A commission by the municipality of Heerhugowaard
From classical antiquity until the introduction of the meter, the kilometre and the hectare in 1816, the human body was the ‘measure of things’. Distances and surfaces were expressed in ‘feet’, ‘ellen’, ‘thumbs’ and ‘rods’. One ‘foot’ measured about 30 cm and one ‘rod’ was 12 feet. A ‘morning’ was a piece of land that the farmer could plough in one morning, a distance was expressed in ‘so many hours of going’. Purely physical experiences of space and time in the landscape.
Around 1630 the polder Heer-Huygen-Waert was reclaimed and from the outset the Middenweg formed the central axis of Heerhugowaard. This dead straight line in the polder formed the ruler and yardstick along which the 17th century surveyor could measure plots, ditches and possessions, always in ‘rods’, ‘feet’ and ‘mornings’.
We still use the ‘foot’ as a unit of measurement when we ‘fit’ something. We hardly know the ‘rod’ as unit of measure anymore, but the beautiful coincidence wants a cyclist to travel about 12 feet, so one rod, or 3,70 meter, during one round trip of the bike pedal.
As Middenweg has become a bicycle street it is very fitting to rename the ‘rod’ as an obsolete unit to the 21st century ‘pedal’, a new standard especially for cyclists on Middenweg-Zuid.
This work of art was made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund.
For more information; HUMAN DIMENSIONS.pdf
Here’s a film of ‘the making of’…
4 BRIDGES FOR HOUTHAVEN / ERIDANOS
In collaboration with Verburg Hoogendijk Architekten and Parklaan Landscape Architects commissioned by the City of Amsterdam
Bridge no.276, built in 1930 by architect Piet Kramer, spanned the Oostertoegang near Amsterdam Central Station, but had to make way for the construction of the IJtram at the beginning of this century.
Despite the robust functionality of the four lifting towers, the expressionistic imagery of the Amsterdam School can be heard in a subtle way. The reconstruction of this bridge as Gevlebrug in Houthaven connects the architecture of the Spaarndammerbuurt with the functionality of post-industrial Houthaven.
This sets the tone for us; the 14 newly built bridges for Houthaven should combine sober functionality with a stylish design with an eye for detail, materiality, intimacy and atmosphere.
Inspired by the typology of the classic Kramer bridges, we are making ornaments on the heads of the pillars. Inspired by the decorations of sculptor Hildo Krop, with whom Kramer often collaborated, these are like the logical continuation of the formal language of the pillars faceted objects.
ERIDANOS (Amber River) is the mythological name of a river that used to be in the area of today’s Baltic Sea. Amber is fossilized resin that was ‘bled’ from the trunks of conifers millions of years ago. The conifers grew mainly in the area of the Baltic Sea and the Baltic Sea. It is quite conceivable that during the Saaliën (the penultimate ice age) amber with the advancing land ice moved from the Baltic Sea region to the southwest. At that time, the boundary of the land ice ran, translated to the current topography, up to the line Haarlem-Nijmegen. This means that the land ice near Amsterdam also deposited pieces of amber in the soil.
Solid glass objects on the heads of the pillars, produced by glass studio Tetterode in Amsterdam, evoke the association with ice, permafrost. The quality of the glass is crystalline, literally ‘crystal clear’ and has no colour of its own. In the objects are amber-coloured objects, encased in the solid glass, as a reference to the fossilised resin that once bled from the prehistoric conifers.
Entry for the IJSSELBIENNALE edition 2017
The theme of IJssel Biennale 2017 was ‘climatic changes’.
Here in the Netherlands, we notice climate change mainly through changes in the nature and quantity of precipitation, a great deal at once or, on the contrary, prolonged drought.
Our landscape has been shaped in a natural way by earlier (naturally caused) climate changes, the ice ages. Precipitation in all its forms is always the shaping force of the landscape, with the moraines, glacial basins, the river delta, river dunes, basins and breakthrough holes. Current climate change is attributed to human influences. The high-water channel in the IJssel valley is (one of ours) a reaction(s) to this climate change and a drastic change in the landscape has also arisen as a result of our actions.
The IJsselbiennale coincides with the summer months, the period in which we seem to notice the effects of climate change most strongly. It is raining more heavily and with larger amounts at once, the temperature is extreme and we expect to have longer periods of drought as in the summer of 2018.
Together with the remainder of the Werverdijk, the Kromme Kolk forms the pièce de résistance of the Veessen Wapenveld flood channel. As a ‘waking eye’ it directs our gaze in a southerly direction and shows at a glance how the IJssel valley lies enclosed between the moraines of the Veluwe and Salland. In the same direction we see the Veessen Wapenveld high-water channel wedged between two dikes.
