Lightboxes

Projection Tests

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I’ve been doing some projection tests in order to figure out what’s possible for my thesis show. Here are a few of the more interesting pictures.

Below are giant projections of my studio space.

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Work in Progress….

I’ve been taking a lot of photographs as I’ve been working in the studio lately, and thought I’d share a few.  That’s about all I have time for at this point in my MFA.  (Hopefully sometime I’ll be able to give this site a little more of the attention it needs.)

This piece is getting really close to being finished.  And, wow, realizing how much my work has changed.

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Returned from Europe!

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Returned!  Very happy to be home and back in the studio!

I returned from Europe one week ago, Friday the 10th.  Soon happy to be home, although Europe was wonderful!  I visited as many places as I could – Cologne, Barcelona, Vienna, Amsterdam, Venice, Brussels, London and Paris. Phew!

I saw lots of things- the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Manneken Pis, Park Guell, Cologne’s cathedral, etc, etc. and lots of art!  Lots of historical art in the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Tate Modern, Mumok, the Albertine, etc, etc, etc.  Marianne and I went to the Venice Biennale (which was awesome!)  I saw the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, shows of Joseph Cornell and Henry Darger, Tracey Emin, Egon Shiele, and many more interesting exhibitions.  I visited my family in the Netherlands, and an old friend in London.

It was a lovely trip.  Some highlights:

Beef Carpacho. Yum!
Beef Carpacho. Yum!
Casa Battlo
Casa Battlo
Crypt
Crypt
Crypt in Vienna
Crypt in Vienna
Venice
Venice
Ventian Laundry
Venetian Laundry
Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
Rusty metal/ Belgian Chocolate
Rusty metal/ Belgian Chocolate
Belgian chocolates
Belgian chocolates
Me and Latifa
Me and Latifa
Me and Latifa
Me and Latifa
Riding the Carousel
Riding the Carousel
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre
Highgate cemetery
Highgate cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Sad Selfie at the grave of Karl Marx. Highgate cemetery, London.
Sad Selfie at the grave of Karl Marx. Highgate cemetery, London.
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Parisian breakfast.
Parisian breakfast.
Creme Brule at Les 2 Moulins! (Amelie style!)
Creme Brule at Les 2 Moulins! (Amelie style!)

Koln (Cologne) !

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– The view from my bedroom window.  –

An important part of my MFA program at UWaterloo is the Shantz Internship.  I have chosen to work with Alexandra Bircken in Cologne (Koln), Germany. (Actually, if you click through to her site, that is the table I’ve been working at, right on the front page).

It’s been a little overwhelming, coming to Europe for the first time by myself.  I flew into Amsterdam on the 16th of May, and took the train to Koln, and Alexandra picked me up from the train station. She has been great, incredibly helpful, generous, and full of useful information.  But Europe has been an adjustment.  I mean, it’s been good, been interesting, but absolutely EVERYTHING is different than what I’m used to.  The language is different, the money is different, the food is different.  The LIGHTSWITCHES are different.  I can’t read German, so simple things like going to the grocery store or out to eat is a bit of a challenge.  The other day I bought a sandwich without knowing what kind it was, because I couldn’t read the label.  Turns out it was fried tuna (and delicious, lol).

And the jet lag.  Tough to adjust my circadian rhythm.  And because of the time difference, calling (skyping) home has been a challenge… missing Waterloo.  But I’m slowly settling in.

Here are some pictures from the first few days in Koln.  🙂

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(King Street, for you Waterloovians.)

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Home

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It’s been a while.

It’s not that I’m not interested in writing, or wanting to neglect you, dear Blog, but did I tell you I’m working on my MFA?  My apologies, dear Blog, but I’ve had a hard time fitting you into my schedule.  Anyway, I think I’ve found a free few hours in which to write.

It’s been wild, dear Blog. Wild.  Crazy busy and intense.  I’m learning a lot, not only in my schoolwork, but in my life as well.  This year has been incredibly challenging, but also incredibly wonderful.  I’ve learned a few hard lessons, but I have a new appreciation for the simple things, and have learned to have faith that everything will come together.  I know how lucky I am. I know that it’s okay to let things go that aren’t serving me as well as they could without knowing what’s coming, in order to make room for possibility. You can’t stop change from happening, try your best to enjoy the current moment. You can never go back.

Which leads me to my theme.  Home.  I am currently visiting my parents, in Hanna, Alberta, after having lived two semesters in Waterloo, Ontario.  It is strange to be back here, a place I’ve missed and longed for since I left last July.  I thought my longing would finally be appeased, even if only temporarily.  The funny thing is that now I miss Waterloo.

