Archive for the ‘2010 Amsterdam’ Category

Amsterdam Spiral visible in Google Earth

June 12, 2012

Only today we found out that the Spiral we did in Amsterdam on Frederiksplein in 2010 is visible in Google Earth. It is a remarkable coincidence, as the drawing must have been visible for tree days only.


This is the second of our performances that unintentionally was documented by Google, see also <AbstractView>; so much for temporary artworks in times of the ubiquitous camera eye.


Noortje Marres log 3-3: After

September 21, 2010

But to return to the prints – one thing I liked about them, was when people visited and recognized them from the video recording of the Spiral Drawing Sunrise event in Amsterdam, which I showed a couple of times during lectures. In these talks, I drew on the experiment to make a particular argument, presenting it as a particular kind of device of “environmental participation”. What interested me there was  the way in which the robot cart making its recording of the sunrise enacted the environment in a particular way: it turned the square, the passing bank employees, the rising sun and so on into a happening place. Making its circles, the robot cart amplified all the movements making up the setting, rendering this location in and as movement. In doing so, Spiral Drawing Sunrise suggested a very different way (more…)

Noortje Marres log 2: After

September 21, 2010

Also, while the prints where still here, a sunflower arrived on the windowsill of our living room: one we had not planted, but just started to grow there one day. It was a funny coincidence, as in trying to think and write about Spiral Drawing Sunrise, I had read about a sunflower clock: a 17th century device developed by the Anthanasius Kircher, which relied on a turning sunflower – which followed the sun – to indicate the time (Hankins & Silverman, 1995).  There are many connections with spiral drawing sunrise: it is another sun-centred device that does clock-work, and in this way, gives us a way of doing clock time with a natural setting, rather than requiring disconnection from it. Anyway, I initially did not make these connections between sunflower and sunflower clock and prints: – as we had not planted it, we did not know (more…)

Noortje Marres Log 3-1: After

September 21, 2010

We had the prints of the Frederiksplein Spiral Drawing Sunrise hanging on the wall in our living room in London for about a year. Now they are gone, as I brought them back to Amsterdam on the Eurostar. Actually they have been gone for a while, but I have been putting off writing up my experience of them, as I had promised Esther I would. I was busy, of course, but possibly too because writing things up would mean the end of the experiment, and that is what I wanted to put off. But there is this question to answer: How was it to live with these prints for a year, did they produce or in any way enable the effect that Esther and I speculated they might, namely to “transport the Amsterdam sunrise to my London home”?

To be honest, it was probably less the location where we conducted the drawing exercise, – the Frederiksplein -, than the device of the spiral drawing sunrise itself, the solar (more…)

Noortje Marres Log 2-3: During

May 23, 2009

What’s on record


One question that I am still unclear about it is how much of this place, the Frederiksplein, is actually captured by the records that the spiral drawing sunrise exercise eventually produces. On the one hand, the list of things that are in some sense “site-specific” and have influenced the course of the robot cart is quite long. To begin with, the intensity of the sunlight actually makes a difference. Esther brought a lightmeter and it is clear that an equatorial or winter sunrise would produce very different levels of light intensity, and thus a different pattern. (more…)

Noortje Marres Log 2-2: During

May 23, 2009

How long does a sunrise last

Besides indifference, the spiral drawing sunrise exercise also has other effects, puts other things into relief. Obviously, it plays with time. As I mentioned, the robot car started out really quite slowly, with long pauses between small movements. Eventually it speeds up, needing less time to charge its capacitor and driving further faster. It occurs to me: I never thought of a sunrise in this way. A movement from the ‘slower’ light of a low sun to the the ‘faster’ light of a higher one. Could we think of this ‘speeding up’ effect as the signature of a sunrise?  (more…)

Noortje Marres Log 2-1: During

May 23, 2009

Grades of indifference


Especially early on, when it’s still cold and the robot car is barely moving, passers-by seem mostly indifferent to what we are doing. People come by on bicycles, walking dogs, or carrying briefcases (employees of the Dutch national bank, located on the other side of the square?) Some don’t even look in our direction, and most keep a steady pace, all very ‘early Monday morning,’ to my eyes. I think: Who in their right mind decides to do an art project at such a time? But of course it is part of the point – I am sure Esther P. has thought about it. (more…)

Frederiksplein Video

May 22, 2009

The finalized piece

April 6, 2009