landscapes II

haglet on litter box island


again Caspar David Friedrich. Saw some amazing paintings of Friedrich when we visited the Hermitage Saint Petersburg early this month. For the up coming Art Month Ameland I prepare a “Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer” action called In A Landscape. Rebecca Rozen made me a beautiful walking-stick and Wouter Collas scripted the pose, carefully observing the reproduction from Wikipedia .

So… in the near future we may expect to find haglet on cliffs and highlands, skimming the various Secondlife universes, in search for a suitable location for his lonely deed of enacting. Tonight he paid a visit to Litter Box Island and tested his competency on a small elevation. The landscape over there is dominated by empty highway´s and an Atlantic Wall with all sorts of fortifications facing the sea, but it was peaceful and quiet when haglet stood there and collected his observations.


Voodoo Machinery



Why for Gods sake do you keep a model of an offshore drilling platform in your sim? being a land owner you can delete it or return it to its builders with just one keystroke… SHAME, You must get rid of it as soon as possible! etc.

Many avatars are a confused when they visit the gas rig at the edge of the sim. They are even more confused when they find out that I build the platform with my own hands. That is, together with herman Bergson, who kindly provided the scripted parts like the drilling mechanism and the crane. I build the platform and the rig chamber, the tower, the pumps, generator and the toilet for the crew and I made all those sound files humming, scratching and drumming. It was a sickening job and it lasted for weeks.

The installation is a statement, because I am the real danger for mankind and you are, we all are. The question of innocence inevitably begs the question of guilt, that was the motivation behind this cranky gas drilling platform. How could I possibly build this lovely, dream loaded Virtual Ameland without the dark side of reality and it´s horrors, it would be like paradise without the snake…

On the operating floor, there are three levers, with the black one you start the diesel engine and the generator, the green one starts the drilling mechanism and the pipe chuck… with the red controls the pipe crane. The drilling fluid is pumped right into the sea – like in the old days.

Perhaps you’re not in too much of a hurry; maybe you’ll have some time to spare, you come and sit here on this rusty operating floor and play with these levers, there is an old chair over there… Your thoughts start to enrol, planning your actions and your time; work preoccupations; financial anxieties; domestic problems; sexual fantasies. You contemplate your ageing face, what can you do about it? You think about the latest scandal. Actually, you never see the difference before or after a scandal… but what else is there to think about? Eliminate those thoughts, and you’ll agree there’s not much left, accept playing with these levers and the humming and the drumming of the drill underneath you.

Time models



This model of Cannery Row California in 1943-1946 was build by Bill Johnk. You find more images at The Cannery Row Foundation Web Site. Most of John Seinbeck’s 1945 novel, “Cannery Row” happens in this model of old Ocean View Avenue. There is a striking interrelation in man’s effort to conserve and lock out time: innovations in the industrial canning technology made canned food more sustainable and tasty, life on Ocean View Avenue in the early 40’s was lifted up to immortality by Steinbeck’s book…




early 60’s documentary photography gives us detailed information on the ruinous buildings and leftovers from the historical sardine industry. And since 1983 The Cannery Row Foundation, celebrating this salty mixture of historical facts, literature, sociological and ecological lessons of “America’s Most Famous Street”




CRF Board Director of Education, Art Ring; (then) Vice-President, Michael Hemp; and Ed. Ricketts, Jr.—at the Oakland Museum of California on January 10th 2005 standing behind the Row model.


Virtual protest III



roos Gartner and I at the alert stand in the Virtual Holland sim. This is the statement at the notecard: “The eco avatars of Ameland need your help! Netherlands Oil Company (NAM) is preparing a new drilling site right in the center of the island. Recently placed on the World Heritage List by Unesco for its great natural beauty, the Wadden Sea should be protected from industrial development.

Spread the word and PROTEST!


Voodoo Dances



On June 13 2009 we did the first of an expected Voodoo streaming series. Voodoo is a West African word meaning ‘spirit’. The basic ethos of the religion is that everything in the universe is connected. Nothing happens by chance in this world, and there are no accidents. Everything that you do to one person you are doing to yourself, because you are that person.

Maybe that intriguing concept is useful to exorcize the NAM (Nederlandse Aarolie Maatschappij). Maybe we can stop this whole crazy gas drilling idea, right on a beautiful island full of art and nature. We know that there will be subsidence, the scientists are disputing about the exact amount, the intertidal mud flats are lowering and the dynamic system is supposed to compensate… and if not, the government has “de hand aan de kraan” (the hand on the tap) as they called their idiotic political compromise.

How shall the industrial development of this heaven on earth affects the future visitor, a visitor that is increasingly well informed and keen on getting maximum relaxation in their spare time? Ameland is not the only island on earth, remember people have broad options.


The drilling



The offshore drilling platform in the North Sea in the vicinity of Ameland. Day and night drilling for natural gas, risking subsidence and loss of inter tidal area.


Virtual protest II



Protest is in the air, when I first set foot at virtual Ameland, it was clean empty and tranquil. There was only the sea the wind and the sands, I remember the absolute silence (the Atmo sound-boxes with the rustle of the waves had to be placed). Today the gulls fly and we build that specific salty atmosphere that you find at ramshackle harbours and costal zones, all mixed with successful and less successful projects. Various artist, activists, tramps and tourists are now active on Ameland… all imbued with love for this hypothetical “Wadden” domain.

And here we have the NAM planning to drill for gas, right in the centre of our island, this crazy fact hardened our resistance. Some of us want to remove the offshore drilling platform to Terschelling, others prefer a rapid transition to solar power, all these entangled socio-political topics roam through my dreams. Reports from huge up rise in Iran reach us, the waste of fossil fuels like oil, and natural gas, the almost empty cars in traffic jams, the financial crises, the ecological collaps, sea level rise, global warming and so on, and so on.

We where thrown out of paradise and now all this cross-reality mess make my head spin! Shure I´m protesting! A yell from the 80´s chants through my toughts: DROP THE BOMB, DROP THE BOMB, but I want to create an utopian paradise on our server so please keep the power supply steady and let us all stream.

Demonstration in Teheran / Iran


Solidarity exhibition



Already another high light in our recent virtual anti-GAS campaign. The Amsterdam based 3D artist Friep Wilbers established a temporary protest exhibition at the village-sandbox of Schoondamme.

Ohh my god! Schoondamme of all places, the most immaculate Dutch sim you can imagine, always tidy always clean cut, just waiting until the businessmen and marketeers come back to Secondlife (which is not going to happen). Why Schoondamme… well maybe just because all the Dutch visitors are walking around alienated and amazed by the boredom dripping from the clean facades. Maybe Schoondamme Netherlands is just the ideal spot to fit in the model of a sleeping island on the verge of being washed away by the sea.

Maybe that’s why we need sims like Schoondamme after all, it gives us a feeling of vertigo.


Virtual protest



today I got some fine support, wolk Writer and Brit Zenoba joined in for half an hour. The stream continues and every day more people get involved. This might even be the start of a massive virtual protest!


At the Ministry



This morning I had an official meeting at the Ministry of Virtual Matters. Here I met up with Han Reve and dzjengis Parx two very capable officials. We discussed the troubling combination of subsidence and the sea level rise. These long term processes make me feel very uneasy! As a island inhabitant I am in the uncomfortable position to get a front row seat.

I got the impression they shared my views.