Cǎihóng 彩虹

Beijing, CN/WW (2014)

Cǎihóng 彩虹 is an app that predicts the formation of rainbows, and sends you an alert if rainbows are nearby. You can spot, upload and share your rainbows – to show that rainbows are here to stay! Originally designed as a reaction to the (2013) law banning homosexual propoganda in Russia – Cǎihóng 彩虹 is a comment on the power of nature versus politics, and a (meteorological) protest without fear of reprisal. The app was re-designed in 2019 and launched during IDAHOT, in China.

Sponsors: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing, Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Beijing, Ministerie voor Buitenlandse Zaken, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Wilhelmina E. Jansen Fonds, and rainbow fans all over the world. Partners: Amnesty International, Club Interbellum, LBGTQTIA+ activists in China, Paradiso (NL). Special thanks: Erik Schrijver, Studio Julien McHardy, The Orchid Beijing.

Spotted rainbow
Chinese students color rainbows spotted in RU (Paradiso)
Poster with qr-codes at the NL Embassy in Bejing
Serenading the DK ambassador in Beijing – ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’
Spotted rainbow
Rainbows predicted for Kherson 🙏🏼

Cornucopia

Detroit, USA (2010)

This still life depicts 180 pieces of produce, that sold in one day by initiative Peaches & Greens. Peaches & Greens is a Detroit based mobile produce stand helping residents who reside in the ‘food desert’ that resulted after the financial collapse of local supermarkets.

Partners: Fonds BKVB.
Peaches & Greens ook noemen?

Photo by Garrett MacLean

Cornucopia Kopie

Detroit, USA (2010)

This still life depicts 180 pieces of produce, sold in one day by initiative Peaches & Greens. Peaches & Greens is a Detroit based mobile produce stand helping residents who reside in the ‘food desert’ that resulted after the financial collapse of local supermarkets. After joining the initiative for a day we created this ‘infographic’ on Belle Isle as a tribute.

Partners: Fonds BKVB.
Peaches & Greens ook noemen?

Photo by Garrett MacLean

De Kapitein

European parliament, EU (2019)

Prior to the Brexit referendum, the Fishing For Leave campaign was created by UKIP to mobiles British fishers. De Kapitein flips the paradigm to enact how not only politicians – but also the people they represent – can deploy cultural rhetoric and symbols in the political arena. Europarliamentarian Annie Schreijer-Pierik, and Minister Carola Schouten (NL) both wore the golden earring we designed in collaboration with the Urker fishing community, during Brexit negotiations in Brussel. De Kapitein depicts ‘God’s rays’ – a meteorological phenomenon and a symbol of hope. This jewelery was realised as part of our overarching project De Tijden.

Partners: Visserij Coöperatie Urk, Juwelier Romkes, P.O. Urk & Urker fishers and friends. Supported bij BankGiro Loterij Fonds.

De Kapitein
Fishermen sketching at sea.
Debuting the Kapitein in Brussels.
Forging the earring.

Final Fantasy

Heerlen, NL (2013)

This park appeared empty almost all of the time, but it was full of dog sh**, a sign the park was actually being used. By layering multiple images captured from a camera we installed on an  adjacent rooftop, we could understand how long visitors spent in the park on average, and depict the actual density of the park population.  (We used existing surveillance notification signs from the municipality to legally capture these images .)

Sponsors: Stichting DOEN, Gemeente Heerlen & Fonds BKVB. Special thanks: residents of Vreiheide.

Flipside

Heerlen, NL (2013)

Group portraits contrasting two neighbourhoods next to each other, in Heerlen.

Sponsors: Stichting DOEN, Gemeente Heerlen & Fonds BKVB. Special thanks: residents of Vreiheide.

The ‘affluent’ neighbourhood
The ‘disadvantaged’ neighbourhood

Freedom

Heerlen, NL (2012)

During an audio-tour including anecdotes from residents in Vrieheide, Henk describes his beard as a symbol of freedom – and equates it to the freedom he experiences living in the neighbourhood. When describing Vrieheide he explains, ‘More freedom than here is unimaginable.’ Before the city council took part in our audio-tour, they rarely visited Vrieheide. When they did, they rode through the neighbourhood in darkened buses, and did not get out. After listening to the anecdotes during the tour, they started scheduling ‘kitchen table’ meetings with residents.

Partners: Stichting Doen, Gemeente Heerlen

Galvanize

Arti et Amicitiae, NL (2020)

Together with the Urker fishing community we transported an eight meter long puls-wing into the oldest artist’s society in Amsterdam. The installation illustrates the consequences of the struggle between propaganda and science surrounding the European puls debate – which resulted in the nullification of 168 strong Urker puls-fleet.

Partners: Visserij Coöperatie Urk, Klaas Jelle Koffeman, P.O. Urk & Urker fishers and friends. Sponsor: BankGiro Loterij Fonds, Agnes B. Installation at Arti et Amicitea for Museumnacht 2020.

