Oh you noticed this tiny text... Extra Practice would like to invite you to: Conviviality Party - This Friday, June 3rd, at the XP studio space (Zwaanshals 209) there will be food and drinks and we will also give some EXCLUSIVE tours of XP! more info at the bottom. Now follows the newsletter:

Dear readers,

It’s Elliott (unofficial XP intern). Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been unofficially interning with the folks at Extra Practice. This all happened through several accidents. Ben connected Emma and I for an apartment swap but because of visa issues Emma wasn’t able to go to New York and I stayed in Jack’s room while he was in Italy. The XP folks have been more than generous while I’ve been here. It’s been so nice getting to know them all. The other day Emma and Gijs and I were walking near the canal and asked if my trip could be distilled into one word. All I could think of was the word, “motion” which is pretty literal but feels fitting. Sometimes I feel like my happiness is proportional to the amount of time I am in motion. Do you ever feel this way? Does the universe just prefer to have things in motion? Maybe we just have to get on the highway/airplane/canal and things will start to happen.

While taking a long walk on my second day in Rotterdam I thought of an idea… what if I asked XP if I could become their intern. Maybe this could be a way I could give back to XP. I imagined running for coffee at 3pm everyday and cleaning up the space after closing.

Here’s a list of the unofficial XP intern responsibilities:

  • Ask questions
  • Take photos
  • Help create an XP guide
  • Play soccer
  • Occasional dishes
  • Dance with our computers
  • Buy muffins from the corner store
  • Look out the window

This unofficial internship quickly turned into a series of collaborative work sessions...

Computer Dance

On May 17th Emma, Gijs, Kirsten, and I met at XP for a coding club to work on our personal websites. Like any physical activity it is a good idea to warm up beforehand. Our warm up took the form of a “Computer Dance.” Similar to musical chairs we used a special timer to exchange computers and work on each other’s websites. In between work sessions we took breaks. Working on a computer can create a bit of tunnel vision so it was nice to constantly have to refresh our tunnels. It was also interesting to see little differences in our website development setups. Often we forget how much the tools we use daily influence what we make. At the end of the Computer Dance we presented the websites we had made together.

XP Guide

I’ve been noticing how the XPs work together and help each other navigate their practices. I deeply admire this style of work and started wishing that I had an XP back home. I think XP has a lot of lived experiences/knowledge to share with the rest of us so I suggested that they create a guide to starting an XP.

Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on the XP Guide; a simple system for creating your own XP. Of course there are many aspects that are going to be different depending on where you are located and who is involved when starting a collaborative space so this guide just focuses on how XP approaches their unique space and attempts to keep things as practical as possible. There’s also the possibility that you could just use the XP guide as an internal philosophy for living and making work together. Maybe XP could just exist in your mind?! You are welcome to use whatever parts resonate with you and rewrite other parts. It’s like open source software but for a physical space with others. The XP guide is yours to keep

We will be working on the XP Guide at the Conviviality Party this Friday, June 3rd, at the XP studio space (Zwaanshals 209). Here's the invite!

XP Insider

The lived eXPeriences of 5 XPs to be published here in email…

Question for XP Emma

It’s nice that your home wifi network is named, “Extra Practice.” This makes me think about the digital residue that haunts physical spaces. Have you ever seen a ghost? If XP had a ghost what would it be like? Ideally how would the ghost participate in XP and what would its name be?

I've actually been thinking about ghosts recently, I'd really like to see one.. Our XP ghost is probably this French flâneur from the 19th century who loved strolling up and down Swaenshals in his top-hat and bright green bowtie. His name is Xavier, he spontaneously came to Rotterdam with no real reason or purpose, only vague artistic ambitions, and somehow never left. Now he's still walking around, passing by the studio, often secretly checking his reflection in our windows. Early in the morning or late at night, you'll find him inside XP, deep in thought, writing poetry, or quietly humming a weird melody he came up with. When you see one desk in the studio that no one uses, it might be Xavier sitting there, writing us little french poems: sweet reminders that whatever we are doing is already beautiful in some way. He doesn't like to be in a hurry, and he always sees a deeper meaning in all the daily stuff that happens at Extra Practice. He gives the space a dreamy, romantic energy. Such a great ghost

Question for XP Kirsten

When I visited your apartment we sat on your balcony and drank coffee. Coffee time is such a ritual and I was wondering if you have a favorite place to drink coffee and what kind of thought patterns coffee time evokes for you? Also, your apartment has a villa vibe and I was wondering if you could make a small index of the contents of your favorite room?

You got quite a representative experience of coffee drinking in this house, as my gf and I often like to have our morning cup on the balcony. We usually chat a bit about the day ahead, and sometimes I write a page in my notebook to gain momentum or break through thought patterns that have been bothering me. Last entry was 19.05.2022 and of the latter kind.

When it comes to the whole coffee ritual, I quite like the split-second in which I choose the cups. There are go-to pairs; some are actual pairs and some completely different but somehow they always go together. I generally prefer my coffee cups small, but when I’m home alone and chugging that Bialetti all by myself I pick the special cup that is larger (see index).

As I’m writing this I am recovering from the ‘rona, which tied me to the room that might be my favourite — though I’ve grown a bit tired of the view now. Here’s a small incomplete index of things that caught my eye in this room:

Question for XP Ben

After the radio show we talked a little about radio voices. Do you ever have dreams where you are on the radio or listening to the radio? If a very popular radio station gave you keys for one day how would you use your 24 hours of radio time?

