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More Europe through a Preset

September 10th, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink


In the park we talk about power and on-going circular damaging dramaturgies.

I sprawled my whole Self all over Marina Abramovic sculptures at the Pompidou. I made a scene. Only three people at a time were allowed. So it was me and my friend for about an hour because no one wanted to come in as I penetrated all her work. Everyone just looked from outside. I was shaking and sweating. It was one of those moments. She’s magic.

My friend has this beautiful single speed bike that’s all red. I want.

Went to Montparnasse Cemetery and made a weird movie about me and Simone de Beauvoir’s grave.

I found many olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette bottles at this tacky nouveau riche people’s house we were staying at for a few days outside of Paris, so I made a game out of it. Don’t you wish you and I were friends? (If you are a girl into electronic music, actually, I’d love to be friends with you. I have no girls to talk shop with and it’s so disheartening).

In Amsterdam I found the best lattes ever at Espressofabriek in Westerpark, which is undoubtedly the best part of the city, and I’m happy my friend and classmate from Digital Methods, Marc Tuters let me stay there for a week while he was away. Can’t you see how pleased I look?

I went to this fancy affordable organic resto, Proef, also in Westerpark, based on my best friend’s fiancee’s recommendation and it was amazing because it was all food I’ve had before done in a totally different way and everything came with a dip or sauce! While eating, things got quite serious with my MUJI notebook.

I bought my bike for 40 euros. It was a broken-down Peugeot that gave my thighs the workout of their life, even if Amsterdam is all flat, but I loved it all the same. Cycling and documenting.

J.O. is always fixing his shawl like a true Parisian.

Contemplating my last morning in Amsterdam after two months of creating a life there and after days of not sleeping.

Last night in the city also meant the spotting of such cuteness while walking through the Jordaan.

Near the Damrak, people don’t obey the rules, they just smoke weed, do shrooms and walk around like slimy zombies.

In Brussels Midi Station the advertising greets you this horribly.

On the sidewalk in downtown Brussels we found piles of letters from different women in France all addressed to the same man. The letters dated from 1987-1990. They were strange, romantic, desperate, familial and mundane. I wonder what happened that these letters ended up sprawled on the side of the road? I tried to make sense of them but the writing was difficult to decipher and was also in French. I want to keep them forever and write to each woman. Why was it only letters from women? From what I deciphered they all knew each other in different capacities, were different ages, and some must have been extended family. Maybe I’ll call Sophie Calle to help me.

Mitsu‘s friend McCloud Zicmuse hosted me in his wonderful house. He basically saved my life with such a giving and peaceful place to sleep for the last night of my Europe trip.

The view from Zicmuse’s place.

Goodbye Europe. À Bientôt. Maybe next time I won’t leave, ok?

my plane back to nowhere.

August 30th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

I am stuffing your mouth
with your promises
and watching you vomit them
out upon my face.”

Anne Sexton wrote that. I’ve blogggged it before. It’s one of the most perfect pieces of words brought together I have ever read so here it is again & again. Amsterdam and its constant downpours are almost over, a few more days until I have to go back to Toronto, and then I fly home (??), fly back to my city where I have no place to live, no potential roommates and the second year of my MA to start/finish. I have no home in Toronto, just memories. Where am I going? Maybe having no place to go opens me up to go anywhere, to have the potential for everything.

The shot of the tree was in France and the plane is from when I visited Shiphol. Now I am here in Jordaan in the centre of Amsterdam. Everything can change in the split of a second, just like that. Words can shatter whole worlds, whole conceptions of knowledge, of what is and what isn’t. Words can do it all but they canot solely repair the damage they are able to do. No, much more than that needs to happen.

Maybe the sun will come out again before I go? Do you know I don’t want to go back, I don’t miss anything in Toronto anymore. I want to stay here, everything makes sense here, my life makes sense here. I am alone a lot and sometimes with some people that maybe will be my friends, they are sweet to me. I have a suitcase, ok I brought two of them, my camera, my Wacom and my laptop. People move across oceans for so many reasons, I have already moved, why do I have to return?  Amsterdam has been so good to me, has nourished me, frustrated me, nearly killed me, but has taught me to give to it too. I love you Amsterdam, I love all you have done for me this summer.

Bicyclette Obsession

July 20th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Hi hi! Yesterday after seeing this emotional performance at STEIM (the studio for electro-instrumental music), I rode a fixie around this crazy makeshift track at Mediamatic, set up for Sur Place, and exhibition of old and new and fancy fixies and self-portraits of people after brutal bike accidents. It was so exhilarating that after I walked out I was totally in love with everything, feeding my exponentially growing cycling (+Amsterdam!) obsession. Then after smoking, drinking and almost crashing a bbq in Vondelpark I rode home dancing on my own bike to Bullion and the Love Joys.

