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Viva davidoff issue#2 talking about towers and many stuffs

This is the 2nd issue of Viva Davidoff, est. 2007, published… twice. Hum… Sorry. Pictures & lay out : Jean-Bernard Libert Contents : Ricky Pedia to Albert Litvinoff…

Happiness is in the move. More images about buildings and food Life on the Passenger Seat > Page 4 United Colors > Page 6 The Coast Is Always Changing > Page 9 Here Come the Warm Jets > Page 10 Look Left / Look Right > Page 12 King of the Road > Page 14 Building for Art > Page 20 The Art of Signposting > Page 24 Shake Me, Skyscraper > Page 26 A Very Long Sailing Trip > Page 28 Take Me Home > Page 32 Everything Ends > Page 34

Great Belt Bridge, Denmark Cover : Stirling, Scotland Back cover : Cushatrower, Ireland

Page 4

Life on the passenger seat

The Sound, Denmark / Sweden Brussels South Airport, Belgium

Somewhere over England Malmö, Sweden

A travel journal, is a record made by a voyager. Generally in diary form, a travel journal contains descriptions of the traveler’s experiences, is normally written during the course of the journey, and may or may not be intended for publishing. Travel writing is a long-established literary format ; an early example is the writing of Pausanias (2nd century AD) who produced his Description of Greece based on his own observations. Another more recent example is Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries. Travel journals generally refer to the notes made by travellers en route, before being worked up in detail for publication. James Boswell published his The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides in 1786 and Goethe published his Italian Journey, based on diaries, in 1816.

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United Colors

The usage of flags spread from India and China, where they were almost certainly invented, to neighboring Burma, Siam, and southeastern Asia. In antiquity, field signs or standards were used in warfare that can be categorized as vexilloid or “flag-like”. Examples include the Achaemenid battle standard Derafsh Kaviani, and the standards of the Roman legions such as the eagle of Augustus Caesar’s Xth legion, or the dragon standard of the Sarmatians ; the latter was let fly freely in the wind, carried by a horseman, but judging from depictions it was more similar to an elongated dragon kite than to a simple flag. During the High Middle Ages flags came to be used primarily as a heraldic device in battle, allowing more easily to identify a knight than only from the heraldic device painted on the shield. Already during the high medieval period, and increasingly during the Late Middle Ages, city states and communes such as those of the Old Swiss Confederacy also began to use flags as field signs. Regimental flags for individual units became commonplace during the Early Modern period. During the peak of the age of sail, beginning in the early 17th century, it has been customary (and later a legal requirement) for ships to carry flags designating their nationality ; these flags eventually evolved into the national flags and maritime flags of today. Flags also became the preferred means of communications at sea, resulting in various systems of flag signals. Use of flags outside of military or naval context begins only with the rise of nationalist sentiment by the end of the 18th century ; the earliest national flags date to that period, and during the 19th century it became common for every sovereign state to introduce a national flag.

Drumnadrochit, Scotland

De Haan, Belgium Edinburgh, Scotland Anonymous highway, Belgium

The Sound, Denmark / Sweden

Page 9

the coast is always changing The profession of the ferryman is embodied in Greek mythology in Charon, the boatman of Hades who transported souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years. In the catabasis mytheme, heroes – such as Heracles, Orpheus, Aeneas, Dionysus and Psyche – journey to the underworld and return, still alive, conveyed by the boat of Charon. Etymology of name The name Charon is most often explained as a proper noun from χάρων (charon), a poetic form of χαρωπός (charopós), “of keen gaze”, referring either to fierce, flashing, or feverish eyes, or to eyes of a bluish-gray color. The word may be a euphemism for death. Flashing eyes may indicate the anger or irascibility of Charon as he is often characterized in literature, but the etymology is not certain. The ancient historian Diodorus Siculus thought that the ferryman and his name had been imported from Egypt. Appearance and demeanor Charon is depicted frequently in the art of ancient Greece. Attic funerary vases of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. are often decorated with scenes of the dead boarding Charon’s boat. On the earlier such vases, he looks like a rough, unkempt Athenian seaman dressed in reddish-brown, holding his ferryman’s pole in his right hand and using his left hand to receive the deceased. Hermes sometimes stands by in his role as psychopomp. On later vases, Charon is given a more “kindly and refined” demeanor. Aristophanes, in The Frogs, had him spewing insults regarding people’s girth. In the 1st century B.C., the Roman poet Virgil describes Charon in the course of Aeneas’s