I'm very bad at remembering my dreams, however on the off chance that I do remember them they are usually very mundane. So listening to the radio or being on the radio may well be things that I dream about. I do however do quite a lot of daydreaming that involves radio, usually replaying conversations that I've had on-air and thinking how I would answer differently or say something that I didn't get a chance to say in a certain conversation. I also often have the feeling that when I am talking with someone, or listening in to a conversation that I imagine how well it would work if we/they would be having this conversation on the radio.

If a popular radio station would give me their keys, I would spend the first several hours playing with all the DJ equipment. After a while I would probably realise that I'm wasting an opportunity and start inviting all my friends to come and do things with me on the radio. There would be a certain freedom to knowing we're using someone else's platform too (but maybe also pressure if it's a popular station). I think it would bring about a certain carelessness that might be fruitful in creating an environment in which we could do what we wanted without too much intention to make perfect things. I think radio is good at doing that in general. Everyone involved in radio (that I've met) is so nice and very generous. I suppose that's because it's about people and connections. Even if it's just you on the radio and you only have one listener, there's still a connection between two people. I love thinking about how digital spaces can be intimate and place-full, I think radio can be good at supporting both of those things. Sorry this was a bit of a digression from the question.

Question for XP Gijs

Could you tell us about XP’s neighbors? Are there any interactions you’ve had that are particularly memorable? I also heard that there’s a new XP plant in the garden? Could you put the XP plants on a 2x2 for us?

We already knew Henk is a sweet neighbour by the daily average of three waves when he passes by. And if it’s not him, it’s his son who definitely inherited the smile. But for a while our interaction did not grow much beyond waving.

Same goes for Steven, who has a wood workshop on the other corner of our block, surrounded by a paradise of foliage, which I pass each day with awe. On a late summer’s day in 2021, we decided that it was time for us to give it a try. We were going to make a geveltuintje (a tiny garden brought into being by lifting a few tiles next to the building’s facade).

Well-prepared with a hand spade I started to dig. It wasn’t very easy to get the spade in between the tiles. Even though there were many weeds that found their way through, the spade never really made it. It must have looked like a struggle. Or just like a digital native lacking ‘green hands.’

“You know what you need? A crowbar!” Henk said. “Wait.” He came back with the tool, and the first tile was lifted. It started to look like I knew what I was doing. Neighbours walking by wished us good luck, the older Moroccan neighbour offered tips, and Henk’s son came by with the first two little plants. Everyone seemed happy that their street was going to be a little greener.

Today, we are still learning though:

Actually it’s better than it looks. We’ve added several new plants recently. One is the raspberry plant that now inhabits the bucket of soil next to our door, but the others are less visible: seedlings of sunflowers and hollyhocks. One day a tiny paradise. Now you can find them as young promises on this grid:

Question for XP Jack

As a fellow folder (owner of a folding bike) I am curious if you see folding as a philosophy for living? As a member of both XP and GTBT do you feel a constant need to transform? Also, I’ve heard you’ve been climbing a bit in Italy? Do you see any similarities between folding and climbing?

Folding as a way of life. Let me see. I think it's how I relate to the city I live in and then as a result the life I live there. Starting to cycle in London was a revelation for me. Suddenly you have this feeling of agency that somehow the city is yours and you are no longer relying on these other systems and you begin to see be able to use the city. It allows you to see how certain things the maps the underground was distorting your perception of the place that you live in. When I moved to The Hague at one point my bike broke so I was taking public transport again. I had this moment where I felt a different relationship with it. That it was carrying me, giving me a helping hand when I needed it. Not that I was being manipulated by it but that I was being cared for by the city. The folding bike allows me to combine these two modes. To be able to use the public transport when I need it. The fact that big bikes are not allowed on trains or cost money makes it feel like I am using some kind of loophole to travel around and I love a loophole. If I was to reflect on this as some sort of philosophy it might be that, firstly I love a loophole or a tactic that gives you agency in the systems you operate within. In relation to work I put on many different hats with lots of different projects and disciplines so I guess this could be linked to the folding lyfe.

With climbing I don’t so much see the connection with folding. I do however find a connection with climbing and my working process. Climbing is funny especially in gyms but even on real rock. There is a way to get to the top that is easy. But you pick specific routes with specific levels of difficulty. You are creating this little alternative reality and you follow the rules within that reality. This is the same when I’m working on any project. You create these parameters that you work with in. Sometimes they are completely arbitrary but you take them seriously and by doing others can play along with you.

Extra life

Some open ended questions for XPs from unofficial intern…

What is it like when you are at XP?
What is it like when you are not at XP?
Do you miss XP?
Do you dream of XP?
Is XP real?
Does XP have feelings?

Thank you for reading this Extra Practice newsletter for May 2022. Thank you to all the XPs for teaching me the basics of living like an XP, sharing their space with me over the last month, and inviting me to write this newsletter. I will miss Emma, Gijs, Ben, Kirsten, and Jack and hope that they will visit New York City soon where we will hang out in Prospect Park, lie on our backs in the grass, look at the clouds, and contemplate how our minds are mobile extra practices connected by the slight breeze in the grass.

Disconnecting from Extra Practice wifi and waving at computer screen,


Upcoming Event!

Extra Practice would like to invite you to: Conviviality Party! This Friday, June 3rd, at the XP studio space (Zwaanshals 209)

This party will be all about interacting creatively and autonomously with others and our environment to satisfy our own needs. What are your needs? Bring them to our table! There will be drinks and food and live radio and exclusive XP tours! 

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