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Smiling protest

There is no category old news on this blog, but this image would definitely qualify: found stuck in between pages of a two year old agenda.
Depicted is a loose protest in Mexico -city against the outcome of the elections in august 2006, supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demanded a re-counting of the votes. They surrounded three big foreign banks, claiming that they “ransack the country” and “widen the barrier between rich and poor” and because, supposedly, these banks had participated in the politics of the country supporting the PAN candidate Felipe Calderón. The protestors put up banners with the text ‘Smile!’


Een participatieve wandelingenserie die resulteert in een database-film.

Het gebruik van ruimte volgt instructies, sporen en routines. Gebruik laat ook sporen na, het slijt routes uit, letterlijk (holle paden) en figuurlijk (gewoontes, normalisatie).
Enerzijds volgen we in ons dagelijks gebruik van de stad de manier waarop vorige generaties die ruimte hebben vormgegeven: infrastructureel, moreel, ideeel, fysiek en impliciet. Anderzijds geven we hier onze eigen invulling aan door binnen de reeds gebaande paden onze eigen routes en oriëntaties uit te zetten.

De stad kan gezien worden als een machine waarop gelijktijdig verschillende programma’s draaien. Sociale, economische, politieke programma’s die mensen aansturen, die de invulling van de ruimte kleuren. Steden zijn gelaagde en complexe ruimtes die op verschillende niveau’s wordt vormgegeven. De regelgeving voor de openbare ruimte, openbaar gedrag, wat wordt als ‘normaal’ gezien, permissies, verboden, reguleringen en bepalingen vormt hier een belangrijk onderdeel van.

Op het web, of de virtuele ruimte, is dat niet anders. Onze aanwezigheid op het web laat sporen na (denk aan profielen commerciële services, de gemiddelde Belg staat geregistreerd in 600 verschillende databases) en tegelijkertijd dienen we ons te houden aan regels die door wetgevende instanties en providers gesteld worden. De ‘virtuele ruimte’ van het web is een uitmuntende omgeving voor geautomatiseerde controle van data.
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Dead Media Revival

Garnet Hertz is working on a doctoral dissertation in Media Theory & History based on the “The Dead Media Handbook” as initially proposed by Bruce Sterling in 1995 in his “Dead Media Manifesto” (
His plan is to actually publish a book, taking into account, and using the work, notes and collections assembled on

Hertz’ curatorial vision on the project is to “dissect the topic of “new” media from an engaged historical, theoretical and technical perspective. At its basis, this project assumes that changes/revolutions in communications technologies are a liquid but consistent cycle. Although inconsistencies and true revolutions do occur, this project will not focus on these: instead, common threads and trends will be explored. “The Dead Media Handbook” is a field guide in the world of hype.”

“As a response to the hype of the internet, CD-ROMs and VR systems of the day, Sterling saw that an archaeological media-analysis was required of earlier mediaforms to gain a wider perspective on “new” media. “Plenty of wild wired promises are already being made for all the infant media. What we need is a somber, thoughtful, thorough, hype-free, even lugubrious book that honors the dead and resuscitates the spiritual ancestors of today’s mediated frenzy. A book to give its readership a deeper, paleontological perspective right in the dizzy midst of the digital revolution. We need a book about the failures of media, the collapses of media, the supercessions of media, the strangulations of media, a book detailing all the freakish and hideous media mistakes that we should know enough now not to repeat, a book about media that have died on the barbed wire of technological advance, media that didn’t make it, martyred media, dead media. THE HANDBOOK OF DEAD MEDIA.”

Read about Hertz:
and his PHD proposal:

Prolétaires du monde, reposez-vous

“Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy.” In the article “The abolition of work” Bob Black states his conviction that the world would be better off without employment. “Leftists favor full employment. (…) Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I favor full unemployment. I agitate for permanent revelry.” (French version) (English version)
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Jorn on Automation

A revised translation by Ken Knabb of a short text by Asger Jorn who played an important role in merging theCOBRA movement with the Lettriste Internationale and the London Psychogeographical Association to form the Situationist International (SI). Written in the late fifties, before the boom of technological media, Jorn’s scetchy text on automation, leisure time and standardisation questions the seamless introduction of these phenomena wondering if we ever took time to reflect on their purpose and effects.
Experimental cultural activity delivers a field of play in which we need to imagine projects that supersede, and go beyond the realization of automation itself. “If we want standardization to open up more interesting realms than it closes”, we should reflect on processes of automation and examine varieties of possible outcomes. “Depending on the outcome, we may arrive at a total degradation of human life or at the possibility of perpetually discovering new desires.”