descent to the underworld (Aeneid, Book 6), after the Cumaean Sibyl has directed the hero to the golden bough that will allow him to return to the world of the living . Other Latin authors also describe Charon, among them Seneca in his tragedy Hercules Furens, where Charon is described in verses 762-777 as an old man clad in foul garb, with haggard cheeks and an unkempt beard, a fierce ferryman who guides his craft with a long pole. When the boatman tells Hercules to halt, the Greek hero uses his strength to gain passage, overpowering Charon with the boatman’s own pole. In the second century, Lucian employed Charon as a figure in his Dialogues of the Dead, most notably in Parts 4 and 10 (“Hermes and Charon” and “Charon and Hermes”). In the fourteenth century, Dante Alighieri described Charon in his Divine Comedy, drawing from Virgil’s depiction in Aeneid 6. Charon is the first named mythological character Dante meets in the underworld, in the third canto of Inferno. Elsewhere, Charon appears as a cranky, skinny old man or as a winged demon wielding a double hammer, although Michelangelo’s interpre-

tation, influenced by Dante’s depiction in Inferno, canto 3, shows him with an oar over his shoulder, ready to beat those who delay (“batte col remo qualunque s’adagia”, Inferno 3, verse 111). In modern times, he is commonly depicted as a living skeleton in a cowl, much like the Grim Reaper or Dickens’s Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Underworld geography Most accounts, including Pausanias (10.28) and later Dante’s Inferno (3.78), associate Charon with the swamps of the river Acheron. Ancient Greek literary sources – such as Pindar, Aeschylus, Euripides, Plato, and Callimachus – also place Charon on the Acheron. Roman poets, including Propertius, Ovid, and Statius, name the river as the Styx, perhaps following the geography of Virgil’s underworld in the Aeneid, where Charon is associated with both rivers. In astronomy The dwarf planet Pluto’s largest moon is named Charon, and while not directly named after this figure, it did influence the choice.

Page 10

Here come the warm jets What about chemtrails ? The chemtrail conspiracy theory holds that some contrails are actually chemicals or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for a purpose undisclosed to the general public. Versions of the chemtrail conspiracy theory circulating on the internet and radio talk shows theorize that the activity is directed by government officials. As a result, federal agencies have received thousands of complaints from people who have demanded an explanation. The existence of chemtrails has been repeatedly denied by government agencies and scientists around the world. The United States Air Force has stated that the theory is a hoax which “has been investigated and refuted by many established and accredited universities, scientific organizations, and major media publications”. The British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has stated that chemtrails “are not scientifically recognised phenomena”. The Canadian Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has stated that “The term ‘chemtrails’ is a popularized expression, and there is no scientific evidence to support their existence.” The term chemtrail is derived from “chemical trail” in the similar fashion that contrail is an abbreviation for condensation trail. It does not refer to common forms of aerial spraying such as crop dusting, cloud seeding or aerial firefighting. The term specifically refers to aerial trails allegedly caused by the systematic high-altitude release of chemical substances not found in ordinary contrails, resulting in the appearance of supposedly uncharacteristic sky tracks. Believers of this theory speculate that the purpose of the chemical release may be for global dimming, population control, weather control, or biowarfare and claim that these trails are causing respiratory illnesses and other health problems. The chemtrail conspiracy theory began to circulate in 1996 when the United States Air

Force (USAF) was accused of “spraying the US population with mysterious substances” from aircraft “generating unusual contrail patterns”. The Air Force says these accusations were a hoax fueled in part by citations to a strategy paper drafted within the Air Force’s Air University entitled Weather as a Force Multiplier : Owning the Weather in 2025. The paper was presented in response to a military directive to outline a future strategic weather modification system for the purpose of maintaining the United States’ military dominance in the year 2025, and identified as “fictional representations of future situations/scenarios”. The Air Force further clarified the paper “does not reflect current military policy, practice, or capability”, and that it is “not conducting any weather modification experiments or programs and has no plans to do so in the future.” Proponents of the chemtrail theory say that chemtrails can be distinguished from contrails by their long duration, asserting that the chemtrails are those skytracks that persist for as much as a half day or transform into cirrus-like clouds. However, some contrails are visible for several hours according to Contrails facts, a USAF publication. Air Force officials say that long lasting contrails result from certain atmospheric conditions, and their duration and rate of dissipation can be accurately predicted when humidity level and temperature are known.

