Automatische concepten

1992 n.t. (beech, lork, pine) ceramics, wooden boxes Edition: one of a kind (each


Three sets, each consisting of seven (fired) clay tablets. The ‘engravings’ are in fact imprints, achieved by imprinting the still wet (and therefore flexible) clay onto beech, lork, and pine tree. These ‘hermeneutic’ sets are individually packed in a protective wooden box.

AFSTAND (Distance) 1997

Gallery ARTA, Eernegem, Belgium
In three intimate spaces an overview of works dealing with defining where we are. A SENSE OF PLACE, (partly fired) clay imprints of the senses, books like Familiarity, Orientarium, etc. In one room the soundscape ORBIS TERRARUM can be heard, with on the wall ORBIS TERRARUM BLUEPRINT and on a table ORBIS TERRARUM GENUINE COPY for personal consultation.

ALEPH 1991-92

Edition: unique (750x550x1800mm)

An open book, made of two parts of a split beech, between which are 5 sheets of painted glass. The paintings do not overlap, so that the transparency of the material allows one to see the complete image when standing in front of it. Together they show the evolution/ origin of our Latin alphabet. The story revolves around the letter A which is derived from the hieroglyph depicting a bull. This work was commissioned by the OBD, a provincial central library service. It is on permanent display in the hall of their office building.

ANALYSIS of a Post Modern society 1992-93

collection cards in a holder, covered with colored paper
Edition: 25 (70x93x7mm)

A set of representative collection cards selected from different categories: things that are worth showing your friends, worth knowing about. Its a statement about whats hot at a given point in time, a kind of commemoration. Each set was sent from Pittsburgh to friends, colleagues and collectors in The Netherlands.

Atlas 1994

Edition 4: bound in grey linen (293x390x28mm) presented at a semicircle reading table coming with the atlas, hanging from the wall (1.06m across). The book leans against two footprints in the reading table.

An atlas in which I further explore the constellations, as in ORIENTATION and in Up and Down. The maps are mono prints, the constellation of textual concepts are printed on transparent acrylates. On two other transparencies – Afar and Away – two possible positions for a traveler are demonstrated. In two other color images – both entitled Source – something which the traveler took from the landscape he visited is shown.

AWARENESS -installation- 1995

-the contents of a ‘sacred’ bundle-
PCA, National Gallery, Pittsburgh USA
publication: folder

Upon entering the gallery one sees a low table glowing in a dimly lit room. The table has steel sides and an aluminium frame around the glass top. Through the glass coal dust glitters. On the table lies a ‘parflêche’ (Plains Indians ‘suitcase’) containing several books (a more extensive description can be found in Awareness in the category dealing with artist’s books).
Murals of maps are made on opposite walls; one is of Pittsburgh, the other of Pennsylvania. Both of them only depict rivers, streams and streets whose names refer to Native American history. Photos of such streets are projected (almost life size) directly onto the long wall, amidst lengthy lists of all Pittsburgh street names. Quiet voices can be heard through the gallery. Visitors can take a seat and listen to one of the recorded stories of Native Americans living in Pittsburgh.
In an adjacent room concise explanations are furnished, in the form of images or texts, relating to the Native American origin of the photographed streets.


Edition: 4, numbered North, East, South, West (approximately 350x600x10mm)

Presented in a Plains Indian’s suitcase (parfleche) are four books which combine to give an analysis of a twentieth century city in the USA. In 1992, five hundred years after Columbuss first journey to the New World, an attempt was made to interpret this city, both physically and spiritually. The presentation is done a such a way that every reader can explore certain streets of the city (Book I: 200 photo’s of streets whose names refer to Native Americans); look up (wishful) interpretations of their names (Book II: texts exploring the etymology of names, some illustrations); get a general idea of their location (Book III: a spirally folded double-sided map); and finally to listen to Native American inhabitants (Book IV: two audio cassettes with five monologues).
Everything is bound in parchment and the parfleche is made of rawhide.

