Adventure 03 – Four Countries and Nine Museums

Friday was the annual Museumnight in Basel. The over 20 Museums that partake reopen at 18:00 and stay open till 2:00 the next morning. There are special programs on at the different Museums and the whole city is bustling with life.

I'm glad I went, even though I kinda forgot all about it. Had thought of going, then it slipped my mind and I didn't realize until I was on my way to work on Friday.

This meant I was on my own, which was a bummer at first but okay in the end. I was able to go at my own pace and do what I wanted. Then I met someone who was also by themselves and we went to the last museum together.

Highlights were the Antikenmuseum and the Tinguely Museum, as well as a boat ride on the Rhine from the Tinguely Museum to Schifflände. Also fun were a beat boxing crash course by Claudio Rudin and an analog/digital pinball game – both at the Tinguely Museum.

I took the last train home for one day's respite before a museum's tour of a different kind…

Today I broke a record by visiting four countries in one day. Three friends and I drove from Switzerland to Liechtenstein to Austria and back. I now write this at home in Germany.

Let me just insert here how great Europe is for trips like this. Things are close together, the roads are good, and boarder crossing is not a problem.

In Vaduz, Liechtenstein we visited the Kunstmuseum. They had serval exhibitions which made for a varied collection of art and sculpture. In Bregenz, Austria it was the Kunsthaus with a typographic exhibition by Lawrence Weiner.

Why do such a thing? Why invest the time and money to look at pantings and sculptures and some writing on the wall?

For me it was part opportunity, part interest, and part enjoyment.

  • Opportunity: my friend Leo organised the trip and we pretty much just tagged along. He's really into art and graphic design, especially the stuff we saw today.
  • Interest: I am fascinated by people when they are passionate about something and that makes me curious. Generally I am easily interested in new and novels things, but a personal touch helps. In this case that was Leo going on this trip.
  • Enjoyment: there is something about Museums I find attractive. I am glad to learn something and be given a new perspective on things. But even more so I simply enjoy the experience and procedure of it. This may sound weird and crazy to some people and that's fine. Museums aren't everyone's thing.

What follows are some pictures from the two days:

Beautiful Sabaic. 2000-3000 Years Old
Beautiful Sabaic. 2000-3000 Years Old
Ancient "Industrial Design"
Ancient "Industrial Design"
Up for a game of Retro Pinball?
Up for a game of Retro Pinball?
Behind the Scenes: a real Pinball Machine!
Behind the Scenes: a real Pinball Machine!
One of Tinguely's many Crazy Machines
One of Tinguely's many Crazy Machines
Expressionistic Painting
Expressionistic Painting
Informalist Art
Informalist Art
Circle from the side
Circle from the side
extremely huge problem, very far away
extremely huge problem, very far away
An "Empty" Museum...
An "Empty" Museum…
...with writing on the Walls
…with writing on the Walls

Jason’s Podcasting Setup + Skype Recording

On Monday Sean and I recorded this weeks episode of Breadcrumbs. It was then that I heard that Myke and Jason had given my podcasting post a mention on Upgrade.

I am off podcasts for the month of January in order to give myself some thinking space. So I've been a bit out of the loop.

In a weird turn of events I woke up the next morning to an idea, a way to get the Skype recording in Jason's setup. I wasn't thinking about it in particular, it just sort of came to me.

So, here is an alternative version of that setup which meets all double end podcasting requirements, even saving the Skype call.

You can simply split the audio going to your headphones out and save it as a separate track on the Zoom. This seems obvious now, and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it then. This may even be better than a Skype recording, because your half hasn't gone trough the Skype compression.

What you do need is a simple splitter cable (type A from the last post), a 3.5mm extension cable (male to male), and a 3.5 mm (female) to 1/4 inch (male) TRS adapter.

It was early morning, and for some reason I thought this would only work with a Zoom H6. It took a while until I realized it works on my H4n just the same. This could be my new setup soon.

No more wearing two headphones and a second Skype recording can't hurt.

Adventure 02 – Jaqueline’s Vernissage

Yesterday I went to the opening of the fashion exhibition "Ritual" at the Ahoi Ahoi store in Basel. Jaqueline Loekito is a fellow student of mine in the master studio in Basel. It was her first semester collection.

A bunch of our class met up there and it was a fun evening. We have all just finished our first semester and I won't see most of them until classes resume in five weeks time.

So in a way, the vernissage afterparty was also an end of semester party. These get togethers can be lots of fun. Especially as Patrick, another fellow student, is a professional DJ.

