Friday, 5 September 2014

Is it worth considering whether Joseph Beuy's theory of Dutch Light could be transposed onto the regional landscape of the lower mainland? Beuys lamented the loss of a particular type of light that had historically reflected off the Zuyder Zee in Holland. The fracturing of the luminescent "mirror" that redirected sunlight off the sea and into sky was due to the installation of marine structures along the Dutch coastline in the 1950's to thwart erosion and flooding. The brilliant quality of this light was beloved by landscape artists who infused their work with the azure blues and puffy ivory clouds that often grace paintings we readily identify as "Dutch". As debatable as Beuy's theory is- whether Dutch Light is specific to Holland, or whether it has in fact been threatened due to development- it gives rise to a larger question which is whether this is merely an effect of a specific maritime geography, and if so, does it exist along a coastline such as Vancouver's? Intuitively I think the vast array of water features here creates pockets of aquatic light that simulate the Dutch effect. While muddy in hue there are Fraser River tributaries, but there is also the sea, the humidity that mountain lakes and streams produce, and pristine mountain reservoirs along the north shore which all contribute to some form of collective reflection. Such light has arguably framed the landscape photography of Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas and a host of street photographers in much the same way that Dutch Light infused the work of van Ruisdael, van Goyen and Vermeer.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Framed the clouds mock the end of summer. Fancifully some of us considered Jospeh Beuys notion of Dutch Light and in doing so conjectured the possibility of Vancouver Light or rather New West Light. In any case this proved to be a disused transformer matrix that was freely open to visitation.

Further afield and near the river we considered without excavation the markings in the gravel. Evidence suggested a rally of sorts. A large truck with twinned rear tires racing alongside a normally wheeled vehicle appeared to have agreed to a joint launching ceremony.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lost and Found #6. The police cruiser washed up on shore after years of futile searching. It was discovered resting against the midden side of the point. Rescue efforts are now directed towards the recovery of the remains of two officers attached to the island police force. Details to follow.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A sluice gate is the site for staging a view. We arranged ourselves and took turns. With each turn something was learned.

The rag aided cleanliness. Ripples to the right assisted orientation. Old piping lead nowhere with conjecture. Comfort is subjective. Industry is best viewed when abandoned.

Here the sea grasses rustle as the coastal winds roar inland. As high as corn rows and thick like fur there is room to lose your way pleasantly. The mornings are rheumatically chilled much like the evenings past eight. The ocean breaches - drum rolls - just over the crest. The sky is perfect.

Looking northward the view reminds me of a scene from another trip, to another beachhead. But here I think more of the days leading to this place. Of the voyage through a town named Aberdeen where Kurt Cobain vomited under a bridge; where you were constantly reminded of the threat of tsunami wash outs. Then there was the crossing of the mouth of the Columbia River just beyond the place Lewis or Clark named Dismal Point; where you could look out at the water where slaughtered sharks sold their livers to aid the eyesight of American bomber pilots as they guided their arsenal overseas. On the south shore we could see the bucolic wonder of a town lost in time with board and batten and Victorian filigree. And then there were those remarkable beaches where surfers curled and dipped and young women read paperbacks and arranged stones in the sand and sipped white wine from plastic cups as they secretly wished they too could feel neoprene, salt and sea foam against their skin.