BESTEMMING (Destination) 1999

i.c.w. Maarten van Wesemael
Event Transformaties
De Olmenhorst, Lisserbroek
organized by Foundation Gemengd Bedrijf
publication: catalog
A shed situated in the open spaces of the Haarlemmermeer, on the edge of the orchards of the Olmenhorst estate in the vicinity of Schiphol Airport. The shed is much like the first shop in which Anthony Fokker built his first planes. Names of the continents are painted on the outside walls. Inside the floor is covered with white sand, and the shed contains a long bench, kites against the wall, and a monitor detailing where and when particular bird species became extinct. Transparencies on the windows reveal the transformation of the Haarlemmermeer, and data relating to changes in the regional bird population is available. Visitors are invited to fly one of the kites and to enjoy the air.


Edition: each one is completely unique, the concept will be repeated 7 times at the most, in different sizes and with trees originating from different places.
No 1 Ootmarsum, height 500mm, 14 pages.

A tree tells its own story, in its own language: a book in which the pages are thin slates of the tree, while the cover is made by two thicker outside parts of the tree. It is bound in leather on cords in the classical way.

Bibliotheca Hermetica 1991

commission: initiated by Van Eyck Art Institute, Maastricht

Two bookshelves containing rocks the size and shape of medieval”? books, and one hand-written book. Thus an image is projected of the relationship between man and landscape in Limburg through several centuries. The eastern bookshelf contains a selection of natural rocks such as those found in Limburg; the other shelf contains cultural rocks produced from Limburgs raw materials. The book on the table is classically bound and contains drawings and texts (legends, scientific information, interviews) which relate to the books on the shelves.
The library was originally designed for outdoors and later adapted for indoors; first for the National Geological museum in Haarlem, and now on permanent display in the Natural History museum in Maastricht.

Contract 1999

Edition: 7, color xeroxes, calligraphy; bound like a contract in Ingres paper (115x310x4mm)
If one breaks the seal, one is supposed to have signed the contract. Inside are images of the forest floor of a northern rainforest (Hoh-forest in the Olympic Peninsula WA, USA), next to Xeroxes of rubbings of charcoaled trees. Words lead one from page to page and from one concept to another.

DAS WALD/THE FOREST (Schwarzwaldreihe 3/Black forest series 3) 1992

Edition: 14 (90x15x235mm)

Faced with nine black and white panoramic pictures, one is put in the position of the trees of the forest, forced to look out at the forest from within. The pictures (laser copies) are on the inside of the folded pages. The outside of each page shows trees, made with colour cardboard prints. Each book is bound in linen and placed in a cassette made of wood and linen.

DE WATERMACHINE (The Water Machine) –proposal- 1998


commissioned by City of Pijnacker

De Watermachine is a proposal for making natural water purification visible and audible. An important ecological factor of the area is inherent in the circulation of the water. The water is naturally purified by using plants in low, slowly flowing water (helofytenfilter).
On a square at the park entrance is the meeting point where relatively clean and dirty water meet. Here the visitor can see to what extent plants growing in clean water differ to those growing in dirty water. On the square the water is channelled through a bedding of black and white stones, causing a constant soft rippling sound. This then becomes part of the totality of sound which constitutes the rattle route designed by landscape architects. Words which have a bearing on the direct environment are chiselled into the stones. Vertical lamps operating on solar energy mark the square (and park entrance).

Deer Park 1997

Edition: unique, direct coaled tree-rubbings; bound in black linen (155x285x16mm)
A forest fire took place about ten years ago in the mountains of the Olympic peninsula (WA-USA). The charcoaled trunks are still there. This book contains coal-rubbings of these trees.


commission: individual patron

Seven ceramic plates (made from locally excavated clay) bearing imprints of the soil taken from specific locations in the neighborhood of Hanner. These prints of forest, road, field etc. combine to tell the history of Schwarzwald.
They were commissioned by an individual patron and now hang in his house along a winding staircase which climbs from the cellar to a balcony overlooking Hänner, Schwarzwald, and the Alps.

EQUINOX Sun/Moon 1992

Perron I, Delden
publication: artist’s notebook

Evening, sunset, half an hour prior to the rising of the moon. In the former waiting room of Delden railway station a fire is lit in a dish. A man squats next to it and feeds the fire. For this purpose he uses twigs placed around the room in the form of a half-circle. Outside, a speaker stationed on the street relates a story about light, and alongside the tracks another story is told about fire. Meanwhile, inside the room, the smoke gets heavier.
The next day, through the window, one can see a circular form of piled bricks which functions as a sun dial. It is a small monument to time and place.