Jaqueline's collection is called Ritual and is inspired by her heritage in Indonesia. She collaborated with Hannah, a weaver from London, and Sebastian, an industrial designer and fellow student. Hannah designed the patterns for the scarfs and Sebastian the shoes.

Here are some pictures. They're a bit grainy as it was dark and the iPhone's not great then:

Patrick the DJ
Patrick the DJ
Hand Loom. I got to give it a try. It definitely requires patience.
Hand Loom. I got to give it a try. It definitely requires patience.
Handwoven scarf patters (front) and colorful outfit (back)
Handwoven scarf patters (front) and colorful outfit (back)
Jaqueline (left) and Hannah (right) standing in front of the scarfs.
Jaqueline (left) and Hannah (right) standing in front of the scarfs.
The shoes designed and made by Sebastian
The shoes designed and made by Sebastian

I was fascinated by the craft that went into this collection. The shoes are cut from a solid block of wood and the scarf patterns hand woven over many hours. The colorful outfit (third picture) is made of tons of threads – like a pom-pom but individually sewn on. That alone took over 60 hours.

Adventure 01 – Basel Paper Museum

Today I went on my first adventure of the year. Okay, less adventure and more outing1. I went to the Paper Museum inside the Basel Paper Mill.

The Basel Papermill
The Basel Papermill

It's one of those things I'd always wanted to do but never got around to. Until today that is.

At over 500 years old, it is one of the oldest paper mills in Europe. But it was not alone in Basel. There were 15 more and together they produced much more than Basel or Switzerland needed. Paper was an export good.

Crafts and old manufacturing processes in general fascinate me. I loved the treasure trove of old machines and gadgets in the Industrial Design museum in Paris.

It was no different here.

Today, most manufacturing processes are hidden from us. We can buy paper with the push of a button and by pushing another print anything we want on it. That was not always the case.

It is hard to imagine, but there was a time when information was primarily transmitted orally. The first writing techniques were labor intensive and expensive.

But we are clever, us humans. We make machines to assist us in our labor intensive tasks. It was the fruits of this labor I got to see today.

The Basler Paper Museum is much more than a storehouse for rusty machinery. They don't only show you how paper was made and give you some history to read – they still make paper there with century old techniques.

Beyond that they cast and set typ and bind books – even commercially, albeit on a very small scale.

On each level of the museum there is a hands-on area, where you can try some of these techniques for yourself. You can make paper, write with ink and quill, typeset and print your name, and create a beautiful marbling pattern.

All this has made it one of the best Museums I've been to. It had quality with character.

The texts were written (and translated) well and supplemented nicely by the machines, artifacts, and hands-on areas. But beyond that it has a special character as it lives the old craft it teaches.

Almost every one of the people you meet there works in one of the craft skills of the paper making, printing, or bookbinding processes. When you ask a question, you don't get a memorized answer, but a passionate and in depth one.

Not planning on making this a year of 52 museum visits, but I'd gladly take another trip to a Museum as good as this one.

  1. It's not documented in the rules, but I take a trip like this to be the least I'd allow myself to call a legit trip in the adventure52 sense. Something like a trip to the theater would also count, but the cinema is definitely out. Can't say why I draw the line there, it simply doesn't feel right. It's not the spirit in which I'm doing this.

Adventure 52 – Rules of the Game

As it stands my rules for Adventure52 are as follows:

Here repeated in writing:

Once a week:
  1. go out the door and
  2. get out of town
  3. to someplace novel
  4. for an outing or adventure
  5. not related to work
  6. that you haven’t done before.

The rules leave room for interpretation and that’s on purpose. They also don’t define distance or duration of travel, as that’s not what this is about.

I may change, add, or subtract items from this list later. These are the starting rules and a change in situation may warrant a change in rules. After all, these rules are here to serve me not I here to serve the rules.

Adventure 52

Every week in 2017 I will be going out on some kind of adventure.

Okay, not every outing will be as epic as the three day hike in the Alps where the above picture was taken, but some will.

To me traveling is like exercising, I have trouble getting myself out the door, but never regret it once I do. Today, present me is prescribing future me a dose of adventure he really needs to take.

This isn’t about shoving more into my already full year. It’s about not forgetting to live while working a busy schedule. Exercising is never lost time, why should travelling be?

Besides, what am I working for if I’m only ever working or thinking about work?

This year I want to work to live and not live to work.

PS: details about Adventure52 “rules”, how I’m planning this, and how I’ll be sharing this will be given at a later date (mostly because I don’t know yet).

PPS: feel free to join in. There’s no wrong way to do it. Just go out and do something/go someplace special. Adventure dosen’t always have to be far away.