Took this photograph last Sunday. It is of a yellow bulldozer on the Dutch Coast close to Wijk aan Zee. The vehicle is driving up to the Dutch protected sand dunes and shoveling in to the mountain of sand and vegetation and scoping the beach soil up and driving to the new mounting sand barrier and dropping it down there. This act may seem like a simple enough mechanism but it is actually so much more then that. This North Sea Beach engineer is actually doing two things:  saving the Dutch coast from ruin  protecting the village Wijk aan Zee from the North Sea.
I arrived in The Netherlands on December 01, 2017 after being away from the Netherlands for approximately 14 years. I had returned to the Netherlands about 3 times prior to 2003 but those were very short trips so I do not really count those ones.
In a way it feels like I have been in Holland forever and it feels like I never left this country. That is a good strong feeling which is perhaps linked to my Dutch identity. Maybe I am a born Dutch artist, who does not need any direction in order to anchor myself and who is not really materialistic, because the things that I buy, I am aware that I may end up either donating the items to a second hand store, a free library of books or the items may even end up in the garbage. So right now, in The Netherlands, I am nothing but a vagabond and an artist. Because I see things differently then the people in Holland see things. I notice the beauty in small things, like how the sun shines on the church steeple or how the shadow falls right between two houses in the wintertime. I am not attached to anything now, and I live each moment like I am on the edge of darkness and with the state that I could fall off the end of the world at end moment and while all of these emotions and psychological states are fluctuating through my brain, I survive and my aim is to thrive. My attitude is based on my protectionism and my will to live and survive and get the best out of life. I know that how I am operating, through the cracks of the Dutch society and living a life on the the brink of desolation sounds devasting to the average citizen but to me, this is, I am in my element because of my lust and passion to life and not to become extinct. This force is not materialized in something concrete, like having my artwork hung in museums at the Museum Plein in Amsterdam Oud Zuid, but instead it is a positive invisible force for trying to do very good and continue to be as best a Dutch citizen as I possibly can, with the very little amount of intellectual tools that I possess. One of my strongest assets, I believe is my ability to see the world through a different lens than others. This makes me admire life and provides me with a sense of deep connectedness to the society in Beverwijk in which I am currently living in, this winter 2018. Photograph of me in the Beverwijk public library 2018.
Architecture is a sign of high finances. High finances comes from many components that happened over a long time. Extreme beauty has often come to a culture through exploitation. Exploitation like the word finances has many different interpretations. For example, often the very rich enjoy their finance and think they are justified to everything; whereas the poor people who often are the ones that are exploited believe there should be more of a balance. A balance of the finance. Whereas the ones that exploit others often do not believe there needs to be a fair share of balancing finances – because often the extreme wealthy believe that they have got their profits fair and square and because of that, they do not need to share with people with less. Every generation believes in exploitation and the ones that exploit versuse the ones that get exploited often stand on to separate sides of a fence and are on different teams. One of the components that created the barrier between the rich and the poor is the law. The law criminalizes the poor and highlights the wealthy. That divide creates a very unfair playfield through the eyes of the poor and a perfect playfield through the eyes of the wealthy. The law in the Western world – Europe and the Americans is to protect the wealthy. This fact in itself bring an imbalance of power and at the same time – most representatives of the law justify this imbalance of power by categorizing the group of poor people as bad and the rich as good. In itself this is an injustice. It is a conceptual component of injustice in the whole Western world justice system but it cannot be rectified by man. As this flauwed law and societal system has been created by man – and the most powerful and richest of men; who hold the most legal power in the legal system and hence have the authority to write laws. The recommendation is, do not go into the legal system looking for justice; as more time then not, the justice system is not just.
#legal_system #justice # injustice #Europe #America #finance #wealth #balance
(Photograph of house in Wijk aan Zee, March 13, 2018)
The Steel Industry is a very interesting topic in the winter of 2018 because President Donald Trump the current American President in his second year is focussing on the steel industry in American and making a comparison to the competitor in Europe. Donald J. Trump likes to make business deals. That means that he does not analyzing the work force, nor does he look into the hearts and souls of the workers in the steel industry – what he does is he gets the financial balance sheet delivered to his office and he glances over it for 5 seconds and based on gut feelings he cuts departments in order to bring the financial numbers to a higher bracket. This is how finance works and how President Donald J. Trump works. Finance is a component in the world; but many individuals who are financial business people – see finance as a goal in itself. Finance is a single track.