Edition: 14 (185x300x12mm)

In this book pictures of rock paintings are placed opposite photos of the same animals as those depicted in the paintings. The photographer has often been able to capture animals at the same moment as the painter once did, hundreds of years ago. The color photos are made in Botswana and Zimbabwe. In the book they are reproduced with a color laser copier on Van Gelder Simili Japon Paper, and bound in leather, skin and linen.

FORT VOOR HET WATER (Fort on the Water) 1996-2000

commission: Land reclamation committee Eastern Emmen, with support of Waterboard Hunze en Aa’s, and Mondriaan Foundation
Owner: Waterboard Hunze en Aa’s

A portrait of the now virtually non-existent peat moor, at the spot where – until approximately 1920 the Roswinkel bulwark stood. The bulwark was originally erected as a defense against the enemy. The enemy is long gone, but the leveling of the peat has made one victim: the water. Since the sponge of the peat moor has gone, and agriculture makes increased demands on the water level, the quality of the water in the area is much diminished and has practically become invisible. For the project Was getekend, de Runde a new river bedding was proposed in which source water follows a course determined by past and present stories and longings. The Fort voor het Water cherishes and nourishes this new water course. It is a place where parties, theatres and performances can be held all in the middle of a hopeful landscape.

Geese of the world 1991-1995

Edition: unique, bound in leather, wood and feathers (app. 220x270x35mm)

For each of the species of Geese and very close related members of waterfowl I designed a feather (53 all together). The feathers are icons to the species. The length of the feather is related to the average size of the bird, shape of the tip is related to the shape of the head, coloring and form of the broader flag is derived from the form and coloring of the lower part of the body, etc. The paintings are made in a Medieval-like miniature technique: egg tempera on parchment. In calligraphy the scientific names are written under the feathers.

Geyser 1998

Edition: unique, collages/monotypes, bound in black linen (150x290x10mm)
The pages are overlapping paper circles glued together with ochre paint. Together they give an impression of a geyser filling up and emptying again after an eruption.

High Noon 1998

Edition: 7, sealed Xeroxed photos bound in rings, gray board case with imprint (225x320x17mm)

A panoramic vision in eight shots taken from one of the highest peaks in the North Cascades (WA-USA). Personalized symbols of the cardinal points are painted on the back of the photos. The originals are color-copied and sealed to keep the memory fresh. The binding (allowing endless turning of the pages) is perpendicular to the horizontal pan of the images.

HUISKAMERS/TAFELS (Living rooms/Tables) 1998

Commisioned by Het Kunstgebouw (province of Zuid-Holland)
Hospitality hinges upon mutual respect between guest and host/hostess. At crossroads, in areas of small-scale tourism, I have placed small living rooms and tables. The living rooms represent the relationship of the farmers to their land, and each one is a concentrated image of the polder landscape and its inhabitants. The tables symbolize the coming together of country and visitor. The tables carry words and fragments of texts which relate to the experience of the landscape and explore its history and future.


Edition 14, odd numbers Dutch, even English. Map and audiocassette in a wooden lacquered box (100x140x50mm)

He secretly traveled with the Portuguese in order to get to know their route to the Far East. In his book he describes not only the routes, but also where and how to find different products. A wooden box contains two descriptions. One is a spirally folded double-sided map with feathers on one side and breeding territories on the other. The second description is a binaural sound recording which can be heard through headphones.

KLANGSCHAFT (Soundscape) 1997

i.c.w. Helmut Eisel, Susanne Bohner, Vincent Huijpen
Lonza industrial area, Waldshut, Germany
publication: box with five ‘flyers’, CD compilation

The factories are deserted. The polluted soil is being cleansed. No plans have yet been made for new industry or’?¦ ? In this area an industrial show is staged. In one of the big hangars is a ring of objects – wood, stone, iron. Four to five hundred people gather around it. The noise is deafening, the scene is chaotic. Then silence.. ‘?¦only birdsong and the sound of a loom, echo’s of a bygone era. Based on that rhythm a structure slowly evolves and a dialogues develops between the ‘musicians’ who play the objects, and the natural sounds, the sounds of a disappeared industry. A clarinet sings the story, and directs the narrative told in sound.

