Jouke Kleerebezem – NQPAOFU Notes Quotes Provocations And Other Fair Use XIII: a mind is a terrible thing to loose

Le Moulin du Merle 1999

July 7
Business or pleasure?
What do I need/want the Internet/www for? Information or entertainment? Knowledge or art? How entertaining is my information, or, how informing is my entertainment… I see a map coming up… Aren’t information, knowledge, learning, art and design, literature, music—cultural production and the business of exchange, ambiguous these days? Aren’t we?

I have a long-lived (actually after Allocations, the international contemporary sculpture/installation exhibition that I curated for the Floriade World Horticulturual Exposition 1992, which attracted 3,5M visitors in 6 month—hey I mean: the horticulture did ;-), not Vito Acconci, Dennis Adams, Ashley Bickerton, Marinus Boezem, Mel Chin, Fastwürms, Peter Fend, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Fortuyn/O’Brien, Ludger Gerdes, Piero Gilardi, Jan van Grunsven, IFP, Arno van der Mark, Matt Mullican, David Nyzio, Paul Perry, Joke Robaard, Rob Scholte, QS Serafijn, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, herman de vries, Chen Zhen…) problem with fine art, exactly because of its lack of information. Both as content and context. Late 20thC art is low on information, high on noise. For me personal, or in general? (Don’t we all still love generalization…). Let me try to get things clear for a change. This lack of information of fine art has been on my mind for a long time. It’s what I dubbed ‘art under information’ at several occasions—like under siege. But I don’t want thematic overtones for nqp. And I hate metaphors of survival (we can relate them all back to the informational-military complex of how the net came about—if we really need to. So what is it about today’s art, that makes it so low on information? Documenta Anyone ? NQPAOFUXIV anyone (

July 6
The meat
Indigenous update. Here’s the meat. What happens at the bouchier when you ask for the right beef for a pot au feu. The lady calls her husband, the butcher, who walks in with a huge piece of local beef on his shoulder. He places it in front of you, tells you it is hardly the season for a good soup (his wife objects—she runs the shop), then he starts to cut out the best part, taking his time, enjoying showing off his skill. Did we have the best soup tonight.

support your local butcher: Philippe Picard-David, Tannay

Here’s the meat
support your local butcher: Philippe Picard-David, Tannay

W words
Yesterday, of course, although not mentioning all the ‘extremely focused’ W words that sprung to mind, I thought of Weblog Wealth. I was first introduced (, underhyping the Internet#7) to the new genre through Camworld (, and linked to some of these ‘miniportals’, or ‘personal websites’ on January 26 ( and 27 ( Half a year later the weblog idea has spread fast. Camworld (thank you Cameron Barrett, for listing NQPAOFU) and eg. Eatonweb ( publish growing lists, which contain some of the best on the web in personal and media savvy (you’d be surprised at the diversity of young web (design) professionals, comparing notes and idées fortes) one-(wo)man-rants. The tone is often lite, but the information linked to never without value. This personal kind of ‘peer publishing’ will appeal to a wider audience with an interest in information agency. Peers make perfect. Check it out if the web means anything to you.

Meanwhile, in Groningen NL: Paul’s off the grid and in MFA XM mode at media-gn. I did some studio visits to his students, and they’re an excellent year indeed. But XMs suck. Courage to all involved. Hope to see some of your projects online.

July 5
I wouldn’t go as far as to characterize life a ‘Sickness unto Death’, following Anti-Climacus, aka. Søren Kierkegaard, 1848. Kierkegaard had a very productive publishing drive, also using Johannes Climacus and Anti-Climacus as pseudonyms. He was engaged in a continuous battle with the popular press, especially with the Korsaren periodical. My Korsaar hard-copy publishing house wears its proud nickname after it), but ‘pathology’ is a powerful metaphor and I don’t hesitate to consider the patient’s association the only real world working model of an information sharing community (see also Design Equals Information, which I presented at the VisionPlus 4 Information Design conference at Carnegie Mellon University).

