Monday, October 14, 2013

What hands tell

I noticed many years ago that persons that are portrayed often put their hands in a position suggesting coitus.
When still living in the Netherlands I had a growing collection of images showing how manifest this was.
This weekend the Dutch Volkskrant Magazine published a fabulous image of photographer Julius Schrank of Dutch comedian Paulien Cornelisse who was revealing she had a boyfriend.

Look at her hands.

Look at his hands.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Embedded in embedding.

The first 15 years of my career as a photographer besides doing photo projects I made conceptual photography. Sequences. A visual research of perception and phenomenology.

It was fascinating to make sequences because I could discover that nothing is what we think it is. Reality is not something outside us at which we are looking: reality is created by ourselves. It is the personal perception that decides what we think we see.

This is a knowledge many people do not want to know. Because it means we live in a context that is not stable and secure and that is too hard to handle. Hence, many people create a pseudo-reality that is strongly constructed outside themselves. A reality that is fixed and final.

Fortunately too many things happen in the life of every person that is unexplainable. “A miracle has happened”, they say. Or “What a coincidence”. But what actually happened is that they moved from a pseudo reality into the real one.

A good example how we create our own reality is the phenomenon that if we for some reason focus on one particular thing, we start to see this thing frequently.
A man dies and his wife is very sad and misses him badly. Walking in town she gets the shock of her life: she sees in the crowd walking her own deceased man.
Obviously this is projection coming from strong emotions but it decides how reality is for this woman.
Or we believe that these days pink sweaters are in fashion. This is then confirmed by seeing suddenly many people wearing pink sweaters.
Obviously we see pink sweaters because we unconsciously focus on pink sweaters and only register those in our awareness: the many red sweaters are not entering the awareness.

This whole issue of the subjectivity of reality is now related to my project “What the world has never seen”. This project is about intimacy and privacy and obviously in our societies these subjects repeatedly get the attention.
The question is whether “What the world has never seen” really is a pioneering project that anticipated on the growing importance of the endangerment of our intimacy and privacy.
Or do we see issues with intimacy and privacy because of “What the world has never seen” ?

The answer is clear. Never before in the history of mankind did we have social media on a scale as we see today. And never before did we see interferences in our private lives on a scale as we see today.
These new aspects of our lives is of concern to everybody. Everybody using social media, making a phone call and sending an e-mail is confronted with possible secret interference. Every one of us has to deal with degrading social values.
The book “1984” published in 1949 by George Orwell has long been seen as a weird fantasy impossible ever to become reality. But today what he described has become true. It has become a part of reality that exists in everybody’s life: no matter how you perceive it.

“What the world has never seen” is not a tunnel vision. Seeing what wants to be seen. In the 30’s of the last century certain people in Germany felt things would go wrong and they left. Emigrated. They were reading the signs of the time and were able to make a prediction that was correct. Seeing a reality coming that later became so fatal.
This is also the case with “What the world has never seen”. It saw two years ago what was coming. When “Prism”, the American system to monitor phone and e-mail traffic of each of us, still was unimaginable.
“What the world has never seen” is now embedded in a reality it has been and is warning for.
And it says that the only solution of not becoming victim of threatened intimacy and endangered privacy is to be highly conscious of the current reality. To make form this higher awareness choices that results in becoming invulnerable for the current dangers.
This is our only hope and the more people make these choices, the more chance we have for a better world. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You are slowly dementing

In our lives over the last 20 years many new electronic products have successfully been introduced. We have embraced them and integrated them in our daily lives. But we never seriously contemplated the side effects and long term consequences.
Now that we have life very much dominated by these electronic products, we have strong reasons not to want to know what are those side effects and consequences. Because if we did truly realize them, we would have to give up to use a cell phone, play computer games, use Facebook, etc.

Frequent television viewing, hours spent at playing computer and violent video games, making incessant phone calls and SMS-texting, the reckless dissemination of personal feelings, thoughts and photos on networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have a negative impact on feelings, thoughts, behavior and social contacts of children and adolescents.
Reputed media scientists and responsible educators, juvenile judges and sorely tried parents of internet-addicted teenagers have been drawing people’s attention to the adverse effects of excessive media use for two decades now.
And now we have Manfred Spitzer.
He is a neuroscientist and medical director of the Psychiatric University Hospital in Ulm, Germany.
Professor Spitzer has collected the scientific evidence on the subject of the consequences of having technological inventions deeply integrated in our lives and his conclusion is: it all drives us and our children mad.
In his book “Digital Dementia” Professor Spitzer explains in a scientific and detailed way how he comes to this conclusion.
What is shocking about “Digital dementia” is that it is not a nutty professor claiming this: Professor Spitzer has collected all the information now available and anybody learning this will have to come to the same conclusion.
We drive ourselves mad and allow the same thing to happen to our kids.

This the world has never seen. But in the end we are all individuals. Every electronic device can be switched on. And can be turned off. It’s all up to you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Distrusting doctors

Imagine you become sick. What it is we will disclose: that is your private bussiness, true? You go to a hospital and you meet a doctor. He asks what is the problem and wants to know every detail. In order to be able to decide on a diagnosis and consequently a treatment. He writes down those details you revealed. Maybe in a hesitant way, as it can be embarassing, but, hey, it is a doctor and he is bound to secrecy and the oath of Socrates, isn’t he?