KOM (Come/Cup) €“installation- 1997

Central Library, Almelo
The city of Almelo has dramatically over the last 30 years. After a disastrous- cut through the traditional center wit ha new road in the sixties + the complete disappearance of all textile factories, the city build a new heart in the eighties. KOM, presents the city located at the lowest point of the region (collecting water in a cup) as a collection of buildings and people. Are buildings translations of the functions they host? A question with on the background the wondering if Almelo is a true city. Because, before one can talk about a city there should be a wide variety of functions, of things to do. Buildings form the skeleton of a city.
For the inhabitants and visitors, their voice is in the digital representation of the city, but they are also invited to (come) travel in the virtual representation of Almelo and to add their own comments. They could make their own documentary about the changes that still leave open so much more to wish for.

Leestekens (Punctuation/Legible signs) 1996-99

Edition: 7, Color Xeroxes; Japanese binding, the covers in different colors, case black linen (220x300x20mm)
The photos in this book were made in a landscape that was already dismantled. The greenhouses and meadows were disrupted. The site was ready for the newly-planned neighborhood. Two of the first four chapters in this book deal with former landscapes, the other two with future landscapes. These landscapes are evoked in words which are placed spatially on the pages next to the photos.

LOCATIE 1: Palimpsest (Location 1 : Palimpsest) 1995 – 97


Commisioned by the Bruggelings Foundation
supported by Praktijkbureau Mondriaan Foundation
Icw Petran Kockelkoren, Frank van Helfteren, Maarten van Wesemael

A good landscape is like a palimpsest, a manuscript which has been reused after previous words have been erased, but in such a way that the old texts remain legible. During the layout of the Flevopolder the landscape was described in terms such as virginal, yet at the same time the first (?) inhabitants searched for earlier memories.
In a study assignment (Metaforen van Tijd en Ruimte / Metaphors of Time and Space) the Bruggelings Foundation asked five artists to make a mental map of a characteristic location in the Nieuwe Land of the IJsselmeerpolders. Maarten van Wesemael (cultural advisor), Petran Kockelkoren (philosopher) and Frank van Helfteren (photographer/acoustic artist) also contributed to Palimpsest, a study concerning methods of perception in the quest for memory in an apparently virginal landscape. The landscape retains earlier memories after all, as is confirmed by the discovery, years later, of creek ridges and by the excavation of a 5000 year old hunting camp.

n. t. SONG OF THE EARTH 1992

Edition 7: 140x14x210mm

A Chinese bound book, with cassette, in which black and white pictures – reproduced by a color laser copier- show parts of the crust of the earth as readable typography. It tells how the inner forces of the earth made contact with the outside. The photo’s were made in Death Valley, USA

NATUUR VAN DE NATUUR (Nature’s nature) 1996

Van Stolks park, Hasselt (Ned)
publication: catalog

A music stand is a central feature in the 19th century Van Stolks park. The park is a true collection of aboriginal and exotic trees and shrubs, exhibited in English landscape style: a sublimation of nature. Pasted to the ceiling of the music stand is a large photo of a Douglas fir (also present in the park), photographed in it’s natural habitat. A collage of randomly taped fragments of soundtracks, taken from televised nature documentaries, plays in the background.

No title (circular book) 1991-1992

Edition: unique (350x350x200mm)

A never ending codex with very many pages, showing a repeating sequence of drawings of a flying bird. The book is kept in a mysterious black box.

No Title (land en water/ land and water) 1991-92

Edition: 1000 + 25 e.a. (105x148mm, A6)

A publication in the SLIB-series, on invitation of the SBK-Zeeland. In this double book, black and white photo’s fill the pages. One series is of water (twelve photo’s, increasing and decreasing in density) the other of earth (one photo, printed twelve times, increasing and decreasing in density). Taken together the two series are like the ebb and flow of the tide. Although there is no text it is nevertheless a book that must be read. The lithos are made with a scanner, the prints in 80 lines p cm.