The patients’ association is all about people (patients, caretakers, dear friends) who (often desperately) share an interest, depend on hard-to-find knowledge and everyday experience, need mutual support, are up against a body of (medical, institutional) knowledge, which doesn’t necessarily support their experience, and generally are in need of communication—have a story to tell. They need a working community model.

It Takes One To Know One
If anything is blinked all over the consensus web it is make my community. Not since the late 60’s we’ve been so geared towards sociability for every otherwise egotistic need or idiosyncratic interest we suffer. If ‘about’ anything, the net is about togetherness. Find me a one click like mind! It is a challenge to connected intelligence. And one-to-one-to-many-to-many media are a godsend: exactly the kind of media our generations deserved, like Michael Samyn ( once explained to me. The community idea is a slumbering old dream, wide awake with every new communications technology. For my current expat status I find I depend on it very much. Yet it is also the monomaniacal, the extremely focused, hesitantly going public, which is the promise of a web unleashed. If these interests reach a hypermedia aesthetic and urgency, even the better, and I’d gladly welcome your examples at

‘A sleep disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrolable episodes of deep sleep’ (Webster WordNet); ‘an abnormal condition in which one is seized by brief uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep’ (Wordsmyth). Narcolepsy has full net attention: and (recently fused) (more on patients’ associations later). One of the few successfully tested narcoleptic drug treatments is GHB, or popular presses’ (and the US Food and Drug Administration’s) ‘date rape drug’. See Dumb on Drugs.

Food for hypochondriacs like myself. I know the meaning of falling asleep. Yesterday afternoon 3pm. I hardly made it to my bed, to pass out for three hours. I alternate insomnia and narcolepsy. Sleep’s a big issue.

When lights went out
At 2am. we’re in the middle of a violent thunderstorm. I remember lights and screens going black and I’m in saving alert mode. Let the rains wash the gardens but let lightning stay off the switches before I’m finished with this upload…

July 4
Support Your Local Artist
Yesterday I received a big brown envelope from Francine. Filled with FRACs (Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain) and DRACs (Direction Régional des Affaires Culturelles) and other information on the French cultural market. Last week in Paris over lunch we discussed the national art and design policy and organization. I realize that whichever way you look at it I will depend more from local structures than from the Dutch system that I know so well, and which ‘knows’ me. I had always thought it would be a matter of visibility, whether or not my work would still appeal/apply to a Dutch context—but already I find that I’m loosing my view of the Dutch market and its typical affordances. Of course mutual visibility will be maintained on the small but vital scale of personal contacts. Some older ones could even be renewed, for specific proposals, also thanks to the fact that I distanced myself and my production: it might be easier for me to contact some of my past ‘clients’ from my current situation, than it would be from Amsterdam. My move is in a sense a new ‘project’ and could generate new perspectives on my production, both to myself as to its recipients, whoever and where-ever they currently are. My focus is very much here, and here has to work for me and others. Nevertheless.

Today for the first time I found myself vulnerable to a feeling of homesickness. Maybe because I ran into an older Dutch gentleman with a secondary residence nearby, who chose not to move here permanently, ‘because I like Holland too’. In all its simplicity it is the only reason to return to NL. Every once in a while. If only in my mind.

July 3
Let’s Make Things Excellent
After ‘GodDieuGottGod’ (my first Mac IIcx), ‘MacTransit I’ and ‘II’ (the Powerbooks 100 and 230) and the 4-way split personality Performa 6400/200 (with its ‘Intelligence’, ‘Service’, ‘Estate’ and ‘Tools’ HDs), my new Blueberry (G.’s choice: I was going for Strawberry of course) i-Mac is simply baptized MacEncore.

We’re in France and we’re back bureau-wide with Macs, after PC hardtimes (the Aptiva now out of sight on the shelf slaving as an ISDN fax). This new Mac is a lot of colorful plastics for little money. Nobody but myself can be blamed for the AZERTY keyboard… I don’t like retro-psychedelic neo-70’s desktop backdrops, one even repeating the design of the plate which holds the buses. Cool. Not. I never liked OS 8+’s 3-D icons (stupid trash can) and general looks. I want my media flat. Technically, it’s true plug-and-play, so no one will understand what (s)he is actually using… it’s a neat, cheap and fast electronic commodity and Rolf likes its design a lot. Though he preferred Strawberry too. Excellent as far as excellent 1999 hardware goes, but a computer? (Computers? Buy Two: Use One, Freeze One). And ease-of-use? I’ll let you know in a while.

