17 t/m 21 December:

ARTCORE

Pristina – Amsterdam

ARTCORE Melkweg

er bestaat een wereld vol mogelijkheden waarin met een beetje kloten nog eens iets te veroorzaken valt”

van 17 t/m 21 wordt Amsterdam bestormd door twee groepen jonge mensen. De ene groep DAMAGED, de andere NOT DAMAGED. We hebben een collectief jonge kunstenaars uit Pristina (de jongste en armste hoofdstad van Europa) zo gek gekregen om 5 dagen stil te staan bij ons Amsterdam. Een rockband, een fotograaf, een cartoonist en een theaterregisseur. Elk van hen heeft in hun jonge leven een oorlog meegemaakt en zijn dus DAMAGED. Ertegenover staan de leden van het jonge creators collectief van stichting Nieuwe Helden uit Amsterdam. Ook een rockband, een theaterregisseur, een fotograaf, een dj, een vj en een cultuur-journalist. Geen van hen heeft een oorlog meegemaakt, zij zijn dus NOT DAMAGED. Pristina is in opbouw (of nog steeds kapot), Amsterdam is af, rijk, verzadigd en ingekakt. Ons grootste gevaar is niet een nieuw politiek tijdperk waarin op kunst wordt bezuinigd, er bestaat een wereld vol mogelijkheden waarin met een beetje kloten nog eens iets te veroorzaken valt.

Gedurende 5 dagen zijn we aanwezig in de stad, wij dragen onze boodschap van NOT DAMAGED zijn luidruchtig uit terwijl onze Kosovaarse collegae gaan uitzoeken hoe DAMAGED ze zich tot onze ‘rijkdom’ verhouden. Raken zij net zo geïnspireerd hier als wij raakten tijdens onze rock-tour door Kosovo? Het resultaat van onze samenwerkingen daar en hun confrontatie met hier zal worden gepresenteerd in de Melkweg op 21 December 2010. In uitbundige expo’s, exclusieve VIP (Very Ignorant Person) behandelingen en een multi-disciplinair slotconcert van the Freelancers uit Kosovo en LnSaint uit Amsterdam.

Verwacht alstublieft geen oplossing, geen keurig debat, geen goed gepolijste lijstjes om ons werk, maar reken op HEEL veel energie van die paar man die het zowel daar als hier zullen moeten doen

crowdfunding

voor het ARTCORE festival in December doen we mee aan een platform voor ‘crowd funding’, geïnitieerd door het AFK (Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst). Zij bieden ons een startbedrag en begeiden ons in het zoeken van sponsoring om de rest van de begroting rond te krijgen. Je kunt dus in ons project investeren! vanaf E10,- ben je een partner en daar krijg je wat voor terug dus: bezoek de site van VOORDEKUNST of klik hieronder direct naar ons project:

//

de tegenprestaties zijn bij ons altijd onderhandelbaar!!!

bye bye Pristina

Pristina’s chaos makes me dizzy

Pristina’s prizes make me rich

Pristina’s artists drive me crazy

Pristina’s smog makes me sick

Pristina’s girls make me gaze

Pristina’s politics makes me cynical

Pristina’s climat makes me lazy

Pristina’s peja gets me drunk

Pristina’s proudness makes me jealous

Pristina’s boys make me look gay

Pristina’s freedom makes me doubt it

Pristina’s kitchen makes me fat

somehow I love this city

somehow Pristina’s makes me sing

somehow I’m sure we’ll be back soon

if that’s ok with Pristina

video shoot

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We took the whole day to shoot a videoclip in the raw Prishtina sceneries. The idea was to take THE ARTCORE image (like on the posters and cd) and turn it around. We’re still standing with our backs to the camera, but instead of taking a picture of a walking band we stood still for ten minutes per location and filmed the movement around us. In a traffic jam at the Bill Clinton boulevard, between the students at the library, on the NEWBORN statue in front of a shopping area… a lot of recognizable Prishtina spots and several shots per location. Now the consequence of this image is that for making good material we had to stand absolutely still for several minutes per shot, some shots ten minutes (to be able to speed up traffic in the montage), some shots 3 but in the end of the day, when we called it “a wrap”, we had been standing still for more then two hours. The impact of doing ABSOLUTELY nothing is unbelievable. Especially when the world around you moves like an aggressive city and the (young) people walking around are reacting quite loud and obnoxious on your presence… stand still, stand still, stand still!