OOG (Eye) 1996

icw Maarten van Wesemael
Commissioned by Thieme Publishers + City of Zutphen

Approved, but not executed

Form, plantation and object combine to form an eye. Each individual part refers to a characteristic of the immediate landscape, inhabited since prehistoric times. The sketch assignment, destined for the Thiemeplein in Zutphen, was completed together with Maarten van Wesemael. The work was approved but not executed for the proposal implicated a total redesign of the (recently made) existing small park.
The design was made for a small play park surrounded by a few ecological houses. The wells suggest the pupil of the eye, and the walls of the wells are the rim of the iris. The rocks carry imprints of plants which used to grow in the vicinity and objects found nearby. The eyeball is represented by the river dunes where the first inhabitants settled. The eyelids/lashes are the hedges which, throughout the centuries, separated the yards.

ORBIS TERRARUM (Soundscape) 1995

i.c.w. Vincent Huijpen.
Edition, no limit, available on Cd.

A collection of sounds, organized by association of the sounds to the basic elements accordingto the Greeks: Ether, Air, Water, Earth, Fire. First presented in the show Orbis Terrarum at the Hewelett Gallery, Pittburgh, PA, USA.

Orbis Terrarum 1992 1992-1993

Edition: unique, bound in leather, (500x650x25mm)

An Atlas that attempts to intellectually define topos: a sense of place. The painted images (tempera) are derived from sewer covers found in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They relate to all kind of world maps. The set of maps starts with the T-map as first depicted in the 12th century book Etymologea, representing the beliefs of the ‘encyclopedist’ St. Isidore of Seville who was active in the 6th century. The three known continents were associated with three sons of Noah. These kind of maps were in use till the time of the great explorers of the early sixteenth century.


Hewlett Gallery, Pittsburgh, USA
publication: CD soundscape Orbis Terrarum, article in Kartografisch Tijdschrift 1995 XXI-3

The neo-classic Hewlett Gallery was converted into a meeting room of the Geographical Society. Comfortable chairs, representing the cardinal points, were placed in the first room. One can read the artist’s books on -the relative qualities- defining place. Sounds collected from all over the world come from a coat hanging on a rack. The skylight is decorated as a (European) Medieval map of the world. In the hall leading to the second room hangs a rotating orientarium, thus placing the history of descriptive geography in changing oppositions/relationships.
In the second room reproductions are shown of maps from different cultures: A0 Xeroxes on the wall (BLUEPRINT), archival boxes with replica’s on a big table (GENUINE COPIES). The soundscape ORBIS TERRARUM – specially made for this show – provides an acoustic background for the exhibition. The far wall of this second room is covered with a giant map of words, images, and colours. The atlas ORBIS TERRARUM 1992 is exhibited on a lantern in the centre. This ‘mural’ was made during an opening performance.

Orbis Terrarum Field Guide, the importance of feeling lost 1994

Edition 150, (170x250x25mm)
Published by PlaatsMaken, Arnhem, NL

In five gatherings, each dedicated to one of the classic five elements, possible relationships are made with concepts, shapes, materials and colours. Parallels are created with my personal cosmology. Nothing can ever be certain or true: the book has no up or down, no front or back, no cover or content, ‘?¦ The book is silkscreen printed on Tyvek and translucent Synteape. Both of these are artificial papers and are completely weatherproof, as is the red cedar cover, and therefore appropriate for outdoor use.


Icw Edwin Brinkhuis (programmer), Vincent Huijpen (sound engineer)
verPLAATSen. De Paviljoens, Almere
publication: boekje ACHK 4

The view through the windows of the pavilion is blocked, mainly with ‘building materials’ from the city under construction. Words painted on the higher windows throw legible shadows. A painter’s box with (fired) imprints in clay of the senses, tiny paintings made up of meaningful colours and forms, an atlas, and a variety of maps from different cultures all serve to create a context for a ‘sound map’. If one walks on the white boards on the ground, sounds emerge from the speakers mounted on the wall in a corresponding grid. The sounds represent past, present and future expectations for +the New Land (land reclaimed from the sea, 30 years ago).


various materials, in a box
Edition: one of a kind (400x400x400mm)

The earth is flat, supported by the sea. The sun and moon circle the world, the heavenly skies are like a dome defining the spherical space in which the earth revolves. Darkness all around.