Published in the Situationist International Anthology (see:
No copyrights.
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Dilbeek -> Zaadstraat

Demo description
Walk the line: 8 9

From the Ninoofse Steenweg, we turn right and enter the Dilbeekstraat. A bit hard to find since the street names are gone. A descending street with yellow brick houses with big gardens.

There is a sandy footpath on your left hand. When you go in and turn around facing the Dilbeekstraat, the borderline between Molenbeek and Anderlecht passes in front of you.
On the Falkplan map of Brussels which I use, this footpath is marked as a road without a name, and it extends on the other side of the Rue Dilbeek. The maps by De Rouck or Michelin do not mark any road on this location. In the street itself, there is no visible trace of changes to the streetplan made in the past.

The next junction is the Zaadstraat. This street might be difficult to locate, since its nameplate has disappeared from the actual site. Here the borderline crosses, and enters the house bordering a green abandoned lot, which, looking at the aged state of the sign attached to the right wall telling us that it is ‘forbidden to enter the works’ has been vacant for a while. Proceed on the Dilbeekstraat and turn left on the Rue de la Laiterie.

International Ritual Train

International train Rotterdam – Brussels
Transcripted from a daydream, 17-3-2006

Green dress, mobile phone squeezed between shoulder and cheek, staring in the distance.
“I am telling you: if we develop a sufficiently powerful theory on the micro-level, it will unlock secrets of large scale macrosociological changes as well .. Yes call me old fashioned … call me anything you like”
“Hallo mevrouw, vervoersbewijs alsjeblieft”
She tries to wave off the train conductor who is asking to see her ticket.
“I don’t know .. I just moved to Belgium, but as soon as we arrive we will find out .. ”
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SCA > Total

Demo description
Walk the line: 7 8 9

Standing on the Ninoofse Steenweg at Metro Gare de l’Ouest facing North, turn left into Rue Verheyen. You can pick up the borderline after it has passed through the buildings of SCA Packaging, situated on the Rue Verheyen number 18-28. Having seen that here the border is safely surveilled by a company who’s packaging solutions are improving the quality of everyday life, and will not let dogs illegally trespass from Molenbeek to Anderlecht over its terrain, you can walk the borderline for 50 meters before again seeing it disappear in another fenced off terrain (11 on the map) between the building of Globe Transport, Agence en Douane et Transport and the West Office Center on number 39 which is easily recognisable by the logo of AEG on top of the building; the company with a daily concern about Service.

Turn right on the R.S. Denayerstraat, right again on Chaussee de Ninove, where on your right hand, the Molenbeek borderline emerges from the passage next to the General Yachting Center. (12 on the map)

It crosses the Ninoofse Steenweg, cuts through the Total petrol station and passes through a big building hosting numerous companies.

On many locations like these where the borderline passes through semi-public space or industrial terrains, I face a dilemma: Should I keep walking the border untill it becomes physically impossible, or should I stop where public space ends? For the moment I keep a pragmatic approach, and let the situation at hand decide what I should do. To make sure I will reach the end of my route I will not linger too much in this phase of the walk. So instead of entering the shopping mall to find out which shop has the dubious honour to host the borderline, I stay in the safe, turn around and walk the Ninoofse Steenweg in the direction of Place Henri de Smet.

SOS! Incorrect use of Spaces

Words which are composed by several single words should in Dutch be written as one word. Writing a space in a composed word is not allowed. “There is no reason to insert spaces in words such as leesplezier (reading pleasure), hogesnelheidslijn (high speed train) and keukenbenodigdheden (kitchen utensils).”

The platform Signalering Onjuist Spatiegebruik (SOS) campaigns against a growing tendency to insert spaces in composed words. Their website urges users of the dutch language to apply the rules correctly, and seeks to create a better understanding of the spelling of composed words.

Click image for their excellent “Examples” section.