Process Exloo

> The commission, May 2003
The commission is to design an an integrated piece of art for a new – to - build firebrigade / garbage - gathering - point/public-works-yard
> Several villages are linked up as a new parish council, the council of Borger Odoorn. As a consequence of this, the different exterior public works are joined in óne service in a new to build venue. The artwork should play with this process of transformation. Four sites are going to be closed down: two beautifull publicwork yards in the center of the old village, a Texas-like garbage dump and a firebrigade
Rural Exloo
It is exciting to work in this rural community straight after spending a half year in the Bronx of Amsterdam: the Bijlmer

>Start august 2003.

Follow the process on
Ten day’s of intensive participation in the activities of the eighty fellow workers of the exterior public works gave me a lot of new insights in the life of rural Holland as well as in the use of new technologies in this area of work.


< In the afternoon I join the men on the gully-sucker. These men add by passes and apply balloon angioplasty to the sewer vein system. They perform arthroscopy with a tiny camera. The new technologies applied on patients in hospital series on TV are executed here on a large scale.

> 2e Exloërmond the annual competion for road-makers, organised by the local pavers in this peaty - soil village. Apparently there is a great difference between the villagers living on sand and those living on peat-moor. In contrast to the sandpeople (1 mile down the road) the moorpeople are direct and full of initiative. A festival like this, which lasts several days and incorporates firebrigadeshows and music concerts, is organised in twenty minutes..  
  < The garbage deliverpoint used to be a dump. According to the new environmental regulations even the garden and forest prune, trim and mowe leftovers are indeed gathered here but are subsequentely processed by the industry in the nearby city. This lovely vegetation is nourished by disposals from ancient times.
>The romantic garbage dump canteen where the workers drank their coffee for 100 years.  

  < The volunteer fire brigade is called away from their job as public worker or from their own business. After a night of trying to save the barn in this meadow, the hay started to catch fire again on the next morning.

> Not much left over from the barn and from the oldtimers.



  > A trip with Oetse on the lorry. At 7.30 we collect bricks and sewercovers at the yard of Exloo to deliver them here, in Nieuw Buinen.

>It is now that I realize how many times these men are looking in there rear mirrors.
This is the seed for the final idea. The idea to make pictures of the vanishing places and the workers in a driving-mirror. And then transport these images to the new building as glassvisuals (slide material fused in between two layers of hard glass).



Experiments 1:
Now I have found a central point, I study the photomaterial I took in my explorations. Because I do not have a driving mirror right away I start experimenting with the mirroring objects around me.


> My teapot. A round form gives unexpected effects and makes a 360 degree image. Much better then the limited range of a driving mirror.  
  <This giant christmas ball is too bumpy.
>The halve – a - ball mirror that I bought at a company for safety devices is perfect. At this point my friends suggest I should use a fish eye lens. I deliberately prefer the mirror. It is an old Dogtroep principle to show the picture and the way it is made in one image: two stories for the price of one.
Now the concept is clear I go and search for a photographer who is fit for the job. I find him in Remco Verveer, member of Pipslab:

Experiments 2:


< Yard in Borger. Remco Verveer and I take the mirror to the vanishing places and experiment with the workers on the spot.The tests we do, are exactly what I had in mind. The mirrorimages are going to be the glassvisuals in the new Public works building.

The installation: 22 of April 2004  
  < The group portrait is carried to the new garbage – deliver – point in the new building.
> The local television makes an item for the news. The moment the photo was taken, was broadcasted as well.  
  < ’where am I ?’ Shortly after the installation a sticker with this text was added to the artwork.
> The yard of Exloo is placed in the council consultingroom.  
  > The strip of the firebrigade works very stylish with the black steel window-frames
> the yard of Borger is the largest glassvisual. The round form of the image starts to make connection with the little windows and the lamp. This glassvisual has, in contrast to the others no free view. I was a bit shocked at first, but if you approach the glassvisual in the long corridor that leads to this point, the image reveals itself part for part(and remember in reality the eye can focus on the image, which the camera cannot).  
  < The lightboxes are installed as well. Panorama of the canteen of the yard in Borger. The four lightboxes are installed as well.
Through the digital diary where I report of the progress, the province of Drente got enthusiastic about the process. It did let us know we could apply for extra money for an additional plan. Remco and I developed the idea to make panorama pictures of the workers in their canteens. The panorama cibachromes are set in lightboxes and now illuminate the new canteen.


The opening of the building is in the early fall of 2004. The work has no title yet. The official for art and culture in the council, a lovely young lady, organises a price winning competition around this.
The whole process has been very special to me. To start with, the artboard consisted of the representatives of the exterior public works. So the same people for and with whome I make the work are also the ones to judge my designs. The governer art and culture and the lady official together with a representative of the Province form the rest of the committee. This can be an example for other councils who suffer from lack off support or should I say interest of the people for whome the art is made