ORIENTARIUM-Warnsveld 1995

event Triade
Groot Graffel, Warnsveld
publication: catalog

The grounds of The Wellen a mental institution look like a forest on one end, and like a large park at the other. A path winds through the park, enters the forest and leads to an open space. In this open space four benches are placed in a square. Seated on one of the benches, looking at the trees, one sees signs and words like colored scars, both referring to orientation.

ORIENTATIE Reelaan (Orientation Reelaan) 1998

Reelaan, Enschede

In the central hall, where several doors give access to the spaces in this house, one window is a ‘map’. Colours, words and structures refer to a sense of place. The early morning light shining through the window projects an ever changing painting onto the high wall.


laser-Xeroxes on paper, folded like maps, bound in linen
Edition: 14 (210x145x30mm)

A set of four maps (North, East, South, West) depicting four constellations of words surrounded by lots of space. These words symbolize an attempt to define ones position in the world. Possession of a set is an invitation to identify with the artists position or to make ones own interpretation of ORIENTATION. The cover photographs illustrate how the work was executed in Jeroen’s studio.


Edition: one of a kind (270x370x25mm)

During two performances in the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Michael Pestel explored the possibility of communicating, by sound, with the birds in the marsh room. Names of birds extinct since 1600 were spoken aloud, thus lengthening and structuring the performance. For every species a shadow was created in ink during the first performance. During the second the shadow image of a hand was created by blowing paint through a pipe while using the hand as ‘stencil’.

Ornithology Shadows (Books) 1996

language of Nature
language of science
language of culture
language of art
callygraphed on different kinds of paper, bound on cord between plywood covers
Edition: one of a kind (510x335x40mm)

These books were made during the performances of the project Ornithologie Schaduwen. They are calligraphic portrayals of the shadow of a bird in flight. A silhouette has been made for each bird extinct since 1600. Nature on reed paper, science on millimeter paper, culture on different kinds and colors of Japanese paper.


language of art
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
Apollohuis, Eindhoven
publication: CD + booklet + folder

Paul Panhuysen’s (the owner) studio is situated on the floor above the gallery and contains a big bird house with song birds: The Kanary Grand Band. Birdsong carries softly through the ceiling. When the performance starts in the gallery there is an electronic connection in images and audio with the bird house upstairs. Ten members of a choir whisper bird proverbs and write them down with chalk on slates, causing a ticking and screeching sound. Hans Kingma counts the names of extinct species called by Jeroen. Jeroen calligraphs tiny shadows/birds in flight profiles, in a book filled with music paper.
Kevin Shey and Michael Pestel produce sounds to which the KGB responds attentively, almost competitively.
After the performance the music stand remains in place, with the scores and cleanly-wiped slates still on it. The four books, filled with shadows during the four performances, are exhibited. On the drawing table a monitor replays the performance over and over: a hand drawing shadows of birds on music paper.

Ornithology Shadows Avifauna
Ornithology Shadows Avifauna Ornithology Shadows Avifauna Ornithology Shadows Avifauna

language of culture
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
Avifauna, Alphen a/d Rijn
publication: CD + booklet + folder

The people attending the performance are taken on a tour through the aviary. While The people attending the performance are taken on a tour through the aviary. While visiting the kitchen, a room, ‘?¦ texts and fragments of stories exploring the special relationships between people and birds are read out loud. In one of the bird-rooms the ‘exhibited’ birds start a duel or duet with Michael Pestel on wind instruments and Kevin Shey on percussion. Hans Kingma writes proverbs ‘aloud’ on the crossbeams of the room. Van Westen calls out the names of extinct species and paints a shadow for each of them.
After the performance a monitor placed in the room continually repeats the painting of the shadows which took place during the performance. Speakers on the cages produce bird proverbs in five colonial languages.

