I arrived at Amsterdam Centraal, and from there Mia escorted me across the Ij via ferry to the Shell Research and Technology campus in Amsterdam-Noord, the site of De Appel‘s Weak Signals and Wild Cards exhibition.
There she introduced me to the other curators, who were friendly but obviously insanely busy in preparation for the show. They showed me a copy of the press release, though, which flattered:
“In parallel to the exhibition and also open to the public, is a day of future predictions by practitioners from fields related to the questions Weak Signals, Wild Cards poses; Amsterdam-based urban theorist Merijn Oudenampsen will take the industrial history of the area and interrogate the meaning of labour in a future creative society. The events will conclude with the inaugural performance of Lord Garden’s Masque, a short musical satire by playwright and theorist Lee Scrivner, which spins around the central ironies of state-led artistic patronage. All documentation of the day of predictions will be presented in the exhibition.
These commissions seize the potential of art to slip through time and form itself in response to multiple possibilities. The contributions are not finished works or statements, in that they are documents of a society that is still to emerge. Relevant both to global and local situations, their arrival allows a reconsidering of the present.”
Mia then escorted me to my lodgings in Van Der Pek. The whole apartment had a perfectly appropriate and wonderful garden/avian theme—matching the avian and garden themes running through the play—as if the rooms were especially designed for my short stay.
The floors were green Astroturf throughout, and the various rooms had countless vials of seedlings and potted saplings, which, we thought, might just have to be incorporated into the show somehow. Upstairs it looked like plants were being categorized, each plant had its own tag with a binomial nomenclature (think Linnaeus, the original Lord Garden). Then she proceeded to give me a few hundred euros and a bottle of wine. Methinks I like this place.