A flat, shallow steel shell floats like a dot on the water of the Kromme Kolk. Rainwater is collected, gradually filling the shell with precipitation until it floods. During longer droughts the water evaporates and the water level in the bowl shrinks. Occasionally it falls completely dry. Under the influence of sediment present in the water in combination with corrosion on the steel, the retreating water will form graphical patterns and concentric line drawings.
AVANT LA LETTRE ‘Y’ Contribution to ‘Art expedition INTO NATURE’ edition 2016
The reason for this project is the intention of GAE (Groningen Airport Eelde) to set up the area around the runways as a solar field.
By mowing the grass into the contours of the runways, the coincidental location and orientation of the runways will draw the twenty-fifth letter of the alphabet ‘Y’ on the surface of the earth. In an international context, the letter ‘Y’ is pronounced as ‘fan’… WHY’, the -for what- question that precedes all knowledge and progress. The question that has died in every child’s mouth. Now this concise question is asked by the landscape itself.
But above all the ‘Y’ precedes the ‘Z’, the last letter of the alphabet.
Avant la Lettre’ means: ‘before there is talk of’ …of what? …of solar panels at an airport? …of energy landscapes in general? in the Netherlands? Before there is finally a real energy transition?
In a ‘choreography for the mower’ the grass around the grey runways was mowed in paparallel pattern at the end / beginning of June 2016. The low-morning or evening light strikes the earth’s surface and ‘finishes off’ the drawing. Aerophoto Eelde has captured this gigantic drawing on the earth’s surface with the right light fall.
In the tradition of the ‘classic’ Landart, the photographic reflection of this project forms the final product. During INTO NATURE 2016, a photograph measuring 3×4 metres was exhibited in the departure hall of GAE and was combined in a triptych with equally large photographs of two illustrious examples from the Landart Canceled Crop (Finsterwolde 1969) by Dennis Oppenheim and Broken Circle and Spiral Hill by Robert Smithson (Emmen 1971).
SILENT WITNESSES HARD FACTS
In collaboration with Parklaan Landscape Architects and commissioned by the municipality of Enschede and ADT (Area Development Twente)
Assignment; the transformation of four historical objects into meaningful places in a ‘guilty landscape’.
AFSZ PARALLAX The tanks of a former Air Fuel Station (AFS) now form two immense eyes focused on the redeveloped nature development area on the site of the former airport.
C26 DOPPLER A former test building (run-up) where the jet engines of F16’s were tested has now been dismantled and transformed into a cathedral shaped skeleton in which the dying away noise of aircraft is mixed with bird sounds. Silencers at the back of the monument tell stories of crashed planes, peasants driven away by the Germans and the story of a daughter about her still missing father.
TARGET Deep in the forest against the flanks of the Lonnekerberg lies like a chapel a mysterious building. It turns out to be a bullet-catcher with which the guns of bombers were aimed during World War II. The bars of the fence that now protect the interior of this monument seem to represent the shock waves of impacting grenades.
RICOCHET In the wooden walls of the bullet-catcher of the range, the grazing shots are still visible as silent witnesses. The design of the bars of the fence that now protects this object still resonates with the sound of the bullets.
READ; ‘Art as a silent witness to hard facts’ Kester Freriks, NRC April 2016
HERE you can download a booklet about this project
A vision on the question ‘What is the Terp Fan de Takomst’ through the village of Blije, Friesland.
Climatological fluctuations and the geological changes that result from them are manifested on a space and time scale far beyond our direct observation. This means that we do not experience any direct cause-effect relationship between our daily actions and decisions and their effect on, for example, climate and biodiversity. Scientific models and tests often make use of variables in scale, so that the very gradual developments and changes suddenly become visible within our direct experience of space and time. Patterns that arise under the influence of morphodynamic forces are almost identical to those on a scale of hundreds to thousands of kilometres at the scale of one metre. This phenomenon is called scale in variance.
In the transition zone between land and water in the Noorderleeg land reclamation area, the laws of scale variance apply in optima forma.
Sliding and slipping over the silt layers we see directly under our feet the small accumulations of sediment, drought cracks in the clay layers, erosion traces of gullies and swalls. Morphodynamic processes that occur within time frames of days to just a few weeks and in the meantime leave behind beautiful miniature salt marsh landscapes. In miniature these landscapes are hardly distinguishable from the estuaries and river deltas with the size of a continent photographed from a space shuttle.
With a little imagination, these creeks and gulleys are immense river deltas and estuaries in timescales that stretch over many centuries and millennia.
“Every flood is a climatic sea level rise, every winter is an ice age, every creek a majestic river”.