Ornithology Shadows Leeuwarden
Ornithology Shadows Leeuwarden Ornithology Shadows Leeuwarden

language of science
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
Friesian Museum for Natural History, Leeuwarden
publication: CD + booklet + folder

A ring hangs in the inner court, covered with Dutch words containing ‘vogel’ (=bird). During the performance sounds of local birds, together with Michael Pestels wind instruments and Kevin Sheys percussion, echo the song of extinct birds. Jeroen van Westen paints a flying shape in a big book, one for each name that Hans Kingma – looking through binoculars – reads aloud from the gutter around the court. Several pairs of binoculars have been placed at strategic points throughout the museum so that visitors can personally read the names painted on the gutter. After the performance a monitor placed in the canteen continuously repeats the painting of the shadows during the performance.

Ornithology Shadows Weerribben
Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben Ornithology Shadows Weerribben

language of nature
i.c.w. Michael Pestel (USA)
National Park De Weerribben, Ossenzijl
publication: CD + booklet + folder

A circle is mowed in the reed, around a dent in a boardwalk. From the dent one part of the boardwalk is directed towards the rising of the sun, the other towards the setting of the midsummer sun. Names of the locally endangered bird species are engraved in the boards.
During the performance the sounds of local birds, together with Michael Pestels wind instruments and Kevin Sheys percussion, combine to form an echo of the extinct bird species whilst Jeroen van Westen reads their names aloud. As he does so he paints a flying shape in a big book, like shadows of the extinct species present in the air above the circle. Hans Kingma walks up and down the boardwalk reading, now and then declaiming a proverb concerning birds. After the performance a monitor placed in a workers trailer continually repeats the painting of the shadows during the performance.


calligraphy on music sheets, cardboard print inside covers, sewed in Thai-paper, 15 gatherings in a grey linen box
Edition: two boxes, each gathering unique (350x250x40mm)

This is a collection of proverbs containing the word ‘€˜vogel’€™ (bird), or where the name of a bird is used. The proverbs have been noted as though they were the text of a composition, and each composition bears, as title, the name of an extinct species of bird. There is no music notation.

PALIMPSEST ‘stepping stone’€™ 2000

proposal on own initiative to the City of Almere

Meanwhile, in a new neighbourhood near Almere, public gardens were laid out. This seemed an opportune moment to submit unsolicited – the stepping stone proposal. After all the earlier investigation Location 1, in the context of the Metaphors for Space and Time study organized by the Bruggelings Foundation, had led us to conclude that it would be worthwhile to realize a design in the landscape whereby an optimal connection could be achieved between horizontal and vertical perception. Horizontal perceptions are those which relate to space, whilst vertical perceptions relate to reflection; thus they can be seen as two perspectives.
The new country can be seen as an economic matrix overlying a natural matrix, with a centuries old clay sediment as buffer. Palimpsest stepping stone strives to achieve a meeting between these two matrices. The economic matrix is a model for the external perspective, the natural matrix for the internal perspective. The meeting between the two is clearly structured and yet’?¦..does the spirit remain separate?


Edition: 7 (470x150x20mm)

This book is a walk – in image and sound – up and down the Smithfield Bridge. The bridge spans the Monongahela River and is the oldest existing bridge in the steel city Pittsburgh PA, USA. The walk is presented in binding, photography and an audiocassette recording. The photographs were taken by Ton Van Vliet.

STEEKPROEF GROENEVELD (Sample Groeneveld) 2000

DLG- Kasteel Groeneveld, Baarn

A national environmental day, many organizations are represented in the grounds of an old castle, now a Dutch Forestry environmental centre. Walking along the stalls one passes several works of art. One path leads up a little hill which is surmounted by a block of water, contained in clear glass. Words relating to water-management are engraved on the inside. Looking down the hill one sees a blue grid floating on the water. One square of the grid appears empty: a hole in the water, a hole the same size as the exposed block.

Stem over het water (Voice across the water) 1991

Event Op water gebouwd (constructing on water)
publication: catalog, artists notebook

The sun sets, a voice carries across the water of the old rampart. On the ‘rural’ side of the city’s ‘borders’ sounds come from between the reed, in the same way as they did in the past. A frame of hollowed-out tree trunks rests on the surface of the water, flexibile connected to the four cardinal points. A man holding a burning torch enters the water at the rural side and swims to the tree trunks, then pushes the lids off and lights the splinters in the cavities. Fragrance and smoke drift over the water.
This act is repeated in a diluted form for the next three months. Every day the voice of nature will sound softly across the water, audible only when the noise of our times is briefly dimmed.