Memories are made of this
At least I remember that I lent Israel Rosenfield’s The Invention of Memory to Ine Gevers. She’s welcome to drop it off anytime ;-). Now Alamut’s July Patron Saint John von Neumann was the first to suggest to place the instructions (or program) inside a computer’s memory (then called store), instead of on a separate paper tape. The key to the data stored went into the memory itself: the beginning of machine learning… taking computation beyond data storage and retrieval, into information processing. Memory is made of processing. So how much processing instead of storing your computer does for you?

July 2
Remote control
Paul admits he had been worrying after two weeks of NQPAOFU silence, and no other sign. So were some other friends. When Mirjam de Zeeuw moved to NY to work at PS1 some years ago, from day 1 she set up a small security community around her, by paying daily visits to the drugstore, bi-weekly to the launderette, weekly to the copy shop, at fixed days of the week, socializing and doing business in the hood. What comes around goes around, same online. Returning after absences my first visit is always Alamut to be au courant, before checking my mail or whatever.

Beggars can’t be choosers
Picking up on my conviction that (mass) industries as a rule don’t do excellence, Paul empowers the market-for-one with money and a big gun. Would it need that? Money buys money, arms buy death. A market-for-one first of all needs an addressee, better: many addressees. A single one-to-one targeting industry can cater to multiple (how many differs per product) markets, or addresses. All the addresses should be profiles, identities—to feed a relation of mutuality to the catering industry. Agency is in the details. Why would such a market tolerate the good? If its commodities don’t buy us excellence, the software should—or the communication, content. Maybe a market of one(-to-one) excellence is one of the powerful new media illusions. Maybe. Unless we make it, we won’t know it. For sure the beggar economy of institutionalized culture (in which producers are considered beggars for an audience, which itself is considered a beggar constituency by intermediary industry) doesn’t know, let alone meet, its targets.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Entrepreneurial…
My dad, who spent a week with us, told me this nice anecdote: when he and my mother had just moved to Wassenaar around 1950, they rented a floor in this really nice villa in the posh area. One day when he was gardening, the ±5 year old girl next door asked him from across the fence whether this garden was his. Upon his confirmation she replied: “No it isn’t, because you’re working in it.” The smart little thing was Sylvia Toth, who in the 90’s became the Netherlands’ entrepreneurial first lady, who sold all but a 12% share in the 10 year old Content temps agency she owned, at a mere Dfl120M, thus leapfrogging almost half way up (rating #57, in 1997) the world’s top 100 wealthy:

– Sylvia Toth’s rise from office worker to the most powerful female industrialist in The Netherlands has defied Dutch culture – the proportion of women in the workforce is one of the lowest in Europe. She also defies Dutch business culture: flamboyant, racy and outspoken, Toth is not afraid to take risks or to flaunt her considerable wealth – custom-built sports cars, expensive wines and haute couture. The daughter of a Hungarian musician, she became the first Dutch woman to lead a management buyout, taking control of Content Beheer in 1986 and floating the human resources company a year later. She regularly mixes business with politics and sport.
(The Australian Magazine 1997)

Now she’s a natural. It’s in the genes. What does this teach us artistes with a market ambition and a work ethics? Get Real! Go Figure! Go Garden!

working the garden
G.’s work of vegetable garden enhances ownership

July 1
Big Sleep
July 1 lay down with R+r at 9.30pm after falling asleep repeatedly while telling a story trying to get them to sleep, up and having coffee to improve my looks and outlooks July 2 at 10am.

Less I sleep, less I sleep
July 1 lay down in bed at 2.15am after upload, up and back and check at the desk at 5.15am.