You can find more information about this vision HERE
A sand martin wall as a landscape artwork on ‘De Groen Grens‘ between Ede and Veenendaal
Commissioned by the municipality of Veenendaal
PIER + HORIZON
The 7th piece of land art for the Flevopolders commissioned by the county Flevoland and the municipal Noordoostpolder.
Before the Noordoostpolder was drained, a six kilometre long jetty connected the Zwarte Meer in Overijssel with a former lighthouse called Oud Kraggenburg in the middle of the Zuider Zee. PIER + HORIZON is an attempt to bring this jetty back to the surface. The former dam was built on a foundation of strips of entangled water plants and peat-land that float on the water (kraggen);. The north-eastern part of Overijssel is largely made up of floating peat-land. In an area of about four ha surrounding the jetty is a field of poles in a grid that is inspired by the strict landscaping of the Noordoostpolder. Attached to every pole is a long piece of peat-land planted with cane that floats on the water and has the ability to turn 360 degrees relative to its anchor point. When the water level rises, the floating islands will rise with it, the direction of the wind will determine their orientation. The jetty is accessible for the public (except during breeding season). Alone on the thin and long pier looking over the vastness of the Zwarte Meer surrounded by the giant field of floating islands, one might experience what in the field of art philosophy is called ‘The Sublime’.
From the dyke and the extended point of the jetty a webcam will take a picture each morning at half past seven; when the horizon is aligned with the pier. Over a longer period of time a sequence will grow. This sequence will eventually be shown on a website. In the meantime, the seasons will pass by gradually and the islands sway restlessly on the breeze of the wind. Now and then, the sun will shine, it will rain, there might be fog, or a storm, it might snow, or a thin layer of ice might adorn the Zwarte Meer.
Unveiling; October 2016
For more information about this design, see the booklet PIER + HORIZON (English)
HERE you can check live images of PIER+HORIZON via a webcam on the Zwartemeerdijk.
ELEMENT 79 stardust
Commissioned by the county Overijssel in collaboration with the Kunstenlab Deventer in spirit of ‘Canon and Space’.
‘Element 79, stardust’ is part of a series of works of art in the public domain with reference to the Canon of Overijssel. The ‘canon window’ Gouden Bergen contains a description of two businessmen who figured that they might be able to find some gold after the construction of the Zwolle-Almelo railway track. They filed a concession application with the county, but it was soon apparent that the imagined quota could not be reached and the gold fever quickly dissipated.
The element gold came into existence a long time ago, long before Earth came into being. It originated in a star that had at least eight times the mass of our sun. So, the gold we now find on earth is pure stardust.
The periodic table of elements classifies all known elements based on their atomic number. Gold has the atomic number 79, every gold atom contains 79 electrons. The steep slope of the Nijverdal’s ravine is decorated with 79 gilded globes in a tight pattern inspired by the way the 79 electrons circle in different ‘shells’ around the core of the gold atom.
Is this new gold of Nijverdal today just as rare as it was a 100 years ago? It is certainly no longer the precious metal that has ignited war, murder and greed. Now, everyone can find gold along the Goudzoekerspad (i.e. the Gold Diggers Path) in Nijverdal. The 79 gilded globes glisten in the sunlight or hide in the dusk. It is the new gold diggers, the connoisseurs, the romantics, the couples in love and those that are patient who know when to visit the Goudzoekersbocht to harvest their ‘Golden Moments’.
Placement: November 2014
Unveiling: January 2015
making the Mesolithic site in the town Cascade, de Eschmark, perceptible. Commissioned by the municipal Eschede.
During archaeological research, four so called ‘hearths’ have been mapped. What we see now are discoloured spaces in the subsoil with small objects of flint nearby. This speaks to the imagination, these must have been places where hunter-gatherers came together to eat, have meetings or to sleep. Who were these people, what did they do, what were they thinking? We know that they did not stick to one place, but travelled around. Was their presence a consistent pattern or were their comings and goings unpredictable? What led them to this area?
The four hearths now form the foundation for the VUUR-STEEN plan. The surface of the hearths consists of a stony material (concrete) that seems to have been ‘cracked, torn and split by the heat’. The stony surfaces contain relief patterns of various cores of flint and in the craquelure pattern shapes light up in the night. Shapes that are inspired by the flint objects that were found.
The hunter-gatherers travelled from place to place and were thus not always present in this settlement, the fire did not burn continuously and this is still the case. Measurements over the years show us that when the atmospheric pressure drops below 1013 hPa (hectopascal) the chances of rain increase. If the pressure rises above 1013 hPa, the chances of stable weather are much higher. This 1013 hPa boundary dictates whether the hearths burn or not. Our travellers settle down in Cascade when the weather is nice, and leave when it turns foul.
Click HERE for more information about the is project