Hey world! 🍃

Part 1 = August 📰

I know, we know, it is dÉÉp September, October is looming in the near distance, but our last report was about July, so we technically 'owe' you an August newsletter. It feels too late to write about August. August was summer. Summer is over. August is a memory. And I worry that as soon as you saw the word ‘August’ in the title of this e-mail, your brain labeled it ‘irrelevant’. People don't want to read about the paaast.. whispers my brain. People only want the futuuureeee

This comes up when I google relevance:

Last sentence makes me giggle, but to be honest, it also feels a little bit true. I finished a big project in June but haven't starting anything 'big' since and I can hear the brain-whispers starting already: you're becoming irrelevaaaannntttt

(Ok but wait, what is the matter at hand?)

As I ponder over the concept of irrelevance, one of my favourite salsa songs (oh yes, you guessed it, this is Emma writing) by Héctor Lavoe pops into my head. If you like, you can 🔊 play it too, in the background, maybe? In the song, Lavoe sings, melancholically:

Tu amor es un periodico de ayer
 (your love is a newspaper from yesterday) 

And the coro* sings:

¿Y para qué leer; un periódico de ayer? 
(and why would you read yesterday's newspaper?)

*RELEVANT INFO: the framework in this old salsa song is called Coro-Pregón
a call and response section between the lead singer and the coro (chorus).
In this case, the coro keeps singing the same question ("And why read a newspaper from yesterday?")
and singer Héctor keeps confirming that he doesn't want anything to do with this old newspaper/lover anymore
("Why should I read the story of a love I can't even believe?")

Listen, I deeply love this song, but – still thinking about relevance – I must question its message. Why wouldn't you read a slightly older newspaper?! Just because something happened a while ago doesn't mean it automatically loses its importance or meaning, does it? Time is such a boring way to 'measure' relevance - which isn't some universally agreed upon quality anyways – relevance indeed completely depends on the matter at hand. And the matter at hand is whatever we want it to be, babes! Anything can be relevant, as long as you🫵 declare🤌 the matter🤲 at hand🫱

Relevance is up to you:


And so if I write a newsletter, it's up to me what the matter at hand is, and I say it is AUGUST!
& also the old salsa song (here's the link again)

So let me tell you, sr. Lavoe, para qué you should read our newsletterpaper. Here is our Periódico de Agosto, including some personal reasons why they are still relevant (for us) today
– in coro-pregón format 🎵 (Am I going too far with the salsa stuff? naaah let's go)

¿Y para qué leer este periódico de Agosto?

(and why should I read this newspaper from August?)

Because these moments remind me that I must continue to go outside and explore things with the people I love (especially going on boats/being in water and walking) 🎵

¿Y para qué leer un periódico de Agosto?
(and why should I read this newspaper from August?)

🎵 Because there is some lesson here about time and peace and quiet 🎵

Because today those drawings are no longer a figment of my imagination but a physical reality 🎵

¿Y para qué leer un periódico de Agosto?
(and why should I read this newspaper from August?)

🎵 Because today I am thinking about the idea of being “out of sync”, how to embrace this, yet find ways of staying connected 🎵

🎵 Because I am currently turning the physical logging pile into an online (b)logging zone where I want to start doing more writing & visualising outside of this newsletter (and not worry too much about relevance) 🎵

🎵 Because, one day later, I would lose a key to my friend's apartment where we were staying. I'm currently writing a blog entry about this story. This image is also eternally relevant due to its pyramidal composition, often seen in Renaissance paintings 🎵


Part 2 = September 🍂

Back to the here & now. September has felt beginning-of-school-year-busy and it was only a week and a bit ago at the annual Groot Rotterdams Atelier Weekend (a city wide open studio event) that we, Ben Gijs Jack Kirsten Emma, were all together at Extra Practice again. We cleaned up, we hung out, we got our photo taken, for something VERY COOL happening soon, by the talented Dewi (sneak peek below), we made pita's on Jack's improvised pavement-BBQ, we stayed till after dark. A wholesome XP day, together, at last!

It was that same weekend we started talking about our space again, about the size, possible other spaces, bigger sizes? A quick scroll on the website of our corporate housing company, an available space close by. A speedy proposal document with Dewi's photos all over it, perfect timing. We'll find out soon wether they want us there, we don't know what our chances are really, but either way this feels like the beginning of being very open to the idea of a larger XP, and of thinking about what XP could be outside of these 39m2.

It felt good (& relevant!) to look back and appreciate some summer moments from the past;
and it also feels great to finally be present together in the same space again;
and it has been very exciting to start dreaming out loud a bit about a (hopefully) collective future. 

Who knows what next year's XP newspaper headlines will say? 🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️🗞️

Thank you for reading! 
Next newsletter = OCTOBER




On October 7th, a project that Jack and Ben have both been working on will be open to the public. -1 is a new labratory and exhibition space for digital culture at Nieuwe Instituut. Jack has designed the space whilst Ben has been working on the programme and curation. Come visit the space during the opening on the 7th at 18:00 at Nieuwe Instituut.

On October 9th Emma is leaving to Spain (can you tell?) for a month of ???? No fixed plans except the plan to do lots of logging on route - which will likely appear somewhere on here if you're interested 🪵

On October 28th, Ben will be performing/presenting his work from the past year at Dutch Design Week as part of the Stimuleringfonds presents Talent programme

Gijs is doing lots of teaching in Sept, next to researching time-based currencies (hmu if you have references!) and finishing a text that’s a kind of walk through gijs.garden for the coming Robida Magazine

Kirsten is in graphic design/webdesigner mode working hard for Bright City Scapes 

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