Dutch Coast Engineering Winter 2018

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: [1] saving the Dutch coast from ruin [2] protecting the village Wijk aan Zee from the North Sea. Dutchengineering2018


Wijk aan Zee, North Holland in The Netherlands Winter 2018

wijkaanzeerkThis 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 outsideĀ 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.








No Gabbers left in Amsterdam 2017

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, 2017CITTA4-euro-500

Does the Amsterdam centrum care more about the Golden Age architecture then the Amsterdam citizens?

21616373_10154648771547105_8860266833512476604_nCurrent location: Amsterdam Centrum location, date December 10th, 2017.

Recently there has been an Amsterdam Mayor, named Van der Laan who passed away in 2017. The Dutch media and the locals I have talked to in Amsterdam say that Van der Laan was a great man. Previous to being appointed Mayor of Amsterdam he was member of the Dutch Resistence museum and he was a trained lawyer, receiving his education in Amsterdam (not sure if he practiced law in Amsterdam though).

Through my own observation, from the view point of an artist, who is to some, the lowest level of a human being on earth – but something I myself do not believe to be true – and despite everything I feel I have the need and the right to express myself through the motion of the freedom of expression codes – with that in mind – my opinion of the Mayor of Amsterdam, the former Mayor is probably not the same as the others in Amsterdam. My reflection of Van der Laan’s work as the Amsterdam Mayor is one of question. For example, I have noticed that many citizens of Amsterdam are no longer living in Amsterdam. Instead there are infinite amounts of tourists. To me, it seems like Van der Laan put the municipal financial into marketing Amsterdam to the rest of the world – and in this process forgot to protect and care for the Amsterdam citizens who were living in Amsterdam under his leadership. In my opinion, this act alone means that Amsterdam has architecture protected and restored for the needs to satisfy the tourists but not to protect the city citizens. As a Socialist myself, I disagree with this act of culture before humans.


Amsterdam, The Netherlands Dec. 2017

Amsterdam in the country the Netherlands is a very objective city. It is a very globalized place. That means that Amsterdam has become one of the first cities in the whole world that has followed almost 100% of the European Guidelines of city centers within the Eurozone.

The Amsterdam CS train station has tight barriers allowing only people with paid tickets to enter the train station site. There are a number of security guards checking the passengers travel tickets in the train station so this completely eliminates theft.

Amsterdam has a huge tourist industry. 90% of the people walking the streets of Amsterdam are tourists,coming mostly from Portugal and Spain.

The architecture in this city has two sides. On the one hand lots of the architecture is traditional (Amsterdam School, Middle Ages and from the Golden Age) and on the other hand there is new hyper modern architecture arising like a Phoenix into the city.

I recall my teacher Emmie Neut, telling me, that from the traditional comes the modern. One does not destroy the former to gain the newer but instead builds from it. I agree with this idea, however I worry that Amsterdam may one day become all hyper modern architecture because the upkeep of the former traditional architecture will be too expensive. But I guess I do not need to worry about that now as that is probably something that may or may not take place in the very distance future.

The Dutch love their financial equations, as capitalism was born in Amsterdam centuries ago. The bottomline is this: the incoming tourism pays for the upkeep of the Dutch traditional architecture which draws in the tourism who pay for the upkeep of the architecture. They are interlinked.

Written Dec 07, 2017 corresponding from Amsterdam, NL, Europe

The changing nature of totems

3 photographs taken at the end of September 2017 in the City of Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada

The Native Totem pole used to be a ritual pole placed in front of Long Houses of Big Houses on Vancouver Island, BC Canada. Now the nature of the totem pole has transformed in the City of Duncan to be a tourist commodity. These totem poles in the City of Duncan have for the most part been carved by natives from the island, however the purpose of the totem poles is like a business. I have taken tours of the City of Duncan where the Entrepreneur foundation hired a local to show the totems to be in the City for a fee.

Mirage of truth. City of Victoria BC

Photographs from City of Victoria BC

The funny thing about these high rise buildings is that they appear to be representing of wealth and prosperity but from where I am standing and in my point of view this is a mirage and very far from the truth. These buildings are an encasement for individuals that may or may not even want to live in the City of Victoria, as according to the local news, many owners of the condo units use their property as an AirBnB.

The majority of the owners of the units in the high rises do not even come from Vancouver Island let alone Victoria. Recently in the Provincial meeting at the Vancouver Conference Center it was mentioned in a seminar by a Simon Fraser PhD professor (in the last week of Sept. 2017. The news article was in the Vancouver Sun newspaper), that the condominiums are going to the Global financial elite who buy from outside of Canada and have the unit as an investment.

That means that while the lower level workers in the City of Victoria are getting out priced of their hometown city, the global financially secure elite get the best units in the city and do not even reside here but instead rent out their units in what the City Hall in the City of Victoria called “Ghost hotels.”

The bottom-line here is that the low income employees living in the City of Victoria can (more often then not) not financially survive in this city because the price of rent for a bachelor apartment, one bedroom or two bedroom apartment is too expensive for their budgets. So this means that in no time, the service industry in the City of Victoria is going to go under, at least to a degree, because the lower financial class who has been doing the service jobs in the City are getting out-priced. This implies they will move out of the city. Already businesses in the City of Victoria has closed their doors because of the lack of staff. The image of tall new high rise buildings appears to mean that the economy in this city is going well, when it a round-about way, the opposite is true.

In a way, the City of Victoria has created a vacuum and we stand on the edge of creating a ghost town. This ghost town would be unique only to the City of Victoria, BC in the way that is was started and it will end in this city. What I predict will happen, and it is always hard to pin-point the financial and economics of a city to an exact science, but it seems that the service industry staff especially the lower spectrum of the working class in the city are going to pack their bags as in an exodus and leave Victoria. This will leave the small business without staff members. Without the lower level employees the economy will at least in part collapse, hence creating a real ghost town.