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But in the end of this long day of doing a lot to do nothing we have a lot of material for vj-ing and a nice clip for U TURN (available soon) therefore satisfaction is overruling the being tired. Especially cause the image that says ARTCORE was lively spread and people are starting to recognize us here not only by our rock music but also for our marching and standing still:) weird muziki guys from amsterdam

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update

To start with an apology: I’m sorry for the small amount of updates since we moved on to Pristina. Not only is life here a WHOLE lot more chaotic, the spots with wifi internet are rare. for instance; our apartment it’s not such a spot.

Until now we played two gigs, friday on the main boulevard right in the city centre and yesterday in a city called Ferizaj (40km from Pristina). I don’t know if Dave dares to write another book about traveling difficulties but I can assure you he wouldn’t lack material! We have been recording a lot of vj material on typical locations in Pristina (a preview will appear here soon). Isil, sparring partner, co-writer of the ARTCORE plans and producer for the Amsterdam-part of the project paid us a 1,5 day visit and brought her friend Lotte, which made Wouter very happy. We are preparing a ‘body percussion’ flashmob for tuesday. The Freelancers and LnSaint will march stamping, clapping and singing “shame is a waste of time” from both sides of the Nena Tereza boulevard towards each other to make even more noise in the middle where all of our new friends will join the action.  And at this very moment we are preparing and promoting the final concert we’ll play in FELIKAQA upcoming wednesday. We will play a double bill with the Freelancers. FELIKAQA is known as THE sports bar in Prishtina and known for it’s good sound for gigs. The location suits us very well for it counts at least 20 flatscreen televisions so we can show a lot of the (raw) video material during the concert. So far so good. So far so inspired, So far to bring back the best that Pristina has to offer. Next time I’ll introduce you to the artists we will invite for ARTCORE Amsterdam 17-22 December 2010, but don’t panic if that’ll take a while, for now I’ll dive back into Kosovo chaos! love

Custom officers… *sigh…*

It started to go wrong at the “border” of Serbia and Kosovo. Which isn’t a border at all, but you can’t cross it anyway. Bas, Niels, Marc en Jan could cross it, but Wouter (a.k.a Cash) and me couldn’t because we had all the equipment with us. And without any explanation we had to turn around and try to get in to Kosovo somewhere else, which meant a 400 km detour through Macedonia. Perhaps the customs lady should consider surgically removing the broomstick out of her arse.

So Cash and I turned around, back to the main road, with some effort found the way back to the highway and started the long trip to Macedonia. The roads there are quite bad to say the least, but once we were on the highway the trip was smooth. For about half an hour… The highway stopped all of a sudden en we were back on a crappy road through the mountains. Which actually was a very beautiful part of the journey if it wasn’t at night and you could see the landscape. But since it was 12 o’ clock at night all we saw were car lights.

After 2 hours of negotiating sharp corners, dodging traffic and avoiding plummeting down steep mountainsides to certain and most likely very flat deaths we arrived at the border of Serbia and Macedonia. This actually was a real border so we could cross it but not without any difficulties. Everything went ok, except that apparently the car-insurance-green-card-thingy of the car was expired and we had to buy a new one for €50,- from an old fellow in a little house next to the customs office. And they were a bit surprised about the cargo but after explaining we carried the music equipment of a very famous band (and I guess a bit of ATA Carnet papers and Cash’ beautiful smile had got something to do with it as well) we could cross the border after we’ve shown the ATA Carnetpapers at a booth on the side of the customs office. The only problem was, there was no booth at the side of the customs office… At least, none we could find. So we searched and we searched but we couldn’t find anything remotely looking like a booth. Apparently there wasn’t actually a booth but more of… well, just a window. At which we had to wait for about half an hour before a lady opened it, took the ATA Carnetpapers, checked them, franticly made some copies with papers flying around in her office and gave them back so we could finally, after 1 hour, be one our way through Macedonia.

According to the map the way through Macedonia wasn’t that difficult and it wasn’t. There was a highway again and we could actually driver faster then 40 km/u. But then there was Skopje… Again; according to the map the way through Skopje wasn’t that difficult, just one road through the centre and we’d already seen some road sign that said that Pristina was just straight ahead. But then in Skopje the signs stopped… And then the road stopped, well it didn’t actually stop but you couldn’t call it a road either. So we got lost. No signs, no proper map and no way of telling how to get out of Skopje. And no music anymore. Didn’t I mention that? After 15 hours of hard work DJ Shuffle of the iPod Club was tired and went to bed. Leaving us with just 2 CD’s and (as it turned out to be) 7 hours of time to kill. Anyway, back to the main story; we found a taxi with a taxi driver (obviously) and asked him if he could tell us where we were and how to get to Pristina. Then he started laughing and agreed to bring us to the right road which would lead us to Pristina, for the proper amount of €5,-, of course.