Photograph of a steel factory in the province North Holland. Former Hoogovens and currently TaTa Steel. March 2018. #Hoogovens #Steel_Industry #Europe #America #Finance
When one looks at the big picture of capitalism in the Western world, how much has changed over the years really? The American system in 2017 and 2018 is changing faster and faster in a sense; but on the other hand it is at a complete stand still. The leadership within capitalism is at a stalemate. However stalemates are not always a bad thing; as a stalemate is actually the same as the scales of justice – at a complete balance.
Many human beings, or rather the top 1% of the leaders in the capitalist market hold the balancing power of the World economies in their hands. In America it is on Wallstreet and in the Netherlands it is in the EuroNext building, Beursplein 5 downtown Amsterdam. In a sense the Wallstreet namely the New York Stock Exchange holds the economic power of the Americas: 1. the United States of America 2. Mexico and 3. Canada and on the other side of the coin is the European powers of all the European countries together. However to keep it simple there are two world markets currently  The New York Stock Exchange Market and  The EuroNext Market.
In the winter of 2018 the financial tension between these two world markets is a healthy competition. The New York Stock Exchange versus the EuroNext.
Capitalism is all about competition.
Picture of two domesticated dogs playing with each other on the Dutch Coast with the beach on one side and the North Sea on the other side. March 2018. Winter in Europe.
This is a picture of a Roman Catholic Church in the village of Wijk aan Zee. Winter 2018.
The Netherlands can often been seen as a hyper futuristic country however like many countries – the Netherlands is a country of contrasts. Right now in the winter of 2018 many parts of the Netherlands have been forced to change and to adapt to the digitalization era. For example, in this photograph, if you look very closely, you can see smoke stacks and smoke coming up into the blue sky. This year, that technical industry of the Steel industry, called the Hoogovens locally, will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary. In the past 20 years, the company called the Hoogovens used to have about 24 Thousand workers to take care of the steel industry. Whereas now it is under 7000 workers. This is a concrete example, in my opinion of a combination of digitalization and industrialization.
On the one hand, Wijk aan Zee is beautiful but on the other hand, Wijk aan Zee is a Dutch village that is often torn between digitalization and industry development. The Hoogovens Steel Industry actually has a lot of land around this tiny village and there are lots of stacks of steel extracted water vapour pouring out over the village and the area of Beverwijk, in the regio of IJmond Noord and the Dutch province of North Holland.
A few short years ago this village of Wijk aan Zee was called the Cultural Village of Europe. To me this is a puzzle because what is cultural about Wijk aan Zee? Does culture have to do with people and identity? Or unity and community? Or is there something different all together, such as historic architecture that sums up what one European village has more status and standing then the other one?
In the winter of 2018 this village has almost zero cultural activities. There is a huge amount of individualization and privatization. Most people from the community who were born in this sand-grain pebble size of a city really have no interest in the rest of the world, and their only aim is to keep to themselves and protect their own turf. This is not an altruistic village.
A few years ago, the Dutch Federal Government and the National Schiphol Airport managers were engineering an idea to extend Schiphol International Airport into the North Sea, right outside of Wijk aan Zee. The development of that project is currently dormant, but it goes to show you that globalization en enhanced industrialization and digitalization all have priority over environment and historical architecture. The Netherlands is the same as all the other countries in the world. More often than not, the most powerful override the voices of the small and having high finances and plans of expansion crush villages even when they look special.
In the past Amsterdam used to have a big culture of Gabbers. Gabbers was a street name kind of like skaters was meant for th skateboarders. Gabbers were a group of people from Amsterdam who wore expensive training suits and expensive state of the art Nike Air shoes. Gabbers were mostly men from the age 20 to 45 years old. Many shaved their head completely. Gabbers was this very big Amsterdam sub-culture of fun-loving, fast, speed, hyper-modern, futuristic types. They were the major new trendsetters of Amsterdam. They owned Amsterdam and were mostly light-hearted people. The main thing the Gabbers were interested in was what was referred to in Amsterdam as House music. House music in Amsterdam is digital fast beat music which uses modern noises, like train sounds, whistles and other repeat industrial noises. Gabbers and House Music went hand in hand. The House Music was often performed by DJ’s in very specially assigned clubs in Amsterdam Centrum. The DJ’s used LP and Record Player combinations, sometimes two record players or sometimes 10 Record players at the same time. The music was of synchronize to the lazer beams that shot off in all directions on a dancefloor. The Gabbers in their training suits and their state of the art Nike Air shoes would dance a specific way to the House music. It was a one unit experience. All Gabbers in Amsterdam in 2017 have become extinct. They are gone and disappeared completely. (I am writing this from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Dec. 12, 2017