June 30
Upload Interruptus
I know that my interrupted upload behaviour worries some, yet it shouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to state that the less uploads the better I feel (digging dirt and improving the habitat), but apart from mood swings within pathology tolerance settings, watch me doing okay, serving two masters, life and art.

Named anchors
In the course of some design decisions for nqp I came to think of adding more named anchors, for ease of cross-reference. From now on I’ll have (millenium proof) date anchors (A NAME=”YYYYMMDD”), and will one day soon start adding them for past issues. Also I add keyword anchors for captions (A NAME =”anchors” for this one). When I looked up Alamut for a link to June 28, it appeared that Paul has the date anchors already in place. Why didn’t he advise me to follow his example? Or did Frontier do the thinking for him here? (Sure wish I wasn’t such a dumb crafts person on this one… sigh).

Faith Recap
From Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913) (Hypertext Webster Gateway)
Faith \Faith\, n. [OE. feith, fayth, fay, OF. feid, feit, fei, F. foi, fr. L. fides; akin to fidere to trust, Gr. ? to persuade. The ending th is perhaps due to the influence of such words as truth, health, wealth. See {Bid}, {Bide}, and cf. {Confide}, {Defy}, {Fealty}.]

1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on testimony.
2. The assent of the mind to the statement or proposition of another, on the ground of the manifest truth of what he utters; firm and earnest belief, on probable evidence of any kind, especially in regard to important moral truth.
3. (Theol.) (a) The belief in the historic truthfulness of the Scripture narrative, and the supernatural origin of its teachings, sometimes called historical and speculative faith. (b) The belief in the facts and truth of the Scriptures, with a practical love of them; especially, that confiding and affectionate belief in the person and work of Christ, which affects the character and life, and makes a man a true Christian, — called a practical, evangelical, or saving faith.
4. That which is believed on any subject, whether in science, politics, or religion; especially (Theol.), a system of religious belief of any kind; as, the Jewish or Mohammedan faith; and especially, the system of truth taught by Christ; as, the Christian faith; also, the creed or belief of a Christian society or church.
5. Fidelity to one’s promises, or allegiance to duty, or to a person honored and beloved; loyalty.
6. Word or honor pledged; promise given; fidelity; as, he violated his faith.
7. Credibility or truth. [R.]
In every which way I have more faith in art than in technology, as in its respective practitioners, and even industries. Amen.

June 29
Dogma Recap
From Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913) (Hypertext Webster Gateway)
Dogma \Dog”ma\, n.; pl. E. {Dogmas}, L. {Dogmata}. [L. dogma, Gr. ?, pl. ?, fr. ? to think, seem, appear; akin to L. decet it is becoming. Cf. {Decent}.]

1. That which is held as an opinion; a tenet; a doctrine.
2. A formally stated and authoritatively settled doctrine; a definite, established, and authoritative tenet.
3. A doctrinal notion asserted without regard to evidence or truth; an arbitrary dictum.

– information space is infinite in all directions (temporal, spatial)
– diversity conditions abundancy the holy war against more-of-the-same=zero-information gridlock
– theory takes the form of theory: when it feeds social/cultural practice and/which produces material form, its object serves as mere illustration. Period.

I Thunk and Thunk… Couldn’t Think Of Anything Better…
It’s not the theory, stupid (! Think abundancy, diversity affords it. So: out go f-arty (petomaniac) truisms (Art Needs Theory—I bet it’s the other way around, an odd number of times), out with consensus media, out with institutional marketplace ambition—enters niche discourse (‘art needs theory’ et al, there’s plenty of room here) and the art of correspondence. Choice. Exchange. Intelligence. Aesthetics.

The Informational Season
Paul and I discussed programmed seasonal change in MUDs (who visits them these days?) some years ago. Now he suffers a loss of focal depth and sensorial stimuli in what I’ve come to conceive of as ‘authored realities’: realities which’ realization at some point was choreographed by man. BTW, most of our physical environment is authored. Urban and rural landscapes have been co-developed (an understatement—like every mention of man’s powerful interference in matters cultural and natural is bound to be; think: ‘end of nature’) by builders and farmers and scientists and artists of sorts). Now information spaces are the zenith of authoring. It just won’t get any better! But for them to provide focal depth and some healthy decay they should improve a lot. Unless man agrees with his role as the Moving Mover for this Creation, and all Change be His.

