Updated: Aug 8, 2020
These strange times continue, however my daily beach walk keeps giving. Since the pandemic fear started a great deal of international sea transport faltered, the cruise industry in particular came to an abrupt halt. This has led to a string of 10 to 30 parked ships in avoidance of port fees just off the coast. In my mind-wanderings some keywords start to occur, words like stranded, halted, isolation and also, blocked and out of reach. It reminded me of a short film by the Dutch visual artist Jeroen Eizinga Canoe (Red) - 1993. In this 3 minutes one shot Super-8 film nothing really happens, except for the moment when the artist turns his head to look backwards. The canoe got somehow stuck in a shallow ditch. The scene defies all notion of mobility in contrast with the red arrow shape of the canoe that seems to embody speed in it's essence. All that is actually moving is the physical film with the specs and dust. Space becomes time, only broken by Jeroen's backwards gaze. His gesture transforms into a moment of reflection. Beautiful detail is the fact that the canoe was made by Jeroen's father who ownes a fiberglass boat factory.
After my efforts to build the Reality Machine, the George Floyd musings, combined with the grim reality of more invasive measures to combat the supposedly deadly virus, the pathetic attempts to normalize the restrictions, it all made me feel sort of burned out. I better forget it for a while, isolate myself more complete and think of the ships majestically swaying on their anchor at the horizon. At that point the chaos theory kicks in, complex dynamical systems like the beach with it's flood mark and it's mud flats at low tide, exhibit unpredictable behaviors. The weather the tides, small variances in the conditions, my mood the things to observe, drift wood, drift wood?
During beach combing I found an almost perfect scale model of a freight-ship. All I needed to do was cramp it into a frame that I had - strangely fitting as if it was made for the job - add some details and dig up the fascinating miniature propeller from my collection. A bright new line of thought opened up, I should figure out how I could insert a mechanism to make the propeller spin. Three things I like especially, the coloration is complementary to Eisinga's canoe, the propeller suggests movement that seems impossible in this small frame and last but not least the massive hull could metaphorically contain whole worlds, like a modern ark of Noah. If things work out I have yet another machine in the making.