The idea of home is something that sneaks up on you.  Two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have called Waterloo home, now I call it that almost every day.  When did Waterloo become home?  Will I always long for the place I cannot be?

What exactly is “home”? Is it really even tied to location?  Is it where your family is, your friends, your boyfriend?  Is it a place that only exists within your heart, or (worse), your memory?  Can you ever go home? Can you ever BE home? I’m starting to think that only those who have never left home really have a home. (But even that is problematic.  What about the passing of time?)  Do you only know what home is once you are away?  Do you have to leave for home to even exist?

I’m also preparing for my Shantz Internship, which is coming up VERY soon here, May 15th.  I am going to Cologne, Germany, to work with Alexandra Bircken for six weeks. (Very exciting!) I will have a little more than a week once I get back to Waterloo to get everything ready to go to Germany.  The funny thing, (and I really feel terrible admitting this) is that while I am very excited and really want to go on my internship, I kind of don’t want to leave Waterloo. Go figure.

I am using this summer to study this idea, as it applies to myself.  I have four places I will be this summer, and four ways they relate to home:

  • Waterloo, Ontario, Canada – This is my physical home, where I currently reside. (Although there are things going on here- I just found out that my landlord is selling the house, so I’m evicted- won’t have an apartment to return to when I get back from Europe. But I’ll deal with that later. “Have faith that everything will come together.”)
  • Hanna, Alberta, Canada – My where-I’m-from home, where I grew up and where my parents still live.
  • Cologne, Germany – A completely new place for me. This is a temporary place for me, may never be described as home.
  • the Netherlands – A mythical home for me.  My father’s side of the family is from the Netherlands.  I have roots there, and so have had a mythical idea of this place in my head for all of my life.  I’ve never been there.

I am curious to hear what others think the concept of “Home” is.  Is it a physical location? A country?  A town? A house? A state of mind?  Family? Friends? A lover? Is home familiarity? Routine? Comfort? Longing? Is the word “home” only a way of approaching how we treat a place? Is home in your blood? Can home be a place you’ve never been? Is home your past? Does it only exist within yourself?  Does home even exist at all?

All I know is that you can never really go home (but I will always want to).

Building up again?

Mouth House_Akkermans

Here are some photos of things I’ve been playing with in the studio, stuff I’ve been making.  I’m not really sure what it is yet.

Merry Go round_Akkermans

– Merry Go Round (Please excuse the bad photo.)

Windmill in progress_Akkermans

– Windmill (in progress- will move hopefully, as I’m interested in making it kinetic.)

Barn_Akkermans

And this barn I’ve built….

Barn2_Akkermans

… which I’ve been playing with projecting inside of, with a pico projector.

Since starting my MFA here at Waterloo, I’ve blown everything up, and am currently in the process of building things up again.   I’m not sure how things will come together, but that is the point of doing my MFA, to figure that out and hopefully come up with an interesting body of work.  These are just the first few steps in that direction (hopefully).  I think that the “trying to capture a real moment” that I’ve been doing as well might end up colliding with these, but at this point, I have no idea how.  We’ll see.  🙂

Narrative Clip

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220023I’ve been attempting to capture a real moment.  This is what the selfies have been, as well as a few other things I haven’t shared here.  The problem is, that by the act of capturing the moment (through taking a selfie, an audio recording, or video), I’m automatically influencing the moment, negating it’s ‘realness.’  It’s a catch 22.

So, introducing the next iteration, the Narrative Clip.  I ordered this camera from PhotoJoJo, and have been wearing it for a while now. It is a small wearable camera that takes a photograph every 30 seconds.  I have committed to wearing it for all of February, if not longer. I think the point is that I have to wear it long enough that it becomes second nature and I am not so painfully aware of it. It isn’t the perfect solution to my problem of negating the real moment, but it’s the next step in figuring it out.

I’m getting a lot of crappy pictures of my apartment and my studio, but also some interesting photos.  I’m not sure what I will do with these photos, if anything at all, but it’s an experiment I think I need to do, so I’ve committed.  Here’s a few examples of what I’ve captured so far.

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The bathroom photos are still the most interesting, because what I’m interested in is me, not necessarily the outside world. (Cleaning my teeth with a syringe because I got my wisdom teeth taken out recently.)

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Fridge shot. 144612

Studio wall.

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A few of us MFA’s went out dancing the other night- I was wearing a pair of ears that I had made and had clipped the camera to them- this photo was taken when I dropped my ears on the floor at our friend’s house.

052211A few photos from the club…

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I’ve been getting the odd enigma photo as well… who knows what this is?

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Or this?