The ookoi have become sort of spectral. Ever since they started writing a book they seem a thing that’s here to haunt. A
It gives them a now that is much like the there where they came from. Indeed. Also the ookoi’s beginnings are pretty hard to pin down. The eldest of their roots stretch arguably way back to the days of post-punk wave rippling and ultra speculation, and first budded in 1980s summer, into the live-looped Signs & Symptoms on two physically linked Akai reel-to-reel tape recorders: Har$ played the Korg MS20, FPCM the electric guitar ‘n’ effects.
This black & white photograph sees them in an Amsterdam park (…Sarphati? – Ooster? – Vondel?…) holding mirrors for use in one of several attempts at a visual counterpart to the mise en abyme of the endless & rhythmical echoing sound bytes that were captured on the Frippertronic-ing reel-to-reel tape, for use on the inside of the cover of the S & S (very) limited cassette edition, that was released probably in the late summer or early autumn of that same year 1980 and when, in …
… a space-time warp to the ParisOK of a new millennium dawning… At the end of October 2000 they re-found themselves on top of the Eifel tower chanting and crying and jumping and hitting its metal railings and bars with all of their might and their coins and their keys.
In the twenty odd years that lay between, or that mingle ‘n’ mash before, during and after, them and us were part of a world that from the as-we-used-to-know-it roller-coaster-ly hopped, skipped and jumped along, on a fascinatingly weird ride, begetting political and related social/moral flips and changes that —it’s a matter of perspective— on some scales of time might be deemed ‘gradual’, but that many if not most actually experienced as somewhere between ‘quite’ or ‘pretty’ radical, and ‘lightning’ fast.
In parallel, ways of production and means of communication kept evolving, breeding and feeding old ‘n’ new powers-that-be, fed back by and into an unstoppable capital-fuelled technological re-volv-o-lution, that in exponential ascent brought and unleashed the forces of computation and the instantaneous manipulation of trillions of numbers, forces comparable only to that of the secrets unveiled to us somewhat earlier in the same twentieth century, of gargantuan heaps of heliacal energy that appeared to lie locked within the atomic scaled constituents of what we call (does it) matter.
But, be well aware!
Other than these nuclear powers, those brought about by the advent of massive computation are near to intangible.
It makes them far less predictable … nay, they are unpredictable, unpredictable at heart.
We be-lived half a century that conjured up more spirits and raised more ghosts than did the half-millennium that came before. And we learned to use and love, sometimes exhaustively so, a great many things and tools that emerged and then passed fast, turning spectral. Like jukeboxes, super 8 movies, pin ball machines, slide and overhead projectors, VHS tapes, floppy’s, mini discs, cd-roms, gameboys and iPods.
So it is more than just an index, not only a sign or merely a symptom, that the ookoi and the 8-bit ZX Spectrum colligate. That little machine, released by Sinclair in 1982, was one of the very early personal home computers. In the picture above you see its motherboard. It is this Spectrum whence the ookoi got their name. You may infer some of the why from the (edited) screenshot below. It shows the result of running a one line BASIC instruction on (an online emulation of) the Spectrum.
You can see the Spectrum replying:
0 OK, 0:1. Which means to say: « you hit the nail on the head », that is: « Good at once », which means: « In Één Keer Goed », and thus: « Alles Is Goed », which means: « Everything goes », in other words: the Spectrum aligns the
0 of ‘no’ and the ‘yes’s
1 as a
0:1 …[a ‘no’ before a ‘yes’, or rather —forshadowing the qubit’s data superposition— the ‘no’ next t(w)o the ‘yes’]… prevision of a millennium that first drowns and then will re-mould us in digits? – may that not be for a full thousand years, but yes, at least for as long as its history lasts.
History made us.
And history launched the ookoi, alright.
They landed on the isle of Ameland.
That’s in the Dutch Wadden Sea.