Luxembourg City Somewhere on the highway, Belgium


Page 12

look left / look right

In 1998, archaeologists found a well-preserved track leading to a Roman quarry near Swindon, England. The grooves in the road on the left side were much deeper than those on the right side. These grooves suggest that the Romans drove on the left, at least in this particular location, since carts would exit the quarry heavily loaded, and enter it empty.

Black Head, Ireland

Some historians believed that ancient travellers on horseback generally rode on the left side of the road. As more people are righthanded, a horseman would thus be able to hold the reins with his left hand and keep his right hand free – to offer in friendship to passing riders or to defend himself with a sword, if necessary. The first legal reference in Britain to an order for traffic to remain on the left was in 1756 with regard to London Bridge. The Highway Act 1773 contained a recommendation that horse traffic should remain on the left and this is enshrined in the Highway Act 1835. In the late 1700s, the shift from left to right that took place in countries such as the United States was based on teamsters’ use of large freight wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. The wagons had no driver’s seat, so a postilion sat on the left rear horse and

Changing to right-hand traffic Over the course of the 20th century, there was a gradual worldwide shift from driving on the left to the right. Portugal changed to righthand traffic in 1928, and the parts of Canada which were still driving on the left changed over by 1923 (although Newfoundland was not part of Canada until 1949, and its motorists drove on the left until 1947). The remainder of Italy changed over in the 1920s after Benito Mussolini came to power ; Austria and Czechoslovakia changed when Germany annexed or occupied them in late 1930s, and Hungary followed suit. In Austria the build-up of new traffic lights and rebuilding of tram tracks was started before the annexation. The Latin American countries of Panama and Argentina changed in 1943 and 1945 respectively, and the Philippines and China followed suit in 1945 and 1946 respectively. Belize changed to right-hand traffic in 1961. Sweden changed in 1967 and Iceland did as well in 1968. Burma changed, allegedly on the advice of a wizard, in 1970. Taiwan drove on the left under Japanese rule, but changed to driving on the right in 1946 after the government of the Republic of China assumed administration ; the same happened in North and South Korea, another former Japanese colony. However, some trains in Taiwan and Seoul still keep to the left.

Countries that became part of the British Empire adopted the British keep-left rule, although some have since changed. In Canada, the Maritime provinces and British Columbia initially drove on the left, but changed to the right to make border crossings to and from other provinces easier. Nova Scotia switched to driving on the right on 15 April 1923. There is a popular story that Napoleon changed the rule of the road in the European countries he conquered from keep-left to keep-right. Some justifications are symbolic, such as that Napoleon himself was left- (or right-) handed, or that Britain, Napoleon’s enemy, kept left. Alternatively, troops passing on the left may have been tempted to raise their right fists against each other. Forcing them to pass on the right reduced conflict. Hence, island nations such as Britain and Japan (using ships to move troops around and having less need to move them overland) continued to drive on the left. These stories have never been shown to have a factual basis and appear to be legends. held his whip in his right hand. Seated on the left, the driver preferred that other wagons pass him on the left so that he could be sure to keep clear of the wheels of oncoming wagons. He did that by driving on the right side of the road.

The most common reason for countries to switch to right-hand traffic is for conformity with neighbours, as it increases the safety of cross-border traffic. For example, several former British colonies in Africa, such as The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Ghana, have changed from driving on the left to the right, because they all share extensive borders with former French colonies, which drive on the right. The former Portuguese colony of Mozambique continues to drive on the left, which is a legacy of its Portuguese past; even though Portugal itself changed over in the 1920s. However, Mozambique continues to drive on the left because all its bordering countries do so. Decisions by countries to drive on the right typically centre on regional uniformity. There are historical exceptions, such as postilion riders in France, but such historical advantages do not apply to modern road vehicles.

Hamburg, Germany Aviemore, Scotland

Page 14 King of the Road

Copenhagen, Denmark

The first recorded road trip was attested in stele in the court of Ramses II. He was said to “come down on the Medeans in his chariot after driving allnight from Memphis. ” Road trips were important throughout antiquity. Alexander’s march into India was described by the historian Nearchus. During the Roman Republic, it was not uncommon for young patrician men to gather together to tour the Roman world. Young European men of means would often go on a grand tour during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Although the modern road trip can trace its roots to post-WWII America, road tripping in general began long before The Great War.