Schiphol Airport (+I’m Feeling It)

July 18th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Last week my friend Wassim and I were talking about how badass it would be to ride your bike to the airport and go fly somewhere. So, today I biked 20km to Schiphol airport through the giant Amsterdamse Bas (the forest). I didn’t board the plane though, I carry too many shoes to fit in a backpack. Instead, I stopped by the road where many people were sitting on blankets and on cars with binoculars and fancy telephoto lenses. Parents with their children were also running around, maybe showing them another family member flying away. I remember when I was young in the 90’s flying was very expensive and rare for the average person, so every time one of us would fly out the others would hang out of the car by the airport and watch as the LOT plane took off for Warsaw. We stopped doing that years ago, probably because the rarity of flying ended and now I see the inside of airports all the time.

I biked around some more. I started feeling really good, really right, right then. I mean, there’s been so much outpouring that Amsterdam and I don’t get along for the last three weeks and here I was, feeling “in my element.” I started taking photos of the parking lot. It was only after I was shooting for a while that I realized the comfort and ‘rightness’ I felt was because I allowed myself to become intimate with Amsterdam. I wrote about my desire for intimacy with architecture and physical spaces for a GPS video I did last year, suivez-moi. Perhaps this sounds totally cliche, and I guess it could be, but it makes so much sense to me, to take Amsterdam with my body, literally. I guess to be in love you have to be intimate in some way yea?

Yesterday I read all of Joan Didion’s The Last Thing He Wanted.


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Going Out Girl

July 17th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Hello. Last night I went out to see Headhunter play at OT301 by myself because I have no friends here and I’m not really sure I am able to/want to make any? I guess I’d like to make a friend or two to do things with and talk to. We could go to the dumpster site that acts like a beach and looks nothing like the website, or maybe discuss why Mount Kimbie is worth the expensive train ride to Brussels. I’ve met a few people that I get on with OK but I don’t want to compromise my time if I’m just hanging out with them because there are no other people more suitable, you know? We’d sit at the edge of the pond in Vondelpark, watching the fountain, drinking 1.99 1L bottles of Albert Heijn wine and have many awkward silences in which we’d both be unsure whether this is ever going to work. Then maybe we’d rely on a common ground: discussing our feelings towards Amsterdam and the tourists, but not in a memorable way at all, in a way that would leave us empty and sad and we’d both know we’ll never keep in touch, even though they’d say “Look me up if you’re ever in my city,” or maybe it wouldn’t even get to that. However PS. I’d love to spend more time with Brittney. //

These are the photos I took to remember what I looked like before heading out in case something happened to me. I got what I wanted: to practice my footwork and be among a large mass of non-stop dancers. What I didn’t want: non-stop comments from guys about my dancing, about me being out alone, about me being an ‘American.’ //

OT301 is an organized squat near Vondelpark that sells cheap wine (2 euro) and is a venue to many music and art shows. It also houses a restaurant, De Peper, selling vegan and organic 2-course meals for 6 to 10 euro. Like most squat restos in Amsterdam, you have to call earlier in the afternoon to book a reservation for that night. This makes me want to start a cheap kitchen initiative in Toronto because I don’t know of one, do you?

the G20 + I have arrived + Loops Haunt

June 29th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

This weekend Toronto unwillingly hosted the G20. Although I have been physically in Amsterdam since Saturday, I have not left Toronto, glued to Twitter and the Internet reading obsessively about everything that is happening from all sides. Reasearching what the G20 actually does(n’t) do, and the history of it all, trying to figure out how easily meaningful discourse about the Summit gets obscured by hysteria from both sides. My write up on being a spectator from abroad is slowly coming to fruition. I need to take a few days to digest my interaction with the Summit almost exclusively online.

I am living with Rico, who runs IChione, and his family for the summer in their attic in Amstelveen. It is strange to have a peer that also has a 14 year old daughter. It is an interesting negotiation for me as a student but also an adult. At 23, Rico was on his way to be an ordained monk but then his daughter was conceived and he realized his way into it could not occur because he’d have to leave them both behind.

Here are some of what I saw yesterday in my new neighbourhood playing around with my UV lens. Flickr.


MUSIC: Also, a few days ago one of my favorite music people in the world, Loops Haunt, posted a mix called Strange Fruit Vol 1. It has many wonderful old love songs on it. You should download it and have him be in your life too. OK? OH! And I just found out that he’s playing StekkerFest in Utrecht on August 14! I am there! Maybe this special person I know can come too? For his biiiiiirthday?

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