[ Okay, OK, okee … these are linguistic corruptions, language changes into English, Dutch etc, of the French au quay, which means: on the quay. It refers to cargo that has been brought on shore. The ship has been unloaded. Men is klaar. One is ready. All is ready. Ready to go. Eén twee, drie. Beginnen maar. ]
Having cleared their tables and once out of the closet, the ookoi —veritable men on the island— roamed beaches, they kept lighthouse, they wandered, they reflected, they sang and they cried, they added and subtracted, they recited insular numbers randomly up to 210, the singular point where digital meets decimal —one among the scores for their masterly 1024. They wondered, they multiplied, they walked —almost— on water, they hit, they stood on (1) one leg, they divided, they jumped and they shouted, they aimed and they missed, they flew up and around —inter-, re- and pro-actively— and when they fell down and bounced, they bounded way south, where they stood on the other leg, they made a fist, turned and deflected, heading back north again…
Bref … Making a point of being pointless ( ** ), the ookoi took off with a retrospective only to follow up with a debut. Yes. But was that at what others some saw as the very end? Usqua ad ___ mala!? But no! Obviously, it was it not. Prim(itiv)es as they may for now be, ookoi emulations, Petermans and Hefferman, sailed away from the island and continue to bloom, shrouded in digital clouds, in Second Life, an early virtual world that —again— some of you may recall…
The ookoi are writing a book.
History is non-linear.
It drips off your pages.
usque ad __?
On Sunday October 14th of last year, 2018, in a sold-out Paradiso in Amsterdam, a large and merry crowd gathered to celebrate the 60th birthday of Maarten Ploeg, who sadly left us, in 2004.
Large chunks of Ploeg’s (hi)story are mixed up with that of the ookoi; via ultra, then via park.nl … Maarten excelled in many disciplines, as a pop musician, as a painter and as a computer /digital (art) pioneer. His (ab)use of the Commodore Amiga home computer for the automation of (visual) art production and the —in his own words— artificial stupidity of his TV-Matic ‘bot’ were both fun and visionary
It was in this light, pending future possibilities for early adaption of a fully functional digital emulation, that the ookoi celebrated Maarten Ploeg and his work, physically re-made / re-modelled as the ookoi 2.0, on the Amsterdam Paradiso stage, on Sunday, October 14th 2018. They made a fist, they stood on one leg, they jumped, they cried, they were dancing bizarre…
All that was in 2018, so it’s almost 2020.
Not so long ago, this would have sounded like a future blast.
“See you in history!” she said.
On the occasion of Maarten Ploeg’s 60th birthday, the Maarten Ploeg Trust released “PLOEG + WERK”, a fabulous documentary 500+ pages book (including English translation) presenting a kaleidoscopic view of Maarten’s life and work, edited by Henri Willem Lucas.
notes __ ::
(*) The image is Andreij Koltsov’s Tour Eifel #2147. Around the turn of the century I wrote, under the moniker J.K. Harsman, about Andreij Koltsov in the Dutch web magazine ‘Writersblock’. The following is from ‘Andreij Koltsovs Zesde Zintuig’, which was published online in March 1999.
👉 “Met de jaren negentig kwam Koltsov naar Parijs, op golven van glasnost, net van de academie in Leningrad dat toen al bijna weer St. Petersburg heette; samen met M. zijn toenmalige levensgezellin, die, net als hij, kunst schilderde. In ruil voor een schrikbarend hoog maandelijks bedrag aan westerse valuta betrokken ze een chambre de bonne in een slecht onderhouden immeuble Hausmannien aan de Avenue Kléber, zo’n voormalig dienstmeidenkamertje, niet meer dan tien vierkante meter aan oppervlak, pal onder het zinken dak; bloedheet in de zomer, vrieskoud doorlekkend in de wintermaanden.
Maandenlang trok hij alle dagen met baret, palet en een ouwe ezel naar het Trocadéro om daar in het zicht van en voor de toeristen de godsganse dag Eifeltorentjes te schilderen, in alle kleuren die de Heer hem had gegeven, maar vooral toch in die welke een passerende koper behagen mochten.