the captain is out to lunch and the sailors have taken over the ship

D端sseldorf, Germany


Edinburgh, Scotland

Page 21 Building for art

Aarhus, Denmark

The architectural form of the art gallery was established by Sir John Soane with his design for the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 1817. This established the gallery as a series of interconnected rooms with largely uninterrupted wall spaces for hanging pictures and indirect lighting from skylights or roof lanterns. The late 19th century saw a boom in the building of public art galleries in Europe and America, becoming an essential cultural feature of larger cities. More art galleries rose up alongside museums and public libraries as part of the municipal drive for literacy and public education. In the middle and late 20th century earlier architecural styles employed for art museums (such as the Beaux-Arts style of the

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City or the Gothic and Renaissance Revival architecture of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum) were increasingly replaced with more modern styles, such as Deconstructivism. Examples of this trend include the Guggenheim Museum in New York City by Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Mario Botta’s redesign of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Some critics argue that these galleries are self-defeating, in that their dramatic interior spaces distract the eye from the paintings they are supposed to exhibit.

Arlon, Belgium Edinburgh, Scotland

The DOT pictograms are a set of fifty pictograms used to convey information useful to travelers without using words. Such images are useful in airports, train stations, hotels, and other public places for foreign tourists, as well as being easier to identify than strings of text. Among these pictograms are the now-familiar graphics representing toilets and telephones. As a result of this near-universal acceptance, some describe them as the “Helvetica”

Page 24

The art of signposting

of pictograms, and the character portrayed within them as Helvetica Man (Lupton). As works of the United States government, the images are in the public domain and thus can be used by anyone for any purpose, without licensing issues. These ones are not DOT pictograms.











1/ Homemade is better. Copenhagen, Denmark 2/ No ounk babies please. Aarhus, Denmark 3/ S kull and crossbones. Hamburg, Germany 4/ L ong jump. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland 5/ Has anyone tried it yet ? Brussels South Airport, Belgium 6/ B e a happy family ! Helsingborg, Sweden 7/ N  o Converse shoes. Arhus, Denmark 8/ N  o jetpacks. Louisiana Museum, Denmark 9/ D  ude. Cambron-Casteau, Belgium 10/ Simple. Kinvara, Ireland


Malmรถ, Sweden

Page 27

Shake me, shake me, skyscraper

Deconstructivism in architecture, also called deconstruction, is a development of postmodern architecture that began in the late 1980s. It is characterized by ideas of fragmentation, an interest in manipulating ideas of a structure’s surface or skin, nonrectilinear shapes which serve to distort and dislocate some of the elements of architecture, such as structure and envelope. The finished visual appearance of buildings that exhibit the many deconstructivist “styles” is characterized by a stimulating unpredictability and a controlled chaos. Important events in the history of the deconstructivist movement include the 1982 Parc de la Villette architectural design competition (especially the entry from Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman and Bernard Tschumi’s winning entry), the Museum of Modern Art’s

1988 Deconstructivist Architecture exhibition in New York, organized by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley, and the 1989 opening of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, designed by Peter Eisenman. The New York exhibition featured works by Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and Bernard Tschumi. Since the exhibition, many of the architects who were associated with Deconstructivism have distanced themselves from the term. Nonetheless, the term has stuck and has now, in fact, come to embrace a general trend within contemporary architecture.

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A very long sailing trip The story of Bas Jan Ader, a man in search of the miraculous

Bas Jan Ader was born in 1942 in Winschoten, Holland. During his adolescence he took several art classes both at the Rietveld Academy in Holland, and during a studyabroad program based in the United States. Upon his return from the US, Ader briefly worked on a farm before traveling to Spain and Morocco. Once in Morocco, he joined an Englishman’s ship crew which took voyage to the United States. After eleven months at sea, Ader established his new home in California. His intense interest and exploration of art continued to develop as he resumed taking art classes. He received his BFA from the Otis Art College in 1965, and his MFA in 1967 from the Claremont Graduate School. After graduating, he continued his education in philosophy, a discourse which is deeply embedded in his works. He also began to teach at a variety of institutions including, Mount San Antonio College, Immaculate Heart College, and the University of California, Irvine. In 1975, Ader met his death during the second part of a triptych project entitled, In Search of the Miraculous.

