Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Voodoo Dances

voodoo

 

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.

 

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The drilling

boorplatform

 

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

begin

 

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

schoondamme

 

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

protest8juni

 

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

ministery

 

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.

 

Do´s Exploratory

expo_do

 

since the discovery of Ameland in Secondlife I got acquainted with Dr. Do Whybrow PhD, a resident scientist studying virtual domains. Like in the old days art & science are closely related in her approach to ontological and philosophical findings. This spring she developed a special set of lenses to zoom-in so to speak and to filter the matter that makes virtual Ameland tick.

I put up a barrack for her as a place for contemplation, restoration and research. She is also a blogger in a vivid visual style, you find some examples of her observations at the Exploratory

 

Resistance

protest2

 

Today I had to act! I no longer accept the hush hush and wheeling and dealing between the politicians and governance on Ameland… I did something unwise I took side in this tricky matter.

 

Against gas-drilling on Ameland! Against gas-drilling on Ameland! I hope my scant is heard… Against gas-drilling on Ameland, from now on I wear my protest sign and I shall stand at the beach and defend my beautiful island.

For the Dutch readers visit Persbureau Ameland