Golden Rock

Sint Eustatius, BQ ()

Together with school children on Sint Eustatius (NL), we made a series of scale model landmarks as a proposed addition to theme park Madurodam. Following an island wide campaign, children voted for their favorite landmarks using the island’s official voting equipment and procedures. In this way, a new generation experienced how to participate in the electoral process. Madurodam reviewed the proposal and chose not to include it in the park.

Partners: Historical Museum Foundation Sint Eustatius, Bethel Methodist School, Governor de Graaff School, NuStar School, Lynch Plantation SDA School,  Golden Rock School Sponsors: Prins Bernhardfonds Caribisch Gebied, Bankgiro Loterij Fonds, Nustar Special thanks to Glenn Helberg, Erik Jutten, Francesco Guadeloupe

Islands in the Stream

Rotterdam, NL (2018)

After our proposal together with children from Sint Eustatius to add the former Dutch colonies to theme-park Madurodam was rejected, we didn’t quite know how to move on. As a means of research, we worked with the Bert Hellinger Institute to stage a family constellation – of The Kingdom of the Netherlands, at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

Partners: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Special thanks: Bert Hellinger Institute, Jan Jacob Stam, Erika Sprey and all participants.

Kwak!

Rotterdam, NL (2016)

The municipality of Rotterdam commissioned us to design a public campaign to warn people of the effects of overfeeding ducks. We wrote several humorous texts and broadcast these on infrastructure boards normally used for larger municipal projects. Our long term goal was to generate a storyline for the Donald Duck weekly magazine.

Sponsors: Municipality of Rotterdam, CBK Rotterdam. Partners: ducks.

Malatang

Beijing, CN (2019)

For Beijing Design Week, we were invited by The Embassy of The Netherlands in Beijing to present our work in a way that gave insight into our practice. We invited Mr. Gao, a traditional street-food vendor from the hútòng to prepare and serve traditional Chinese cuisine at the embassy – the first time this food had been prepared there since the embassy opened. Malatang soup is a simple concept, in which some thirty ingredients are offered, varying from mushrooms and tofu to fish and meat skewers, leafy vegetables and noodles.  Everyone gathers their ingredients in brightly coloured plastic baskets which are added to a large communal soup pot where the broth is already simmering for many hours.

Sponsors: Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie. Partners: Beijing Design Week, Dutch Design Week, The Embassy of The Netherlands in Beijing, Studio Julien McHardy and Mr. Gao.

Mining

Heerlen, NL (2013)

While working in Vrieheide (Heerlen) we became fascinated with piecing together the original interior of the modernist residencies designed by architect Peter Sigmond. This interior was now fragmented over the 837 houses – it had become something the neighborhood shared. We rang the doorbell at each house to inquire, ‘What is original here?’ By one house it was a doorbell, by another a piece of the floor.

Sponsors: Stichting DOEN, Gemeente Heerlen & Fonds BKVB. Special thanks: residents of Vreiheide.

Vrieheide circa 1966
Vrieheide 2013

Nature’s Bounty

Nanjing, CH (2014)

Nine days long our students produced as many artificial sakura (cherry blossoms) as possible. Students alternated between making, and researching the social, economic and political history of the blossom. At the end of the workshop, the students sold the blossoms on-line to buy one square meter of land from a farmer. This is rare, as almost all land is owned by the government. The workshop is inspired by ‘Christmas Village’ (Yiwu), where workers produce sixty percent of the world’s Christmas ornaments – though they have no cultural or emotional connection to these products, or to the countries to which they are exported. The workshop explored what happens when there is a cultural or emotional connection to what is being mass produced, and how the profit could be spent.

Partners: Nanjing University of the Arts, China Calling (Cola Zhang)

Numbering artificial cherry blossoms.
Mass producing sakura bij hand
Installation at the exhibition
Number of auctioned sakura blossoms

Nature’s Hobos

Europe, EU (2016)

We were invited to make a project on the Europe Endless Express, a 3-day festival on a night-train (and also the longest train in Europe.) We set-up a mobile labratory and used the train as a giant machine for collecting samples of nature that emigrate across European borders.

Partners: Europe Endless Express, and Wim Hendrikx.

Testing on Wim’s car
Lab in train compartment
Preparing slides
Slides on windows
Pollen forecasts

Nature’s Playlist

Worldwide, WW (2011)

We made a soundtrack including every song we could think of that mentions a natural phenomenon, including themes and tracks for each day of the week (except Monday.)

Partners: Fotodok, and Femke Lutgerink.

Okina Kutsu

Tokyo, JP (2013)

In Tokyo, the businessmen, the geisha girls and the fashion commandos all wear big shoes. A big shoe is usually worn three sizes too big, with extra inches between the heel, and the backside of the shoe. Passersby are confronted with documentary imagery of blown-up big shoes.

 

Still City Tokyo, Daniel, Still City Toyko publication (image)

Jessica projecting images of big shoes in public space.
More projections
In the business district.
Man in metro wearing big shoes.