Well, we have created a society where we cannot count on secure intimacy and privacy anymore. Not even from a doctor.
The doctor makes a file on you in his computer and this file is stored on the server of the hospital.
The agreement is that only those who treat you, have access to your delicate medical information you were so confident to reveal.
In the Netherlands is a special office called the CBP (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens): it is a neutral institution safeguarding and checking the privacy of the Dutch citizens.
This CBP went to nine hospitals to check how safe personal data of the patients was.
In not one hospital it was safe. Not one hospital had a security system making their data base safe from illegal visitors.
The CBP found examples of a woman who worked in the hospital who checked in the hospital data base what was the reason her neighbor was ill. Or a student checking the data base for the health situation of her fellow students.

An intriguing result of the CBP was also that they found that the hospitals are actually able to protect data of their patients. The adequately protected data is of patients who are on the Board of the hospital or who are VIP’s.
CBP concludes that if the 9 hospitals are failing in protecting the privacy and intimacy of their customers, all hospitals in the Netherlands will have a similar failing system.

It is this kind of news that should be shocking because it undermines confidence. Many people believe in the integrity of doctors and now they must conclude that this beautiful opinion has to be reversed.
Instead a doctor must be distrust or you must not mind basically anybody might know of your illness. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Intimacy and privacy intruded by the NSA

An art-project like “What the world has never seen” is much more than only an expression of artistic abilities. Although nowadays form is the only thing curators focus on when making selections for exhibitions and purchases for collections, with “What the world has never seen” we find a combination of form ├ánd content.
It is not only about the style of the “What the world has never seen”-pictures, but also about what these images tell us.
For two years now “What the world has never seen” creates artistic value but at the same time is linked to what threatens our privacy and intimacy. All the people who during the last two years could not be waken up by this important message of “What the world has never seen”, got a shock when recently the PRISM-program of the American NSA was revealed. On a large scale persons outside the USA have been illegally tapped and monitored by the American  NSA. These persons were robbed of their privacy and intimacy and this was not done by an enemy, but by a country that propagates democracy, liberty, civil rights and pretends to be an ally and friend.

In Europe we have the Euro-commissioner Viviane Reding responsible for Justice. She has now the opinion that personal data of the Europeans must be legally protected as soon as possible.
Mrs. Reding considers this protection a fundamental right. That is very beautiful but how come for years the Americans could sniff at Europeans, even checking what they were doing with their bank-accounts?

This recent revelation of PRISM proves how relevant “What the world has never seen” is. It turns out that Viviane Reding knew about PRISM and that she has been discussing this subject with American authorities in the past. Only after Edward Snowden, the whistleblower on PRISM, revealed publicly the amazing facts of the illegal activities of the American Government, only then did Reding publicly oppose and condemn these activities.
Because Viviane Reding is concerned about public opinion. An outrage by Europeans is damaging to her position and career. Therefore, the more people are aware, conscious, know the facts, respect, protect and defend their rights, their privacy, their intimacy, will politicians do what is good for our lives.


Friday, June 7, 2013

The drowned mouse

Alfredo felt embarrassed. He was feeling proud he had invented a successful mouse trap. And he was pleased to get the attention. His long time friend Miguel showing interest and even making pictures of his genial trap. But then no mice walked the tightrope to try to reach the banana luring in the centre of the bucket half filled with water.

So, yesterday Alfredo changed strategy. He filled TWO buckets with water and equipped them as a trap.This time not with banana, but with a piece of cheese. Placed them around his rancho house.

And indeed, this morning proudly he announced that in one of the buckets a dead mouse could be found.

The eager mouse. It was lured by the cheese to step on the tightrope, to lose balance, fall down into the water and not finding any stairs to climb out of the pool. The death of the mouse must have been terrible. Having left the family behind in the mouse house nearby, finding a delicious piece of cheese, only thing to do to carefully walk the tightrope and now finding oneself in a water pool with no safe exit. Swimming around in circles. Around and around slowly losing more and more energy and hope to survive this debacle. Sheer out of lack of physical energy, and maybe because all hope consumed, the mouse had to give up, got water in the lungs, couldn’t breath anymore and that was the dramatic and horrible end of its life. 
Alfredo proved his point. But it is not a happy point. For the mouse.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The failed Mexican murderer of mice

I could see it from his face this morning. Alfredo was standing in front of his rancho not looking as a winner. His sophisticated and clever mouse trap had not been successful. Not one mouse had been walking the tight rope to reach the delicious banana but to lose balance, fall into the water to have the last bath in the life.

According to Alfredo the reason why no mice are floating in the square bucket is that last night no mice came to visit his rancho. That might very well be, and Alfredo has a strong argument to plea for this supposition because the square bucket contains only water, but then we heard everywhere there was a plague of mice of biblical proportions in Baja California. And last night around the Fuso Szulc expedition vehicle parked not too far from Alfredo’s rancho, conventional mouse traps called “Victor” had been able to send two mice to heaven.
So, we may ask, what is going on here? Is Alfredo a genius or Napoleon?
Let’s give him one more chance: OK?
Tomorrow morning we return to see if mice read this blog or not. For the moment, keep yourself on stand-by. A new report will follow in this saga.