2_4_DiscoverBenelux_13_Januar_2014_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 17/12/2014 15:24 Page 66
Discover Benelux | Culture | Columns
S TAT E S O F A R T
Deciphering reality and the virtual world TEXT: MATT ANTONIAK | PHOTOS: TONY OURSLER
Video art is perhaps the most alienating of all arts. Maybe that is because when it is done badly it can look little more than a school kid playing around with his new camera like a toy. However, when done with a little more thought, video art can tap into and tackle things that other art forms cannot. Tony Oursler is a vanguard of contemporary video, and in this site-specific exhibition, I/O Underflow at the Oude Kerk he has used video to tackle the complex and increasingly important issue of how we differentiate between our virtual world and reality. As the Internet takes an ever-firmer grasp over our lives, we spend more hours every day staring at a screen. We consume endless photos, digital imagery and visuals in the digital sphere and then have to be able to instantly switch back to the real world.
The Oude Kerk provides the perfect setting to visualise this idea. Oursler’s videos are projected onto the architecture, carvings and stained glass of the old church creating a beautiful juxtaposition between the two. The outcome is to put the viewer through a metaphorical Turing test; having to constantly decipher and flick between what is real and what is machine. This is the first time Oursler has exhibited in the Netherlands in over 15 years, and alongside this commission, Oursler also projects his works onto the façade of the Stedelijk Museum, as well as onto the outside of the Oude Kerk itself, as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival which runs until 18 January. I/O Underflow by Tony Oursler at the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam is on until 29 March.
The solution to New Year’s resolutions TEXT & PHOTO: ANOUK KALMES
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t ever made resolutions for the New Year; the most common ones are related to going on a diet, starting a gym routine and quitting smoking. The inspiration for making positive changes to our lives usually arises in the last quarter of the year. That’s when we start saying, “on 1 January, I will start a diet and I am determined to lose x number of kilos.” With this target date in mind, we spend the remaining days of the old year indulging in our perceived vices. When 1 January arrives, our determination to resist the piece of chocolate is at its strongest. We have now switched to e-cigarettes or we have even gone cold turkey. And we can’t wait for 2 January when the gym opens and we can submit our membership application.
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and there is too much stress in our lives. And when we approach the end of the year, we go back into resolutions mode and make great plans for the next New Year that again we won’t follow through.
I would guess that we manage to maintain this new virtuous life for a couple of weeks up to a month. But before we know it, our old habits have taken over again and we give in to food temptations, we have started skipping gym workouts and we are back to chain smoking. We explain our failure to maintain our resolutions by telling ourselves and others that we have no time
My solution to this is simply not to make any New Year’s resolutions. When you are serious about making changes in your life, you should not wait until 1 January to execute them. There is only ever one best time to take action: it’s now; neither in the past, nor in the future. If you can give it up now, in this very moment, the chances are that it will be a lasting change and that you have succeeded in breaking the cycle. Read more about Anouk’s life and travels on her lifestyle blog www.luxessed.com
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