happy 50th birthday europe

European Monopoly was standard growing up in our household. Dealing with ECUs is spectacular and runs into thousands quite easily.

I'd like to take it to an EU birthday party. Where are the parties? Putting the birthday logo to one side, there should be parties.

To celebrate the words: all 666,879 pages / 43.8 metres of the acquis communautaire.

Or the image [in crisis] (AMO's EU barcode):

And the (Economist's version of) its history or a punchier 50 things the EU has done.


baudrillard | radical thought


museumnacht 2007

Things I liked:

+ Sonneveld house by night. Like all these modern showhomes, there's an exhibition on inside. Some really nice (mechanism-based) kinetic light-objects. My favourite is this one, where the lines of light move very slowly across the square. By Hans Shork:

+ Satellite Garden was beautiful to look at, next to the vanishing moon:

+ Kunsthal cushions. It was nice finally entering an OMA building, as opposed to staring at 100 jpegs. I narrowly avoided a loud party with the DJ next to a grand piano downstairs and crashed on an enormous bed of orange cushions to watch a really silly Kollywood film. The bloodshed!

+ The pine forest with bench, inside the Boijmans van Beuningen.

Things I didn't like:

+ The film being screened inside the pine forest. Three protagonists repeating dull dialogue in circles. Eating lunch in Angel. Going to a stately home. Beating each other up. Yawn.

+ The dancers-but-not-really-dancers made-up in cyber-geisha gear. Not really dancing, more leaning on visitors, and sighing. Terrifying. I'm not sure if they were supposed to be some sort of live sculpture, or interactive installation, but since primary school I've found these content-driven-by-passive-audience performances beyond awkward. Should I be exploring that reaction? Hmm. On a Saturday night I'd prefer to be looking at this (which I found during my escape):

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"Manhattan on the Maas"

I promise I'm not some sort of modernist architecture tourist, in fact I haven't even resolved my stance yet on the whole walking-round-empty-houses experience yet. But in the mean time - turns out that by pure coincidence I live 2 minutes from Sonneveld House! It's my new Hackney Town Hall (in terms of proximity and nothing else, unless they're making you take your shoes off now.)

I'm looking round it tonight as part of Rotterdam's Museum night. A light-up badge will let me in to various places/events across town until 2 AM. Only problem is the map/information is in Dutch..

Sonneveld House is next to the Netherlands Architecture Institute, which is next to a cluster of galleries and museums (Museumpark). The NAi has a great bookshop where I read part of an essay from Architecture Bulletin, its in-house journal. Towards a real Rotterdam describes my new home as the paradigmatic modern city ... a city of islands and points out that the only attempt to implement a thorough urban strategy, a concentric infastructure to supplement the core of the city, was the Rose plan of 1855. Which went askew, and there's still a need for urban cohesion or connecting-the-dots today.

This is evident even from walking around a bit, although I haven't had much of a chance to explore the extent of this former swamp, as I'm spending most of my days (and evenings) in the OMA office. Reading a lot, fabricating imaginary CCTV apocalypses and curbing my snooping, amongst other things.

Finds of the week:

OMA fan tile-art

Iranian S,M,L,XL - this turned up at the office with a kind note: "dear rem, please don't be angry. we scanned in your book and translated it. we hope you don't mind. and if you do, there's nothing you can do about it because of nonexistent iranian copyright law.