There are well known North-American photographers who through city scenes, road trips and street photography documented eras, whose images capture what we think of as iconic. Do you know European photographers who did the same across Europe, as opposed to just nationally? Is there a European collective like a ‘Magnum’ equivalent, for instance?
I’ve started exploring the federation of European photographers.

Replied to Adult Hobbies – Tracy Durnell (tracydurnell.com)
I have dabbled in hobbies over the years and have a hard time divorcing myself from a productivity mindset. Even if I enjoy an activity it’s hard to make myself do it.

As a kid I already hated the word ‘hobby’. Parents/adults always seemed to imply some put-down with that word. Also sentences like ‘why not pick a hobby’ seemed to me to flip means and goal, turning ‘having a hobby’ into a goal and having, finding, or worse coming up, with an interest into a means. I avoid the word hobby (like I avoid the notion of being ‘a fan’ of something for similar reasons). I have interests, some are more dormant currently, others lead to activity at the moment, and it shifts with time. I also found over the years that some of those interests will migrate from an activity in my own time towards paid work, and some to even being the center of work for an extended time. So I’ve come to see interests and activities as a pool from which future work may well spring. At the same time it does not need to be clear how that might happen, better not even, as having the interest is its own reward. Vice versa I am ok with treating any activity I care about as a professional activity (in terms of the tools and practices I bring to it), and that blurs the line between ‘private’ and ‘work’ even more than being self-employed already ensures. Basically it means that when I am not working it mostly looks the same as when I am working. There’s only no administrative follow-up like sending an invoice. It’s a bit like how Henriette and I worded it in a conversation a long time ago: I get up in the morning and go to sleep in the evening, and in between I do stuff.

Ik dacht dat ik iets in Rotterdam besteld had, maar het komt zoals ik om deze tijd van het jaar had kunnen verwachten als nazending uit Spanje. Paste niet op Pakjesboot 12 denk ik, en is bovendien niet bedoeld als Sinterklaascadeau.

Een verzendbevestiging uit Spanje

Bookmarked Corollaria Railing (Nervous System blog)
Corollaria Railling, 2020. at Nervous System in Palenville, NY When we moved to the Catskills and built our new studio, we splurged on one item in our construction: a railing that acts as a sculptural element winding through the space. This algorithmically-generated, lasercut steel railing is the largest piece of art we’ve ever made.

What an amazing piece of laser cutting. I’d wish we had space for such a beautiful bold statement somewhere.

I coined a new Dutch word I think. This early morning I was thinking and writing about the words dependency, independency, interdependency, and codependency, and did so in both English and Dutch in parallel. In Dutch I realised I didn’t like the usual translation of interdependency as ‘wederzijdse afhankelijkheid’ which literally translated back to English says mutual dependency. It seems to miss a key aspect. It emphasizes the mutuality of being dependent i.e. two separate dependencies in a vice versa fashion. To me the ‘inter’ in interdependent is not merely the two things that are connected through it, but a third place. A strenghtening of multiple independents by entering into a constellation, not a weakening through mutually assured dependence. A third place that is a synergetic togetherness, centered between the things connected through it, something that is more than the sum of its parts. In that richer connectedness lies the complexity of our lives. ‘Mutual dependent’ sounds like a so much poorer term than ‘interdependent’. It leans more towards codependency even. I of course have a strong interest in the meaning of the word interdependent, as it has been the most important word in the name of this weblog since 2002 (and hence became part of my personal company and holding company name too).

I tried to find a Dutch term for it, couldn’t find an existing one and then I came up with ‘samenhankelijk’, which is a concatenation of ‘together’ and ‘pendant’, into something akin to ‘tangled together’ (the Dutch word for entanglement, ‘verstrengeling’ lacks the mutuality and relational aspect, is more a physical description like of a Gordian knot).

I searched samenhankelijk. It turns out that it doesn’t exist. The word is not in the most authoritative Dutch dictionary, Startpage doesn’t have any results, and Google has 5 (but used, wrongly, as the word ‘samenhangend’ which means coherent).

Van Dale dictionary no results Startpage no search results
No results in the dictionary, no results in search.

Now I am blogging this to put the word samenhankelijk out there, and have it indexed by the search algorithms. I also registered the domain name samenhankelijk.nl, just because I can, and will put up a ‘dictionary’ page there, to claim the term’s definition. By default that domain has perfect SEO! Let’s see how soon this blogpost is the first for this Google search 😀

Today I read a Guardian article about the iconic bookshop Shakespeare and Company, across the Seine from the Notre Dame in Paris. It made me remember our own trips to Paris, and Elmine browsing the mentioned bookstore. I thought about having a box of nice books sent to our home, as a souvenir now that we can’t visit other cities for inspiration ourselves. The website was clearly not equipped to deal with the Guardian readership taking the article as a cue to order something the same way I did, so it took all day to get through and place an order. (Peter, they also suggested ‘Ma vie à Paris‘ en francais, not in English though)

shakespeare and company
The Shakespeare and Company bookstore, photo by Zoetnet, license CC BY

While trying to order I thought about how there are other cities we love to visit. Could I order a box of interesting and beautiful things from several cities, and present them as gifts to E to travel in our mind? Cities such as Copenhagen. Maybe I thought, I can have something shipped from a Danish ceramics artisan we appreciate, Inge Vincents. We have several things she made in our home, mementos from different trips.

Thinware, Inge Vincents ceramics
Inge Vincents’ store on Jægersborggade, when we visited in 2012

But I cannot order with her, because Inge Vincents uses Instagram as her only sales channel online. Instagram doesn’t allow me to scroll past the first few images without an account, let alone interact with the poster to request a quote. It’s something E and I have seen with a wider variety of artisans. Do they realise their shops are within walled gardens where not all are able to visit? How many missed sales will they never notice?