June 28
Check out this technology: It’s ugly, it’s an add-on, but it serves (the fingerprint, really, of all technology, new and old)… so which browser is gonna have built in one click HTML-based multiple links and annotations?

The promises of hypermedia haven’t been met with the web, no matter how much intelligence is married to it. So what we really want, anything beyond ‘interactivity’ and electronic publishing, in the direction of re:connecting daily realities (material space and relations) with authored realities (information space and links) (a project which has the historical dimensions of any art and life reconciliation idea) is even further out of sight (and moving fast behind the horizon of self congratulatory new media). In 1994 I described my ‘perversion’ to be daily life (in Mediamatic’s Who’s Who). My then motto was ‘Life on the Face of the Web; it’s Only NetURL’. Clever. But I got beyond calling daily life my only perversion since: I’m alive with many, and all are daily. The way they connect to information media is primitive, Early Information Age is primitive information man’s utterance.

Missions or Markets for Excellence?
Industries don’t change the world as a rule: because, why make things excellent? There’s no ‘market’ for excellence. What about the micro-market-niche of one? The art of correspondence. Who will make things excellent, if not the artiste (programmer, designer, author, builder: homo faber all of them)?

Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
If the Internet/www could be considered a new ‘world’ mind, a new collective mens, what would be its corpus? ‘World’ building ideas can still forge worlds of one, two, many (one too many?). It’s the software that should tune the new world mind to my individual body of interests. I need more computation under my desk.

June 27
Material Worlds Apart
Another week-end, another brocante and vide grenier. Varzy. We bought nice objects. I found a set of 6 metal table knife supports, each with a different gold colored horse next to a silver colored obstacle wall, which supports the knife. We got a 40’s smoky blue glass/silver flacon, a 20’s light-blue glass ceiling light and a probably recent but classic Moroccan leather red, black and white pouf. When we visited the Paris Porte de Vanves brocante last Sunday, Andrea had spotted us a yellow/black pouf, which I bought for G. Poufs are cool and cheap. The French are just-in-time fed up with’m.

My body of interests sets a material world apart from all others. Diversity conditions abundancy.

le retour au vide, June 24

le retour au vide, June 24

l'introduction à la communauté, June 26

l’introduction à la communauté, June 26

June 26
Count Your Blessings
Goodbyeski to Andrea B. at the Clamecy railway station. She’s back to Paris and on to New York Monday. She missed a remarkable evening: the Feu de St. Jean which we joined with visiting friends of G. who arrived today. We got to meet most Thurigny inhabitants at this celebratory occasion. Thurigny is our next door village. Secondary residency owners have been arriving since some weeks now, so they were present too. We were all together.

We introduced ourselves as one does here: just step up to someone, first shake hands and say hello, then tell who you are by referring to where you live. In this old school your habitat is your identity. We were welcomed with gratitude, the mayor expressed the honor of this community to welcome us as its inhabitants. So did the monsieur who lives with his wife in Sète on the Côte d’ Azur, but spends 7 months per year in their Thurigny home, since some 20 years now. Another older gentleman, from the région Parisienne (part time Thurinian since 30 years), we had already met at the town hall, where he examined the book that has just been published about all 312 Nièvre communities. The two fc illustrated volumes can be looked into at the Mairie (all inhabitants were officially notified), where it can also be ordered at an introductory price. Our Madame le Maire beats any Amazon for book browsing, believe me, jeune homme.

I liked the older gentlemen who I met at the Feu. They radiate aristocracy, eccentricity, lightly cynical humor and seasoned knowledge. These men might let me in on the past of the Moulin. A propos, one predicted an important real estate price rise for this region in a few years from now (when Paris seriously starts to drain its information workers). Not a bad prospect. Just in case we would have to sell. Never voluntary though. On est bien ici—in our new identity., july 7 – june 28 1999

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