So we were on the right road again up to the next and last border of that day. We arrived at the border at about 5 o’ clock in the morning and we had all the paperwork ready; passports, car papers and insurance papers and the ATA Carnet papers with which every border crossing would be a nice stroll through a beautiful park (right…). Like we did at every border we went to stand in the queue for the small vehicles. There we were send back up the road to go to the cargo queue and there the real challenges began…

First we stopped at the first little building, went inside and showed the ATA Carnetpapers to a customs officer behind the desk. He looked at them, couldn’t make any sense out of it and called 3 of his colleagues. Apparently it takes 4 guys to check some paperwork. This took about 15 minutes and finally we got the proper stamps. Then they send us to building number 2 at the other side of the road where we had to get a white piece of paper with some unrecognisable scribbling on it. We had to take this piece of paper back to the customs officer in building number 1 and from him we got another piece of paper, of which the colour I can’t remember, and had to take this to a police officer at another desk across the hall. We showed him the paper along with our passports and car papers and after that we could finally go to the barrier at building number 3, which should open after we gave the paper with the colour I can’t remember to an officer there. Except there wasn’t any officer to be seen. After some searching it appeared that there actually was somebody but he was sleeping. After his colleagues woke him we had to pay €5,- for no apparent reason and we could go to the other side. To the Kosovo side of the border where it got really interesting…

On the Kosovo side of the border were working the best employees of the customs bureaucracy department. Now pay attention ‘cause this could get a bit complicated. First we went to building number 1, to give our passports and car papers to a customs officer through a really high window.  Of course the insurance paper we bought at the Macedonian border was not valid in Kosovo, because, well let’s face it, then they couldn’t make any money out of it. So we had to buy another one at building number 2. There Cash had to wake up a guy so he could buy the insurance papers for €85,- ! And I had to open the car so the customs officer could check the cargo and ask questions like: “Where are you going?” and “What are you going to do there?” and “Who invited you?”. After we answered them he called a colleague who asked the same questions.

Communication between customs officers is not very high on the priority list of customs school. Inserting broomsticks in cavities, which are originally not meant to insert anything in to, apparently is.

Cash showed them the ATA Carnetpapers and for once that was sufficient to satisfy their curiosity and we could close the car. Then the 2 customs officers went inside building 1 to discuss some unfathomable customs subjects and we had to wait. After a while a police officer came out of building number 3 and we had to open the car and answer the same questions all over again. I think the police officers there go to the same school as the customs officers, ‘cause he called a colleague as well and he asked, yes you already guessed it, the same questions.

After they left, the customs officer from building 1 came outside and apparently do they not only don’t communicate, they also suffer from short term memory loss, because he began asking, again, the same questions. After the regular question he finally understood that we were carrying the equipment of a band. Music equipment to make music. It’s not exactly rocket science, guys. After answering all the questions, again, we thought we could finally go and be one our way. But no. At that point he told us that they would keep Cash’ passport, my car papers en half of the ATA Carnetpapers and that we had to wait for 2 hours, ‘till 8 o’ clock, at building number 5 for the chief customs officer to arrive and approve all the paperwork.

So we went to building 5 and there was another customs officer who had no idea whatsoever what we were doing there and send us back to building 1. Back there, again, they said we had to take a yellow paper, which they’d given us, to building number 4. So we went to building 4, gave the yellow paper to an officer with a lot of question marks floating around his head, also he had no idea what went on at the other buildings, and he told us that the yellow paper was incorrect because the license plate number written down on it was not the same as the license plate on my car. I wonder what went wrong there; did we step accidentally in another white Opel Combo with almost the same license plate accept for one different letter which just happened to be at the same border and just happened to have the same ignition key or did the rocket scientists of the Kosovo customs office wrote down an ‘R’ instead of a ‘P’? So we went back to building 1, had the license plate number on the yellow paper changed, back to building 4, showed the yellow paper and we got another white paper which we had to take back to building 5. The customs officer at building 5 looked at the white paper and did absolutely nothing with it. And we waited…

