The Jet Blast Cooling Pump II

– (Tuesday 06.24) –

I am riding in a van along zig-zag track. A mountain of junk fills the open back – blankets, crates, boxes, I’ve no idea what’s in them. Alongside me in the cab there’s two or three friends – the director of a shady ‘save the whale’ foundation, an insurance specialist and, I think, a female real estate agent. An atmosphere of wantonness prevails.
We’re on our way from A to B, without knowing where A was or B will be. Despite our accelerating speed the coat and fat wallet on the bonnet don’t move.
Before I get used to this scene, we reach a beautiful green forest cut trough with a single track railway. We walk along the tracks, enjoying the silence and tranquility. It’s impossible to get lost in such an environment. Then suddenly the forest becomes a beach. I’m just about to tell my fellow travellers how calm the sea looks, when we’re caught by a tidal wave. We survive, killing ourselves with laughter. Next we play a game following the edge of the high tide along the small strip of beach that remains, always avoiding the enormous waves that sweep towards us. A different company, a windless storm, an absence of cold.

– (Wednesday 11.09) –

A hand wrapped in a rubber glove. A piece of ear with lots of black hair. Strange parts of machinery, all red against a background of with steam and fire. At least two-hundred motors, all in the same colour, installed next to each other in an industrial park. A view from above on the “Vehicle Assembly Building” complete with infrastructure and security towers.
A view on an unremarkable city. I don’t have the faintest idea which city or country. To the left a woman in a grey dress cycles past, her entire face covered in an orange veil. Why does she protect herself? A series of picturesque images pass before my eyes at high speed. Jumping dolphins, bubbling waterfalls, a wooded landscape, romantic sunsets, a mountain with everlasting snow and a babbling brook in the foreground. Views with lots of flowers, hundreds of goldfish just under the surface of a beautiful pond. The images become more anonymous; details of the structure of a leaf, a flag pole viewed from its base, the skin of an animal, a piece of cloth. Garbage, empty floors, a completely stripped house, rubbish, a deserted hospital area.
It’s almost impossible to grasp the series of miniscule enlargements that follow. I can’t describe the images, I don’t know what they are. Less light, less colour. Reversed images, some of them so complex it’s impossible to dissect them. Indeterminable colours and forms, mixed without sense of meaning. A different kind of interpretation emerges. White light, a surface I would like to throw myself in immediately.

– (Thursday 03.53) –

Watching the passing traffic, you will soon start to search for exceptions – an old car, a strange text, an odd colour. Our eternal search for the exceptional is nothing less than an effort to try and grasp the structure of what we see. The same happens when you’re walking in the country. You look for human traces, fences, railings, telephone poles, houses. You are not interested in the exception as such, only in the confirmation of its existence.
Yesterday evening I walked in a park along the river. What caught my eye at first were all the people walking their dogs. It looked like a public meeting with the as messengers. The lawn was full of them, even in the heart of New York.
Half a day later exactly the same thing happens. I’m driving around and by accident I end up near the Olympic stadium. For once access is allowed and I find myself completely alone in a 72,000 seater amphitheatre. A little foggy, the last remains of snow. I am enthralled by the vastness, especially as it doesn’t seem to matter whether anything has happened or will ever happen here. This indecisive moment in-between is what fascinates me. Maybe nothing ever happened, maybe a lot is about to happen but now it is empty now. All of the 72,000 seats belong to me for a brief moment, not as actual possessions but through the intrinsic experience of an in-between moment. In the end the skeleton is more interesting than the make-up fill it. Maybe that’s what it is all about. The potential of things or the moments before things take shape.

– (Friday) –

Nothing received.

– (Saturday 08.44) –

The N7 – smoothly, a lot closer than I thought. There are clues: Amsterdam/Hengelo/Osnabrück/Hanover/Berlin. Every time you reach a sign it gives you the kilometres to the next city – 200, 150, 37. They become a great temptation, after all 200 kilometres is not that far. All those signs form a grid that covers the entire country. Scale and distance are related to human scale. A measure than can be bridged, controlled. You notice the transition from West to East because of the extension of the narrower roads and the amount of new flyovers. Apart from that you can hardly see any difference. Arrival itself is exciting. What is the structure of this city, is there any difference between the former East and West Berlin?
Berlin is wide. There’s so much space everywhere, so many green, wide streets. The architecture in Charlottenburg (West) is reminiscent of any 19th century city. East Berlin is less complex, old, badly maintained but much more interesting and open. Still an in-between area that breathes freely. Within several years this will be forgotten, the past will have been swallowed up by the eternal thirst for progress. Neat signs will then point the way to the monuments of the past.

– (Sunday 13.39) –
I find myself on a terrace near the water, surrounded by beautiful industrial buildings. Some people are diving off the quay and their laughter can be heard far away. Nearby is a bridge to the oldest part of the city, high on a small island. Everywhere tourists take the usual pictures. The weather is beautiful, though clouds in the distance promise a shower. A man is trying to impress two girls by doing tricks in his small rubber dinghy. The guests on the terrace are slightly disturbed. A little later the man takes his boat up to the bridge and dives off. I hardly dare look. A splash, then laughter. One of the girls has fallen out of the boat and tries to climb aboard again.
Suddenly I hear a rumbling noise to my left. The noise gets louder and sounds like an ocean tanker heading for the citadel at full speed. But there is no ship, just a big cloud of dust and suddenly the whole island starts to move. One square mile of stone, solid as a rock, disappears quietly and elegantly like a capsized ship in the water. Breathtaking. Nearer to me entire buildings turn around on their axis and disappear as well, gracefully, almost without a sound.
Maybe because of the slowness and beauty of the scene, I forget to check if the spot I’m standing on is safe. The people around me don’t make any noise, they don’t scream. At exactly the same moment the huge building behind me disappears into the water. The laws of gravity seem to have dissolved. I try to think as quickly as I can, take a deep breath and hope I can swim to the surface. Suddenly it is as dark as night. I appear to have been caught in a big air bubble. From this moment on my thoughts are vague and the dream stops. I don’t know whether I have escaped.