week in review 2024-04
Group Crit prep and 17km cycle days
Notes on the week
This week Elle had her first Group Critique of the year, so a lot of time was spent back and forth between the apartment and her studio space in preparation. Without a car, and with a lot of material and equipment to move that meant renting a Bakfiets, which we were able to using a service called BaqMe. For about €2 to secure the rental, and then €0.12 per minute thereafter, you get access to an electric Bakfiets, which is comfortable, powerful and honestly the quickest way to move a reasonable amount of stuff around the city (so long as it’s not raining).
I joined the Pixelbar, a hackerspace in Delfshaven. I visited for the first time on Thursday night, the same night Apple announced their plans to ‘comply’ with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. To be amongst a group of people with shared interests discussing and debating the things that you’re excited about was really nice, and I can see myself getting pretty involved with the group. The space itself is in an old shipyard, that has fallen out of use from a shipping perspective, but is now being used by a number of groups. I saw a gym, restaurants, woodworking groups etc. I’m hoping to make a little E-Ink dashboard for our apartment, and I think the knowledge of the members, and the tools in the space will be a huge help.
We bought a CRT TV. Elle is experimenting a lot with analog video, and recently bought a Bolex 16mm camera. She has an exhibition coming up next week, and wants to show the footage on an old TV, so I spent Saturday riding around Rotterdam to all manner of Charity Shops, Second Hand shops, Antique markets etc to try and find one. It needed to be a CRT, and have at least some form of input. The input could be RCA, SCART or even RF, as we have a digital to analogue video converter, (and I figured I could access a modulator if we needed to go down the RF route).
I found loads of ‘new’ second hand TVs (flat screens), and lots of really old TVs (think wooden frames) that looked great, but nothing that fit the bill. Saddle sore and feeling defeated, I checked MarktPlaats, a dutch craigslist/done-deal equivalent and found exactly what I needed. 20" CRT with working RCA and SCART inputs, only a 20 minute cycle away. I rented another Bakfiets, met the guy selling it and was on my way home within the hour. I just wish he had posted his ad before I did an impromptu cycle tour of the city.
The upside to doing a massive tour of the City is the interesting things you find along the way, and nothing comes close to the Rotterdam Radio Museum, on the top floor of the Correct Electronics store in the north of the city. The two gentlemen I met here were so generous with their time, showed me around many of the exhibits and were even willing to rent me one of their exhibit pieces if I wasn’t able to find a TV for Elle’s exhibition. It’s an incredible place, and whilst it’s mainly focussed on audio equipment, they have a wide variety of historic televisions and computers, the jewel amongst it (in my opinion) being a Twentieth Anniversary Mac in great condition! Check out this video to get a sense of what the place is like.
Another poor week, going to write this off as Group Crit week taking up a lot of mental space in the apartment and hit the ground running again today.
Acquired have an episode on “The Ozempic Company”, Novo Nordisk, and it’s a fascinating deep dive into the economics of disease.
Ham Sandwich are an Irish band that have been going for 20 years now. I remember seeing them at The Stables in UL in 2008 and thinking they were amazing, and just this week a friend sent me a link reminding me of them. The song ‘Words’ off this album is a real standout.