Daar, bij het geklik en geflits van de duizenden toeristencamera’s die richting Eifeltoren wezen, besloot voormalig sovjet burger Andreij Koltsov, merkwaardigerwijs precies op de dag dat Mikhaïel Gorbatchev publiekelijk zijn noodgedwongen terugtreden als president van de Unie bekend maakte en het grote moede oostrijk in vijftien kleine duigen viel, tot wat hij zijn ‘Omtrekkende Beweging’ pleegde te noemen: een conceptueel kunstwerk in negen jaren teneinde Eifels toren te ‘ontschilderen’… “ [
(**) In mathematics, pointless topology, also known as locale theory, is an apporach to topology that avoids mentioning points, which has as one of its advantages that some important topological facts become choice-free, i.e. constructive. [
tags: ookoi, Maarten Ploeg
Read about the ookoi and Raudio on the SoundBlog:
(2019, march 03) – ookoi 2.0: the remake of a spect[r]al b[r]and
(2017, april 12) – 1024
(2015, march 07) – The men once in green are now writing a book!
(2014, may 09) – You are NOT Hier!
(2013, july 03) – How to keep devils away
(2013, may 06) – Next Numbr!
(2012, june 24) – Ninja Fruit Plus Instruments
(2012, may 06) – Y.3 = Yltra !
(2010, may 23) – ‘Raise the trumpet, sound the drum’
(2010, january 05) – ookoi: onderood
(2009, november 17) – Soli Deo Gloria !
(2009, october 10) – Project Icarus OST
(2009, august 24) – ookoi ShakeNRoll
(2009, april 07) – “Blood and Bottom” (Raudi0GaGa)
(2009, february 21) – Insular arithmetic (ookoi toont)
(2009, january 31) – A glimpse of Heesbeen
(2009, january 15) – Rien à voir
(2008, october 02) – The right to be slow
(2008, june 06) – Raudio Graffiti: almost live !
(2008, february 24) – The Great Washing
(2007, december 04) – I’m an island
(2007, september 04) – leve ookoi! (3)
(2007, august 22) – leve ookoi! (2)
(2007, august 12) – leve ookoi! (1)
(2007, march 24) – Vicky, Killers and Avatars
(2007, february 15) – Every presentation is a premiere
(2007, january 25) – 1024 Waarden, by ookoi
(2007, january 19) – Preparations for a Second Life
(2006, october 20) – Funky shit
(2006, july 07) – de-‘tails of lite house keeping’
(2006, may 06) – jam karet?
(2006, march 20) – raudio @cosman’s
(2005, september 25) – 0 OK, 0:1, life on ze road
(2005, july 31) – Outside – Inside Paradiso
(2004, june 09) – boyzz buzz # listen!global corpus
Read about the ookoi in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:
Gonzo #88, september/october 2008 – Zelfcomponerende Klankstukken
ookoi – The works:
(2017) Weekly, 10’24” :: ookoi dooki podcast
(2014) HIER – iPhone app, 4 track album of localized Future Popp
(2013) Y ¬ Y.1024 (HTML5 web app)
(2013) Wandelzand – iPhone app, soundwalk for the Dutch isle of Ameland
(2012) Palm Top Theatre V2
(2010) Wudy Wudy, machina movie, filmed in Second Life by Evo Szuyuan (trailer)
(2009) ookoi_@_E@rport, Amsterdam – channel 19 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2009) ShakeNRoll, Project Icarus OST – scenes for the RJDJ reactive music iPhone platform
(2009) iRingg®, iPhone ringtones
(2009) 2525 (video)
(2008) L’Ecoute – public space screen video
(2007) Live beyond the Paradiso (USB-stick data-dump)
(2007) Leve ookoi! – channel 16 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2007) 1024 (DVD)
(2007) 1024 Waarden – flash animation
(2006) “Roam Stroam” – channel 12 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2006) Tijdrekken – flash animation
(2005) Sand-Y (Zandoog) – channel 7 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2004) Muziektafel-Tafelmuziek (CD)
(1980) Signs and Symptoms