SUSPENSIE (Suspension) 1998

i.c.w. Anne Ausloos
De Watertoren, Vlissingen
publication: 4 video’s + CD-rom

In the now empty reservoir room of a former water tower a video recording is projected onto a large screen. Neither light nor sound intrude from outside. Sounds from within the reservoir are amplified and bounce from the ochre concrete circular wall. The projection: A sphere floats silently in a bluish light. It sinks slowly, gurgling, enveloped by clouds of reddish ‘dust’, and makes a tiny ‘toink’ when it reaches the bottom. Then invisible forces lift the sphere again and it rises, as if in slow motion, and bounces to the surface. With part of it protruding above the waterline it makes a sudden revolution, then another. Decay is accelerated when staccato air leaves the inside. Big bubbles burst LOUDLY and the sphere falls apart, landing with a loud THUMP on the bottom.

SUSPENSIE (Suspension)1999

i.c.w. Anne Ausloos
Provincial Museum De Begijnhof, Belgium
publication: videotapes and Cdrom
supported by The province of Limburg, Belgium
To the left a room with a glass aquarium containing a brick. The sound of the brick absorbing water fills the air like a synthesizer composition. The room to the right contains sculptures: unfired bricks immersed in water reveal the phases of decay, then are fired, becoming ‘frozen’: sculptures. In the next room glass plates are exhibited on the floor. On these plates clay particles have landed: sedimentation. Glass + sedimentation are fired together in a ceramic kiln.
The fourth room contains a video installation. A video documents the suspense of the transformation, showing a constellation of fired spheres taken out of the water at different phases in the process.


gallery Hof 88, Almelo
Sounds associated with distant regions; cars on highways, religious gatherings. A room closed off with a curtain is flanked by two works on ‘feeling lost’. Entering the room one sees large projections of overpasses/underpasses photographed as if they were ‘deserted churches’.

TUINenLANDSCHAP (Garden Landscape) 1998 – 2000

icw Maarten van Wesemael commission: City of Pijnacker As well as the green zones accessible to the public, there are also the privately owned green areas. Subsequent to the ZONERING project, a plan was made to present new residents with a gardening scheme specially adapted to the different landscapes of marshland, polder, city, park. The scheme was developed in collaboration with project designers, landscape architects, local horticulturists and garden centres. The resulting folder is presented to new residents when they sign their lease or deed of purchase. Throughout the planning and construction period artists give regular lectures in a local garden centre.

Turning Point 1999

Edition: 14, color Xeroxes; two single gatherings in zigzag Thai paper cover (90x240x5mm) The Woodland Park zoo in Seattle is famous for the way in which it strives to replicate, as closely as possible, the natural habitat of the animals. The freshwater otter is an amazing swimmer. Through a glass panel one can watch him swim up and down the stream, but only one turn is visible – the other is in ‘€˜private’€™ waters. The booklet, with a zigzag back-to-back binding, is an endless depiction of this one visible turn.

WUTACHSCHLUCHT (Schwarzwaldreihe 2/Black forest series 2) 1989-92

Edition: 14 (125x125x15mm)AUF und NIEDER, HIN und WIEDER/ UP and DOWN, TO and FROM. Six black and white pictures depict a tree from top till bottom, with a scar running along it’€™s entire length. The left page of the book shows the tree from the top down to the bottom, the right page of the book shows it the other way round. The tree stands in the Wutachschlucht, an extraordinarily beautiful nature reserve in the otherwise much cultivated Schwarzwald. The photo’s are reproduced with a canon laser copier, the book is bound in linen and the cassette is made of wood.  


multi-color lino-cuts on Japanese paper, bound in slate
Edition: 7 (200x135x9mm)

Where the Yakima river and the Naches conflux a high wall rises from the otherwise ‘€˜flat’€™ northern land. To the south one can see the valleys that lead directly to the Columbia river. A narrow path along this ‘€˜cliff’€™ has been in use for centuries. The Native Americans passed it yearly on their way to the Colombia salmon feast, leaving layer upon layer of pictographs in the rock.