seek and will look back at this odyssey with fondness.
I cannot remember the last time I was so childishly excited when arriving somewhere. It was quite a surprise as moments earlier I had felt extremely travel weary and tired. Something about the park and the sight of pedal go karts ignited the flame of the child within. I knew I was going to enjoy our base camp. Tall trees, beautiful caravans, big rides, flowing water and of course Rick de Kikker! It is a place with no real UK comparison, you are left to enjoy the place as you wish. No heavy handed staff presence all very relaxed and safe. I had a fantastic time there and I know that I shall revisit this place many times in my future life.
For a while now I have been noticing incidental art in my environment. Mostly this is faded road markings, spilt paint etc. I am drawn to these “images” I like the process of time on the markings of man, so clean and straight to start with and then gradually undermined, The ability for moments in time to be captured like memories, a foot print, a tire track. I have often had the means and desire to capture these images, to claim them as art, but I have not. Why not does not really matter, today I did. My family protected me from the traffic and we collected these images on a circuit from our door and back. We turned right at each available opportunity door to door. My son Orynn took a few pictures, something that he has shown no interest in before. I think he will be excellent company on our future seeking.
Seek has reminded me that finding the time and opportunity to be inspired is as easy as just doing something, anything, the moment you have committed to that thing is the moment that you have won.
We arrived into the brutalist architecture of a multi-storey car park. For a city famed for its beauty it was a reminder of how this beauty cannot be continued easily when functionality is called for. Our challenge was set, find free items and put them in these bags; small, medium and large. From that moment on my eyes were drawn to the ground. Straight away I found a battered bottle top with rusty squashed edges and an iconic bull. What am I looking for then? Should I try to predict my discoveries or just go with the flow? What to touch? What stops me? What do I overlook? All around me opportunities to investigate arise. Some things seem worth an investigation and turn out to be rubbish. Other items I decide against only to regret not looking at minutes later when nothing new emerges. One thing is for sure I am not looking at the Brugge of the tourist. Buildings go unnoticed. Tourists stop and wonder as my downward gaze pulls my forward. I stop to notice a card strip and cause the flow of attraction hunters to split and stream passed me. I notice the drain covers and utility signage. Understanding their purpose but seeing them as alien to my taken for granted familiarity. As my collection grows my commitment to this vein of discovery deepens. I walk passed the notable buildings and areas of interest indifferently. I am noticing the unnoticed and have swapped my attention from that which I am expected to notice. They seem to be incompatible. By shifting my attention I am missing out and gaining at the same time. Do I have a noticing maximum capacity? The time to leave comes and I can truly say that Brugge was beautiful as for the buildings I have no idea. When we come to share the things we found the genuine celebration of discarded objects is quite remarkable. It is all rubbish, but how beautiful it is as a collection. Is the beauty generated by the seeking of it? Could we present it to strangers and generate the same attachment or excitement? To us it is inspirational.
I know its showtime right now. I regret that I will never be able to share this part of the project. I hope I can see a recording of it but that will not be the same as being there.
So after a long journey I am home. Su is much calmer to have me back and baby zazzi seems to have responded by chilling out. Now that I am here things seem less urgent but I have no regrets. Life sends you choices which you have to make and even if our baby does not come for weeks I know that as a partner I have responded to my loves needs. I have continued to seek and here are the results:
Orynn and I have found many circles and squares. We were looking to find the largest possible examples of both. A fantastic back sky light provided both the largest of each. It is truly impressive that Natwest has such a beautiful feature but I anticipate that it goes unnoticed in the busy pursuit of banking needs. We noticed it today. Triangles are not so easy to find. We left Natwest to visit the Orange shop and when asked what he would like to do Orynn obviously had triangles on his mind. We found a plug socket with a triangle switch, nice but small and then the back of a computer monitor got us a bit larger. Apart from that not a triangle to be seen. Fay was serving us and so we asked her if she had any triangles we could have. Fay disappeared out the back for a few minutes and returned apologetically with a leaflet that had triangular bunting on the front. It is another example of the signs you get from seeking. When Orynn was born he was welcomed to the world by a length of bunting each flag having been made by some one significant in our lives. Bunting will always be important to me as a result. With that Orynn and I left them to sort out the contract details in the shop then collected Orynn’s full name from letters in the street leading to the Milkshake shop where we were due to meet up with mummy when she was done. Here is our name seek:
On completing our challenge and enjoying our smoothies (always better than a milk shake in my humble opinion) Su returned with the biggest free item of the week. It is truly impressive. After we had left the shop a young man from the back burst out triumphantly having found a better triangle. The triangle is part of the stand. It also has a rather nice circle in it. The big revelation today is purely about the amount of joy a single seek can have on those who come into contact with it. A simple question like do you have a triangle can involve and captivate an expanding group of people and leave them all feeling slightly more positive. Priceless.
