Image versus Materiality (Daisuke Yokota at Foam Amsterdam)


(N.B. This film was originally formatted to fit a square Instagram frame.) A lyrical sculptural installation by Japanese photographer, Daisuke Yokota, of archival film suspended from the ceiling of photography museum, Foam Amsterdam, explores the relationship of image to its traditional photographic substrate, film, by dissociating image from its usual freight of associations – memories, culture, expectation. The three-dimensional installation through which members of the public can freely walk is also a metaphor for our relationship to imagery today: we are surrounded, even flooded, by it.
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Daily Mind-ful 12 April 2017

Day 2 in Amsterdam: Tulipmania was a bubble, just like China real estate; instead of tulips, we now have manias about gym shoes and handbags; I like Amsterdam because there’s no culture of conspicuous consumption; I’ve successfully avoided all global chain stores — so far; I take the train to Delft; the train is incredible: every city worth seeing is on the same rail line; tulip fields on the way to Delft; it’s shitty weather; the Oude Kerke (old church); Delft is adorable, especially since there are no H&Ms or Zaras; lunching in Delft at De Waag as John explains his Mooie IPA; the old city gate; after 4 hours, we end the day at The Dylan, over cocktails, including their namesake cocktail created in honor of both Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan; I didn’t record as many stories as I would have liked because it bugs the crap out of John; although Amsterdam has no sights of spectacular, defining aestheticism, the overall quality of everything is really high; consequently, there are few mainland Chinese tourists.
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Daily Mind-ful 11 April 2017

Daily vlog diary: Shopping and strolling in Amsterdam; bicyclists trump cars in Amsterdam and that means, watch out for them! Amsterdam — especially its dining and eating scene — is one of the birthplaces of global, urban hipsterism; it’s worth doing a video handbook about that topic — tongue-in-cheek, of course; Keukenhof (see full vlog on my visit); Keukenhof is a giant photo opp, especially for Asians; one of the main reasons to go is to get inspired for your own garden; huge rabbits on steroids at Keukenhof; more than anything, Keukenhof is very commercial; my visit to the Stedelijk museum without John; boy, it’s an ugly building; main mission: to see the Jordan Wolfson exhibition, even if I can’t see the crazy animatronic sculpture; how I visit museums as a rule; Jordan Wolfson (various shots of the video artworks without audio); I didn’t understand all of that art exhibition; SO I’M SAYING SO — OUT LOUD; but I still got a lot of out of it; there are no fat people in Amsterdam; Jansz – glamorous and dramatic; clothes for kids which are inexplicably, ineffably weird and unwearable; “Sino-Japanese” – whoever coined that clearly has neither Chinese nor Japanese friends.
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Keukenhof: The Truth about Tulips


John and I visit the juggernaut of Dutch floral tourism, Keukenhof, in Lisse, Holland, to witness tulipmania up close. This vlog is an unvarnished recap of the show, the garden, the experience. If you’re a gardener — or Instagrammer, it’s definitely worthwhile. But despite the moniker “garden”, Keukenhof isn’t a real garden: it’s a commercial showcase for Dutch tulip industry.
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Daily Mind-ful 10 April 2017

Daily vlog diary: Erin Janus’ indictment of the dairy industry is a social media tour de force highlighting the power of video but it is too ideologically biased to take seriously. It’s my belief that animals should be subordinated to humans. Therefore, I can’t take arguments (like Janus’) against industrial food production predicated on the anthropomorphization of animals seriously; the power of Janus’ messaging style partially explains the effectiveness of Trump’s messaging; Bravo: EasyJet has almost eliminated the use of human agents at check-in; hipster design tropes have percolated into mainstream culture; airport retail is a great example of why shopping today sucks; immigration at Schipol took as long as the entire flight; many Amsterdam taxis are Teslas; we arrive at our Airbnb but there’s no one waiting for us; catastrophe averted – but not before John suggested returning immediately to England; pretty postcards from Amsterdam; last but not least: I was impressed to hear that McDonald’s is now asking job applicants to submit Snapchat footage along with their resumes.
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Daily Mind-ful 9 April 2017

Daily vlog diary: Actually, I know a ton about SEO; But I’m very ambivalent about digital marketing because numbers have usurped the rightful role of senior managers — and their hard-won decades of experience and wisdom; numbers must not, should not dominate decisionmaking, especially when it comes to creativity and entrepreneurial risk-taking; even the luxury industry is being subverted by accountants and statisticians; young people especially tend to put too much stock in numbers; Henry Ford would never have invented the automobile, only a faster horse and carriage, had he been looking at historic sell-through reports only; numbers are the single greatest headwind for creativity today; technology sucks: we feel endlessly busy; kids are so ahead of parents these days, especially my own son (praise god!); SEO is not about technocratic knowledge: it’s about time commitment; today’s SEO tools are so well designed that a monkey can optimize a website (well, not exactly… but close — if you use WordPress); no one steals American passports any more; I feel physically uncomfortable when making “nice”, pretty, happy content; just as well, since the last thing the world needs is more posts of girls saying, “look at my pretty dress”.
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Daily Mind-ful 8 April 2016

Daily vlog diary: I’m sure I will die soon after my husband dies; psyched that my public posting about the art gallery dispute has led to a lot of helpful advice — and, now, intervention; why I reposted a video about a purely hypothetical planetary scenario (see Instagram post of 8 April with the planet image if interested); I feel like Cassandra in comparison; I played tennis for the first time in a LONG time; TULIPS; we take the basic quality of our food for granted; in Hong Kong, most vegetables contain lead, cadmium and mercury; the Grand National was unbelievably exciting; My vlog content leaves me scratching my head plenty — but I still have to make it.
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Daily Mind-ful 7 April 2017

Daily vlog diary: Kippers for breakfast – they’re nasty-looking as hell but scrumptious; my cousin, Yang May Ooi, a published novelist and all-around, left-wing kick-ass multi-hyphenate is writing a play called Butterfly in Blue Jeans to upend the sort of race-gender stereotypes enshrined in works like Madame Butterfly; having your own domain gives you much more control over my content; one of my huge life-hacks is purposeful procrastination without stress; I just filed a 500 word feature article — right before the deadline — but there’s a hitch; seeking advice to recover monies wrongfully withheld by an art gallery from my friend, an artist (with a huge social media following no less); I’m posting about this mess so that the offending art gallery can see and hear about it before a lawsuit is commenced; Louise cooks up a groaning repast.
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