Ader was lost at sea while attempting a single-handed west-east crossing of the Atlantic in a 13 ft pocket cruiser, a modified Guppy 13 named “Ocean Wave”. The passage was part of an art performance titled In Search of the Miraculous. Radio contact broke off three weeks into the voyage, and Ader was presumed lost at sea. The boat was found after 10 months, floating partially submerged 150 miles West-Southwest of the coast of Ireland. His body was never found. The boat, after being recovered by the Spanish fishing vessel that found it, was taken to Coruña. The boat was later stolen. Although Ader’s artistic career was extremely short, its poignancy has echoed from the time of his death and steadily increased in contemporary discussions of conceptual art and California artists. Essential to Ader’s work is the issue of subjectivity. In the 1960’s, Conceptual artists had renounced the sensual aspect of art for the conceptual ; shifting art practices from objects to text and documentation. In direct opposition, Performance and Body art of the early 1970’s embraced the body as the medium of art. A shift again occurred to emphasize the centrality of experience, identity, and subjectivity. It is between these two movements that Ader’s works seem to lie. His works systematically document events, and thereby release him from the artist’s “gesture,” while paradoxically he uses his own body as the object of his study. In the piece entitled, In Search of the Miraculous (One Night in Los Angeles), 1973, Ader’s underline’s this ambivalence ; it is both a performance and a documentation. Ader began his piece at sunset as he journeyed across the suburban landscape of Los Angeles by foot. He traveled from the inland area out unto the ocean where the end of his trip was marked by the rising sun. All that remains of this performance is eighteen black and white photographs taken of Ader throughout

this late night expedition. On each of the photographs, text of the popular song “Searchin’” is, ironically, written across the image in white letters. Contemporary to this work was the rise of a new genre of photography that attempted to capture the changing landscape of the United States. Later established as the “New Topographics,” artists from this movement defied the romantic representation of the landscape by their predecessors. A pristine countryside was no longer the image of one’s everyday experience, instead suburbs, freeways, and parking lots were the familiar environment; particularly, in California. In the tradition of documentary photography, “New Topographic” artists exposed the new surroundings through their (much debated) objective photography. Their emphasis on the landscape, interestingly implicates the individual due to its manmade quality, however, in most images the body itself is completely devoid. In contrast, Ader’s work reinserts the body, his body, into the landscape. In One Night in Los Angeles, Ader poignantly suggests both the effects of man onto the landscape, while simultaneously relating the experiential quality of the landscape to man.

The Sound, Denmark / Sweden

The word paradigm refers to a dynamic field or “world” of concepts – such that it represents a union between intelligent inquiry and some particular kind of world view. The term has been used in linguistics and science to describe distinct concepts.

Somewhere over Scotland

Page 32

take me home

Horsens, Denmark

During the last 30 years archaeological research has shown the earliest sedentism started before one began with on-site agriculture and cattle breeding, and most researchers now believe that sedentism was a prerequisite for the first agriculture to occur. Sedentism, both without agriculture and with this economy, usually meant more people, sturdier houses, new stone tools, more jewelry, burials or cemeteries, more long-distance goods and also clear signs of stratification. At sedentary sites usually more people lived together for a longer time compared to earlier base camp sites or annual gathering sites. This created deeper cultural layers and thus generally richer archaeological materials. There are also indications that the use of rock art is connected to sedentism, both pre-agricultural and agricultural forms. Sedentism increased contacts and trade,

and the first Middle East cereals and cattle in Europe, could have spread through a stepping stone process, where the productive gift (the cereals, cattle, sheep and goat) was exchanged through a network of large pre-agricultural sedentary sites, rather than a wave of advance spread of people with agricultural economy, and where the smaller sites found in between the bigger sedentary ones, did not get any of the new products. Not all contemporary sites during a certain period (after the first sedentism occurred at one site) were sedentary. Evaluation of habitational sites in northern Sweden indicates that less than 10 percent of all the sites around 4000 BC, were sedentary. At the same time, only 0.5-1 percent of these represented villages with more than 3-4 houses. This means that the old nomadic or migratory life style continued in a parallel fashion for several

thousand years, until somewhat more sites turned to sedentism, and gradually switched over to agricultural sedentism. The shift to sedentism is coupled with the adoption of new subsistence strategies, specifically from foraging (hunter-gatherer) to agricultural and animal domestication. The development of sedentism led to the rise of population aggregation and formation of villages, cities, and other community types. In North America, evidence for sedentism emerges around 4500 BC.[citation needed] Forced sedentism or sedentarization occurs when a dominant group restricts the movements of a nomadic group. Nomadic populations have undergone such a process since the first cultivation of land; the organization of the modern society have imposed demands that have pushed aboriginal populations to adopt a fixed habitat.

Page 34

Everything ends

Lund, Sweden Aarhus, Denmark Luxembourg Antwerp, Belgium

Š Jean-Bernard Libert 2010

Viva Davidoff #2