As I have returned from my adventure early I have decided to continue seeking at home. I seek to capture my experiences this week on the blog, but also to continue with my own family. Perhaps the most significant impact on me from these few days is that my seek shall be for life. I was also struck by the notion that this will be beneficial for my family and in many ways I feel that our group on this adventure have become my honorary family. What a nice outcome.
As we traveled down to Newbury in Janet (Martins car) with Dagmar and Jennifer the sense of anticipation was delicious. What are we going to do? We know what we know and not more. We knew absolutely that anything we said would change as we started to find that which we seek. How to communicate the varied responses we might take to unforeseen experiences? We are all nervously excited. Games played on the way down and it feels like we are going to get along just fine. The adventure has begun.
We arrive into Newbury and our group slowly starts to form. Alison and Alicia join us. Justin will arrive by train tonight. Will and Roland will meet us in the early, early morning. Every one is on good form. It is lovely to see every one and I am reminded how much I genuinely enjoy spending time with these fantastic people.
Off to the Travelodge. Spend some time in the service station and compose a suitable greeting for Justin which gets us some funny looks from the staff and other patrons. Justin really liked his song and it put everyone at ease. It feels a bit to late as we leave at 4am.
Time for bed
I struggle to find any information on this subject online. My google skills stretched to breaking point leave me with this admission: I may be talking rubbish. Putting that to one side that does not remove my interest in investigating this idea in terms of its creative potential. On that basis I will continue.
I read, or heard, or was told by some bloke or other that the brain only passes on to you 20% of all the available sensory information to you to process. It does this based on your conscious and subconscious preferences for information. It does this filtering to stop you from collapsing under the weight of all the thinking you would have to do to make sense of it all. You do not need to know the type of grass you are running through when you are being chased by a Sabre-Toothed Tiger for example, you have more pressing things to be getting on with. RUN!
I find myself thinking about this “filtering” quite often and the impacts that it might have on how I see the world. I am an optimistic person and the world in which I live affirms that for me. Is it not the same world that a pessimist sees and has affirmed? Does this filtering in our modern times, sans Sabre-Toothies serve to keep our personalities stable or stuck? Do we see the world as we want to see it because our brains are responding to this preference and only giving us compatible data? If I only get 20% of the information I am exposed to from the world, then I could be living in an 80% horrible place, 20% nice place, but getting a 100% positive message from what my brain selects from me? I could go on forever but we have all week to delve into it.
Seek for me is an opportunity to see if I can move my perception out of my 20% zone and into the other 80% that I do not usually get access to. I want to notice what is always there but never given to me by myself. Whats the worst that could happen? I might come home a pessimist but then its all a waste of time anyway so I don’t know why I’d bother. I hope not.
My main questions in this regard are: Did I decide to choose the filter settings for my brain to select worthy data, or did I inherit them from my past? When and why did I set it up the way it is? Am I me because of my filters or are my filters set because of me? Are my filters set up right for the person that I have become? If they are all wrong can I adapt them to a more productive and true setting? Do I know what my subconscious has planned for me, what if changing them will make me really unhappy? Should you spend so much time thinking about something that some bloke may have said to you to make himself seem clever than he was?
I hope to find out through becoming an experiencologist and will let you know what I find out.
I am starting to feel nervous. In 5 days we go into the unknown. I am curious to see what we will find. I am looking forward to meeting new people, new cultures, new landscapes and new thoughts. It is going to be great to bring together our responses as individuals and collide them into creative responses, the not knowing what that will be is the source of my nerves and the excitement in my belly. Lets see where we and it goes. Each journey starts with a small step and we shall bound back home full of our discoveries.
It seems so close already. This time next week we will have covered many miles and sought out new experiences. I am so looking forward to making this journey. Each and every person on our bus is going to be great to collaborate with. It is rare in this line of work to be immersed with so much talent. It is sure to be the most exhausting trip of my life but I hope that it will also be the most rewarding. Holland here we come.