This semester we have been working on exploring the Zandmotor and became interested in both experiencing the Zandmotor on a sensory level but also researching it from a “historical” (if you could say that) and theoretical perspective.
During the time we spent on site we discovered that in certain weather conditions, the mast becomes an elements-driven sound instrument – an aeolian harp of sorts. We spent time trying to record the phenomenon and managed to get a few takes. The recordings capture the mast creating a resonant tone. We see the mast as a starting point for our project to use the Zandmotor as a performative instrument / installation. In our practice we use sound, video and performance so we are looking at a few approaches to develop our project.
We have become interested in acquiring the footage from the cameras placed on top of the Argus mast but as we were to find out later, the images are off limits as they are part of the ongoing research of PHD thesis’. We are planning, if possible, to install our own camera on the mast in order to get footage of the changes in the Zandmotor. The footage will be used along with the sound of the mast to create a multimedia piece.
Our second approach comes from our research that has led us to discover that most of the North Sea was actually dry land where in the Mesolithic era and surprisingly enough it was populated. Archeologists call it the “Doggerland”. We found out that the sand from the Zandmotor is actually coming from the central part of this plains system and it is the reason why many fossils have started showing up on the beaches of the Netherlands.
The interesting this is that by walking around in the Zandmotor you will also find lots of other archaeological traces, more linked to the recent past and present – decayed pieces of plastic, rusted metal, various other man-made waste.
In a way the Zandmotor is at the intersection of both the present and the past, existing as an ephemeral point of congruence for humanity.
As the Zandmotor is an entity in perpetual motion, the clash of the different historical times that can be found in a few square kilometers serves as conceptual “food for thought”.
We have started collecting all these artefacts, in order to create a different type of archaeological archive that will be put under further investigation.
Our attention was caught by a series of metallic oxidized chunks of matter that seem to have been mixed with the sand along with other obviously man made elements.
We wish to continue our research by subjecting the metallic masses to electrolysis treatments in order to try to peel off the layers of rust.
These artifacts may hold inside them ancient man-made parts or – as someone suggested – they could be fragment of meteorites.
Ana and Stefan