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.
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.
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.
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
Current 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 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