Podzemka

Sint Petersburg, RU (2020)

Podzemka is Russian for ‘underground’ – and was performed in the subways of Sint Petersburg. For the NL-RU exchange year we were asked to make a work in public space; but Putin introduced legislation forbidding group manifestiations the public realm. To test the boundaries of this new ordnance, we dresssed like the Russian women we admired and entered the subway together carrying large houseplants. Eventually, we were noticed by undercover agents.

Sponsors: The Kingdom of the Netherlands, exchange year.
Project partners: Cascoland

Russian girl

Silver Darlings

Scotland, UK (2019)

In the final weeks leading up to the (first) Brexit deadline we travelled up and down the Scottish coast to meet with local fishing communities, to listen to the other side. Largely due to longstanding frustrations about territorial water rights, and a contentious quota system, they overwhelmingly voted to leave the European Union. In conversation with them, we tried to understand the impact Brexit could have on their industry.

Partners: BankGiro Loterij Fonds.

Research in Scottish fishing villages
Fish Auction Peterhead
EU supported wall

Spuiten of Hakken

Nijmegen, NL (2013)

Time changes perception. What we choose to value correlates with the context it exists in. ‘Spuiten of Hakken’ reminds Nijmegen of its own history and its layered relationship with this history. Fleeting graffiti tags – utterances of our time – are paired with Roman stone carving, in preparation to enter the future. Layering these two different kinds of craftsmanship – the spray can and the chisel – dares the passerby to ponder on the meaning of the pieces, and more importantly, the essence of what is worth preserving.

Partners: Besiendershuis Nijmegen,  Familie Van Luijn. Sponsors: Gemeente Nijmegen, Nijmeegs Ontwerp Platform.

Master carver Gerard van Luijn
Hacking
‘Hoi’ at Doornroosje

Sterk Water

Texel, NL (2018)

We sold ‘strong water’ sourced from a historical bron on the island Texel to local beachgoers and in the souvenir shop. Our self-designed and bottled product is used to start conversations about how colonial symbols are still implemented to market the island’s identity.

The Still Life of Hot Memes

Beijing, CN (2018)

The Dutch Embassy in Beijing invited us to make work celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). While working together with local LGBTIAHQ+ activists we became interested in how digitally coded language (emojis) are often used in China to subversively talk about forbidden subjects. We extracted a lily, a peach, and a mirror from the digital realm and transformed them into a living still life. The still life was displayed as a table-top centerpiece at the embassy during discussions and meetings.

Still life with lily, peach and mirror
Arranging
Poster outside the NL embassy with giant QR codes to download the app

Thirty Meters

Amsterdam, NL (2011)

A 30-meter long underpass below the A10 highway connects the Kolenkit neighbourhood to the Amsterdam city center. When the municipality threatened to close the tunnel, we made a visualisation of pedestrian traffic in the tunnel, to show how busy, and important this route is for the community.

We charted the traffic flow on a Saturday, from morning until night. Three tones of green pencils (morning, noon, night) mark outgoing traffic, and three tones of red pencils mark ingoing traffic. People using the tunnel drew one continuous 30 meter line while walking either in, or out. The drawing stopped when the pencils ran out.

Thanks to Stadsdeel West – Gemeente Amsterdam.

Van Zwart naar Groen

Heerlen, NL (2013)

‘The situation is so bad here, there are even trees even growing on the roof.’ – Municipality Heerlen. This installation on the rooftop of a modernist housing block in Vrieheide is an ode to nature, and comment on the political operation of the same name designed to transform industrial mining territory to public green. We worked together with local residents to light up these trees at night in celebration of uncontrollable developments in the face of a lack of oversight from the municipality.

Sponsors: Stichting DOEN, Gemeente Heerlen & Fonds BKVB. Special thanks: residents of Vreiheide.

Heerlen coal
Van Zwart naar Groen in the evening.
Modernist Vrieheide, architect Peter Sigmond.
Residents watching the installation.

Waar is Willemstad?

Willemstad, CUW (2016)

During archival research for our  proposal to add the former Dutch colonies to theme-park Madurodam we discovered one used to be there: Willemstad. Our journey to find this lost model took us from the inner chambers of The Hague to a living room on Curaçao. Our odyssey is detailed in the podcast ‘Where is Willemstad?’ The Willemstad model can be visited at the National Archaeological Anthropological Memory Management, Curaçao.

Sponsored by: Ministerie voor Buitenlandse Zaken, Ministerie voor Binnenlandse Zaken, Stichting DOEN. Partners: Jesper Buursink, Alexi Myslitsi, National Archaeological Anthropological Memory Management (CW), VPRO. Thanks to: Ena Dankmeijer, Wim ter Hart, Henry van der Kwast, Maduro Archive (CW), Doy Salsbach, Family Sinot, Nos Lanterna.

Archival photo of part of the model
Madurodam song, Doy Salsbach
Queen Juliana opens Williamstad in Madurodam
The moment we found the model
Interviewing Ena Dankmeijer, relative of George Maduro
Model piece
Maduro archive (CW)
Residents from care facility Nos Lanterna recreate the model for us