At 8 o’ clock, after 2 very uncomfortable hours of no sleep, the chief customs officer came and we went to his office in building 5. He asked us the same questions again, I think you can see a pattern of no communication here, and after being satisfied with the answers he gave us back Cash’ passport, my car papers en half of the ATA Carnetpapers and a piece of paper with which we could, finally, cross the border. So that was it. We finally could be on our way to Pristina. So we thought… Before we could go we had to show the last piece of paper we got from the chief officer to an officer at building 6, where we had to pay some kind of tax of €40,-. But at that point all our money was gone on insurance papers and imaginary taxes and the banks at the border didn’t have ATM machines to get money with our bankcards. So Cash and one of the customs officers from building 6 went into Kosovo to get the money, came back, paid the tax and then… finally… yes, Ladies and Gentlemen… we could cross the Macedonia – Kosovo border after just 3 and a half hours!!!

The trip after that was quite uneventful. Again a lot of crappy roads, an average speed of 60 km/u and a lot of buildings, either under construction or demolition. But after a short hour we arrived at Pristina at 9:45 a.m! The other guys would be checking out of the hostel not long after that so we decided to go to the bar where we would meet Hana (a girl from Pristina who is helping us arranging the gigs and performances) at 12 o’ clock and have a couple of beers. I think we deserved them after a long day of hard work…

Good night ☺

-X- Dave (a.k.a. Sabine)

ARTCORE -or- HARDCORE ?

To drive from Serbia to Kosovo with a car full of instruments is tricky business. We experienced that last year: then we found out that we didn’t bring the right documents to import our ‘professional equipment’ outside the EU. So this year we got those papers, called ATA CARNET, and figured we would cross borders without any trouble, expected only warm welcomes towards a group of enthusiastic young musicians (“muziki” was the password last year). But then there’s politics. Serbia still denies Kosovo to be a state and therefore the border is not a border but just a checkpoint. A checkpoint doesn’t own the stamps that we need on our very official import/export documents. After a very unfriendly discussion with the Serbian douane officers the deal was: the musicians may pass but the instruments need to go back into Serbia to take a detour through Macedonia so the export is official and then Macedonian douane officers can decide if you may enter Kosovo through their border. We decided to split up. The musicians indeed drove to Kosovo in a straight, and bumpy, line and Wouter and Dave (aka Cash & Sabine) took the detour of 400km. LnSaints arrival: 1am. Technician&managers arrival: 9:45am.

Dave aka Sabine aka the technician promised to write you about the rest of the trip (I guess something happened during those 9 extra hours… but first he has to get some sleep) so that’s to be posted here soon. But mums; don’t worry we’re all save and in the place we want to be!

Now let us get the actual project started! From tomorrow on we’ll do our street actions, play two gigs this weekend with the Freelancers, prepare the body percussion flashmob of next week and roll towards the final concert in thursday the 9th.

Let’s stick to ARTCORE right?

Stanica concert cancelled

We’re very sorry to announce that our final gig at Banska Stanica upcoming Sunday is being cancelled.

feel free to come by, we might play you something acoustic, but the organizers of the ‘end of summer’ party decided not to bother the peaceful surrounding of the station with another loud party because we just had one last friday… So I’d suggest to come to BASAVEL festival saturday up at the Roma camp. We’ll play there at 5pm!

ARTCORE

LnSaint

as time flies

time flies when your having a mission.

it’s almost the end of our being ‘artist in residence’ at Banska Stanica and hell those were two good weeks! We wrote two new songs, did a deep search in how we sound, created a short- and a full version of the ARTCORE setlist and started a new ritual in MARCHing towards a gig. It’s inspiring to spend time with each other in a surrounding that breathes. Whole days of open air rehearsals, not always easy listening but very free. Yesterday I thought: I wish my life was always this relaxed and focussed and today I thought: something else. It’s funny to recognize the circumstances in which creation gets high against circumstances in which reflection and private life sufferings, force themselves upon you (which will probably lead to more songs…)

Anyway. upcoming weekend we’ll finish the good times with 3 concerts: 2 festivals and the final presentation at the railway station. And then the actual Pristina part of ARTCORE starts. first with another 900km drive to then start performing street acts, challenging the Freelancers to interact… to film all that, to probably redo it so we’ll rock not only the ears but the eyes as well at the final gig. We’ll try to keep you posted right here ok? but for sure we’ll bring it all back to Amsterdam in December.

sleep well