Ruta Saksens Kalmane
THE PARK BEHIND MY BACKYARD
The outcome of the project 'The Park Behind My Backyard' is planned to be a hand-made book which is currently at the printing stage. Meanwhile, below is a link to a digital version of the upcoming book.
Fig. 1: Pages 8 and 9 of the book 'The Park Behind My Backyard' online on 22 November 2021. [screenshot by the author]
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Putting in spotlight Venserpark, a place where nature tells stories to those who listen, this project looks at the natural world and environment of an urban park area.
Surrounded by Amsterdam, one of the Netherland's busiest cities, lays Duivendrecht with its small local park area called Venserpark. From the day I moved into a house located right next to Venserpark, the park area became the extension of what I call home. For the last five years I have been fascinated by the everchanging yet seemingly always looking the same park environment, its biodiversity, animal world and the diverse calming sounds complimenting the mystical mood of the park.
With influences as diverse as Ottomar Anschütz's bird movements, Charles Pratt's and Ansel Adams's landscapes and nature photography, as well as Jantien de Bruin's old forest pathways, Stephen Gill's mystical night animals and Malin Fabbri's anthotypes, this project represents a view of the networking, co-existence, collaboration and connectedness among the Venserpark's living organisms. The inspiration comes from such diverse sources as the ancient art of papermaking, animal sculptures of the nomadic tribes of Eurasia, the 19th century park and garden landscape paintings, Irving Solomon Teibel’s soothing nature sounds, many literary works on nature (authors like Gilbert White and Suzanne Simard), as well as National Geographic nature and wildlife photography.
Every day hundreds of people pass through the park, but only a few take their time to connect with the flora and fauna of the small open space. The park's area is home to a variety of animals, plants and trees, and they all seem to be co-existing and collaborating in a harmonious way, following the natural cycle of life. The greenery is a world full of connections, offering the observer multiple interpretations of its identity that can be viewed, travelling through the concepts of time, temporality, repetition, rhythm, cycle and resilience.
Besides digital photographic images, the project includes also several other photographic approaches (such as film camera, hunt camera, DSLR pinhole cap, underwater camera, anthotype prints and a reverse lens on a DSLR camera for macro effects), providing much space for experimentation and alternative processes that in a way help to strengthen my own bond with the natural park environment, and slow down the process for having more time to connect with the urban park environment.
The project is also enriched by nature sounds that the Dutch sound engineer Joshua Krosenbrink captured in Venserpark at exact places where the photographic images were taken in the fall of 2021.
Although the trees, the plants and the birds don't have their own voice, they all have a story to tell. By actively involving the viewer's visual, auditory and tactile senses, a more complex engagement and perception of the topic is achieved, allowing the viewer to soak up bits and pieces of Venserpark's identity and puzzle together an overview of the park's hidden daily life.
Fig. 2: Pages 38 and 39 of the book 'The Park Behind My Backyard' online on 22 November 2021. [screenshot by the author]
ABOUT JOSHUA KROSENBRINK
Joshua Krosenbrink is a creative technologist and studied under Joel Ryan, Roderik de Man and Conrad Boemer. His venture into modern music started in the early eighties when he took up playing piano, electronics design and computer programming.
At the Royal Conservatoire The Hague he studied at the institute of Sonology and at the Art of Sound department, transforming his music and technologic interests into a professional skillset. A skillset with substantial focus on Digital Signal Processing and Man-Machine Interfaces aiming to make computer interaction as natural as between a musician and an instrument.
After graduating he moved to Amsterdam, produced several pop acts and became part of a network consisting of new music talent helping each other with productions. He extended his production experience with location sound recording for film and competed in the 2014 Rotterdam 48 Hour Film Project.
In 2019 he got married to the international video artist Mayumi Nakazaki and since then both can often be found working together on new experimental work in Holland and Japan. Besides these experimental audio projects he professionally develops online hearing software for the growing amount of people suffering from hearing loss.
Currently he is running his Electro Acoustic Labs studio where all soundscapes are composed and where he offers his services regarding audio post-production and acoustics/studio building to both indie and signed artists.
Follow the artist on Instagram: #electroacousticlabs
Figure 1: Pages 8 and 9 of the book 'The Park Behind My Backyard' online on 22 November 2021. [screenshot by the author]
Figure 2: Pages 38 and 39 of the book 'The Park Behind My Backyard' online on 22 November 2021. [screenshot by the author]